I didn’t get the grades. Now what?


Try not to think of the sun setting on your ambitions: make it a new dawn.

If you didn’t get the grades you were hoping for in your GCSEs or A Levels, it’s tempting to panic. It’s also easy to brand yourself a failure; and think that you’ll never get that career you’ve always wanted. You might feel envious of friends who did get the grades, and embarrassed to admit that you didn’t achieve the same. You could also be bearing the weight of the disappointment of parents and family members. However, before you give up on the idea of having that career, read the instructions below. You might find that you do have great future prospects after all!

1. Adjust your perspective

It’s very rare for anyone to choose a career in childhood or early adulthood that they actually stick to in the long term. Many of the most fulfilled, financially stable and successful people fell into their careers as the result of a series of circumstances. So, don’t view your exam results as proof that you are a failure. Instead, see this time as an experience that will help to shape you for success in whatever career lies ahead.

2. Reassess your goals

Make a list of your talents, strengths and weaknesses. If you find this difficult to do, ask a friend or family member for their thoughts. Be realistic about what you can achieve but aim high and believe in your capabilities. Decide whether you need to resit your exams, or change subjects and focus altogether. Talk to your teachers and tutors about the best way forward, and do a little research of your own on potential courses and careers.

3. Go out and celebrate

Instead of hiding away feeling disappointed, go out with your friends and celebrate the end of your course. Although you didn’t get the grades you wanted, you can still congratulate yourself. You made a commitment to your GCSE or A Level study; and you did the work and completed the assignments. That’s something to be proud of, so go out and enjoy some well-earned fun!

4. Start again

Whether you’re going to resit your GCSEs or A Levels, or start an entirely new course, you should start again as if it’s the first time round. If you approach your work with feelings of fear and dread, you won’t get the results you want. Remind yourself of all your strengths and talents, and push yourself to be positive and confident of your chances of success. You are your own best ally when it comes to making the next exam results day a monumental celebration!

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I'm a former English teacher and private tutor who is passionate about education. I've been writing professionally for the past three years and have written educational worksheets for use in schools as well as contributing to an educational journal. I've also written on every other topic under the sun!

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