Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Al my life I wanted to be a doctor and now I'm failing a levels. I've revised worked hard all my life and did well in my GCSEs but now it's all for nothing. I wanted to be a doctor I've dreamt of it and it not going to happen. I have no back up plan at all I just feel like a washed up failure.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Taking exams can be really stressful, particularly if you’re feeling like they aren’t going as well as you’d hoped. It's hard to know exactly how they’re going. Sometimes people end up being surprised and have actually done better than they thought.

If you get your results and they aren’t what you hoped for, it can feel really disappointing. But remember there are always other options. Sometimes universities will accept students who haven’t quite got the grades requested, so the first thing to do would be to check on the UCAS website. If not, often people can get a place through clearing at a different university or on a slightly different course. It’s also possible to retake exams that haven’t gone well and look to go to university the following year.

If you’ve been really focused on one career option and one particular way of achieving that, it can be hard to think of different options. But there are people who can support you with that.

Have a look at the advice on our exam stress page. We also have pages about your future and careers. You can also get help through the Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000. There should be someone at school or college who can talk you through your results and help you with next options. Have a think about if there are any adults you feel able to talk it through with. You can always talk to someone at ChildLine.

There may be interesting career options and courses that you hadn’t thought of at first that are similar to what you’d hoped to do. There can be a lot of different careers within the same field. If that was something you were considering perhaps think over what it is about the course and career that appealed to you, along with what your skills are, to help you think about what else might be interesting for you.

Some people can also find it helpful to take a year out to think it through before deciding on their next step. You could get some work experience in the meantime.
You may also like to take a look at the exam results ChildLine page and on The Site.

Take care,

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