Immediately after handing in that final exam paper, the feeling of relief in young people and parents is huge, knowing the hard work is over.
As the weeks pass, a new anxiety can creep in, as everyone waits for results day to come. This moment can feel like limbo, hoping the desired results come in that lead to their ideal next step of their educational journey, or even the first steps in a career. Before the exams they could have done something but now they can only wait.
During this time, some replay and recoil the missed marks, the things they wish they could have remembered or more things they think they failed to do. However your child reacts and responds, it’s important to give them support and help distract them at this time.
Relieving the anxiety can bring a huge relief, not only to this stage of the process, but also at a later stage. In the early stages, help distract your child, and if they want to talk about things, listen to what they have to say. As results day draws closer, it’s important to have a conversation about what they are expecting and what options they have, depending on their results.
If your child is going through GCSEs, make sure you have the number of the college or sixth form they wish to attend, in case their grades are not as planned when they arrive. Whilst you hope to never have to go down this route, also have back up schools or colleges in case their plan ‘A’ is no longer an option. Being prepared can keep the situation calmer, and be resolved quicker and smoother.
If your child is going through A-Levels, talk through what grades are required for each of their conditional University offers. As with GCSEs, equip yourself with information you need to know about how to use the clearing system for UCAS (the admissions system for university) as there may be a lot of competition for places, and have a look at universities with equivalent courses.
Going to university is a big life change in a family, and it’s normal for parents to worry about them getting or not getting a place at the university or college they want, how to pay towards your child’s education, your child leaving home and choosing the right accommodation for your child
Your child may be interested in apprenticeships, in which case, find out as much information as you can so you can give them the best support.
If your child is still feeling really anxious or stressed out waiting for the exam results, suggest relaxation techniques such as exercise or meditation to help them feel calmer. It may do them good to go out and see their friends and enjoy themselves. This will be a good distraction for them.