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To Sam

Results Day

hi sam, i just finished my final year of exams and got the results today and i am genuinely heartbroken by them, i put in so much effort this year and really hoped for good grades and now i feel so worthless and stupid and dont know what to do. In my English essays i wrote about topics and experiences that were really hard for me and now i feel like my experiences aren't valid because i coukdnt get a good grade. How do i cope will feeling like a failure?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Exam results day can be a happy time for some but disappointing for others. If you didn't get the grades you were hoping for it can knock your confidence and be very upsetting. It's important to remember that although exam results are important, they’re not everything.

Your exam results say nothing about you as a person - the examiner didn't know you and is only grading based on what they see. Everyone can have a bad day and do poorly in an exam and some people don't show their ability well under that kind of pressure.

There are some different options you can think about now.

The first option available to you is to have your paper re-marked. This option is best used if you think your grade should have been higher than it was. You may not always be able to get a paper re-marked as it may have to be close to being the next grade up before this is allowed.

The second option you have is to re-sit the exam. Most exam boards will allow you to re-sit the exam and take the highest grade of the two. In both cases you should talk to your teachers at school about how to go about this.

If you want to accept the grade you got then there are plenty of options too. Lots of people go to university, college or sixth form, and usually your first choice will have certain grades they expect you to have. If you didn't get the grades to go to your first choice, there may be other places you can go to who are willing to take lower grades.

If you decide that you don't want to continue in education there are opportunities like apprenticeships and practical qualifications you can get in things like plumbing, construction and other essential trades. Having a practical qualification can lead to a successful career.

If you’re old enough you can also finish your education and look for work. There may be opportunities for further training in the workplace and you can get certain types of qualifications while you’re working.

If you're unsure about which option is best then you can talk to a careers advisor. Your school might be able to arrange this, otherwise you can talk to the National Careers Service for help and advice.

I hope this has answered your questions. Just remember that you’ll still have lots of opportunities to do things you want to do, so try not to let this set you back. You can always talk to one of our Childline counsellors about how you’re feeling too.

Take care,


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