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For many pupils across the country, they spend hours revising to prepare for their exams and wait anxiously for their results. It can be disheartening and a little embarrassing to find out that your results aren’t quite what you were hoping for, or aren’t even up to par with the requirements of the college or career you were hoping to get into.

Coping with bad GCSE and A level results is challenging. Here are the many ways to shine a ray of hope for your future career and education prospects:

Don’t be too hard on yourself: 

These things happen. Your results do not define who you are as a person. Just because you didn’t get the grade you wanted does not mean you are doomed to be unsuccessful.  There is still plenty of time to get yourself going in the right direction The first step is to accept the results and start thinking rationally about your options going forward.

Consider resitting

Thousands of pupils resit exams every ear, especially at A Level.  You can resit your A Level either at your own school or college or elsewhere.  Check with your school to access your options.  Another route is to enrol at an independent college. While a resit might force an A Level student to take a gap year in order to study, there are plenty of ways to make a gap year look attractive on a resume, such as by spending that year working and gaining unique experience.

Be open to other colleges you do qualify for: 

Think positive. Your results might not have been good enough to get into your first choice —or maybe even your second. But think about the colleges or courses you will be eligible for.  It’s possible that your grades being lower than you hoped for were a blessing in disguise. If you struggle to get the score required to gain admission into your first-choice university, program, or career, it might be a sign that the courses at that university (or your desired career path) might not be for you.

Challenge the results:

If you feel confident that your grade is incorrect and is not a true reflection of your ability, you can request to have your papers remarked. Asking to have your papers remarked can only be completed through your school or college. There is usually a fee for this service which is typically reimbursed if it is decided that your grade deserves to be changed. Of course, there is never a guarantee with a request to remark; you may still end up with the same grade.