Next steps: What to do if you didn’t get the results you wanted

Results day is over and if you didn’t get the grades you wanted or expected, it can be easy to give up. It does pretty much feel like the end of the world, but it isn’t. We’ve got the rundown on what your next steps could be.

First things first – take a deep breath. It’s perfectly reasonable if you’ve been freaking out under the impression that your life is over for the last 24 hours, week, or every single minute since the 6 August, but it’s time to snap out of it.

If you didn’t get the results you wanted or needed you still have plenty of options when it comes to your next steps. Trust us – we’ve lived through it.


If you have a set goal or career in mind there’s no reason why one year’s results should stop you. There’s #NoWrongPath to your dream job and the internet has come out in force to prove it.

Even if you don’t know what that dream job is yet you will find it, even if there’s some obstacles along the way. Every opportunity that comes your way will teach you new skills that will go on to benefit you in your future job.

Something you thought you would hate might even end up surprising you.

Take two

There’s an obvious way to up your results game that isn’t always talked about, especially if your pals have everything they need to get into university or college. Resits.

In order to resit any of your exams you will need to let your teacher or school know ASAP. The Skills Development Scotland free exam results helpline can offer advice on whether a resit is right for you. Call now on 0808 100 8000.

Stepping stones

If you were aiming to confirm your place at a university on results day but didn’t get the results you need, this is still possible.

There’s plenty of ways you can gain the qualifications and experience you need to get into university, it might just involve a few extra steps along the way.

Going to college before you go to university will ensure you have the qualifications you need, but it is also a great stepping stone between high school and university. The college system is a perfect mix of the two meaning you will be better prepared to smash it at uni when the time comes.

On the job

If you aren’t sure what you want to do next, or you want to take a different route to get there, learning on the job could be the perfect next step for you.

Entering the world of work or starting an apprenticeship are great ways to earn money while getting hands on experience. My World of Work provides advice and information on entering the workplace and starting one of the four types of apprenticeships available in Scotland.

Time to explore

If you’ve chilled out and accepted your results, but are still clueless about what to do next, it doesn’t have to be one of the above. Your next steps aren’t always practical and they definitely don’t need to be boring.

Taking a gap year to work, travel or volunteer could be the best thing you’ll ever do. It might not seem like it now, but in 10 years you’ll look back and thank your younger self for the experience.

Whatever you do next after results day remember there is #NoWrongPath.

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