Feeling the exams’ anxiety? Here are some tips to survive Results Day

From fourth years getting exam results for the very first time to the sixth years praying to meet their conditional offers, Tuesday 7 August 2018 is probably the most terrifying date in the calendar.

First of all: the hard part is already over. You’ve put in all the work, sat the exams, and you’re going to find out what the next step is. Pass, fail, or get exactly what you were hoping for, there are lots of options out there.


There are many ways to receive your results from the Scottish Qualifications Authority (or SQA to you and I). Everyone will receive their certificate in the post. Similarly, candidates can choose to get results by text and/or email setting up a MySQA account. There’s really no running away from getting your results.

MySQA allows you to check all your qualification information, personal details and is where to go to register for email and text message results. Remembering to keep your contact details updated is important, too.

“Make sure to keep your home address, email and mobile number up to date. If any of these have changed recently, you need to tell your school, and update your information on your MySQA account. If we’ve still got your old phone number, email address, or home address then you won’t get your results! Numbers and addresses are important, and make sure to check your spam folder, just in case,” explains Jean Blair, operations director at SQA.

Most schools will be open on results day and can help if you have any questions about results. But if you’re still not sure, or you have questions about what’s on your results certificate, or why something is listed – or not listed – on your certificate, then SQA’s Results Helpline is also there to help. Opening the envelope, hearing the ping of a text or logging into your email, after the big reveal you might have a lot of questions. No matter the letters sitting on your certificate, there is a road to action.


Alongside the SQA, many organisations work together to provide support and guidance. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) even has a dedicated exam results helpline. After all, it can be an emotional rollercoaster whether it’s your first results day or your third.

“That first time getting your exam results can be confusing for young people and their parents as well. We’re there to help go over all the information you’ve got through the post that morning just to make sure you understand everything on the certificate,” explains Erin Bartley, a careers advisor with SDS. “We are also there to help with college and university options. If you’ve not met your conditions or if you’ve done better than expected, we can look at all the options available and look at the many questions you may have on the day.”

The SDS helpline opens at 8am until 8pm on both Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 August (and then again from nine to five until 15 August). No matter the outcome of results day, the main thing to remember is not to panic. Armed with this advice, you and the dedicated team working the Exam Results Helpline – who are all trained SDS advisers – can discuss where your results can take you.


Erin says: “We can talk about what apprenticeships are available, we can help sift through vacancies. We can also help with university clearing courses, college clearing courses, and just make sure people have got a plan B, plan C, plan D. For those who did better than expected and want to change their options, we can speak about contacting universities and colleges to change courses to get what you want.”

Resitting exams, going to college or university, changing your course, starting an apprenticeship or simply going on a gap year: the options are endless. Clicking on to My World of Work, brought to you by SDS, there is a plethora of advice, guidance and reassurance no matter what path you want to go on – even if you just need a little extra support to know your decision is right for you.

For those who do get all their desired grades and have accepted a course at college or university it’s natural to feel a wave of uncertainty. Is this the direction you should be going in? Information on My World of Work or a chat with the Exam Results Helpline team will see you getting the support you need.

“If you phone the helpline, we look at your own individual situation. There are always different routes into a career path. If you maybe haven’t made university this time around, we can help you look at college or apprenticeship options so you do have something else to move into,” adds Erin. “That’s not always necessarily a bad thing because if you do well at college, for example, you can move into second year of university if you do well in your final year units. You’re not necessarily wasting any time taking that route and sometimes college might be a better first step for people.”

As daunting as it might seem, results day doesn’t need to leave you shaking with fear. Getting what you expected, to nice or unpleasant surprises there is guidance to help you get back on track – don’t forget, everyone has been in the same shoes at one point or another.

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