How to Stop Stressing over Exam Results

Only one more day to wait for results.

The IB Results will be with us tomorrow; it’s a little bit like waiting for Christmas day only you really don’t know what Santa will bring.  He won’t necessarily reward kids for being good and hard-working! The truth is, whatever the results are there is no point stressing ahead of time.  I noticed that Betsy seemed a little bit out of sorts yesterday and couldn’t quite figure out why. Don’t get my wrong it was nothing that a sing-a-long in the Land Rover on the way back home from her Nanna’s didn’t set right, but I guess she is starting to feel a bit nervous!
Yesterday I had re-visited my own book to explore what to do for preparing for university if her results are pleasing. Today, I’ve just read the next couple of pages to get some tips about what to do if the results don’t quite live up to expectations. 

We're going to be driving to Scotland when the results arrive. I'm hoping for good wi-fi!

Tips for Preparing for Exam Results

Disappointing Results. If tomorrow your child is disappointed get that ‘brave face’ out of its box and have Option B at the ready.  If they are just a few points short of what they hoped to achieve then get straight in touch with your school’s IB Coordinator and/or College Counsellor who will have advice to share. Have the contact details ready and act promptly. It is definitely worth calling universities to ask them to reconsider their offer.
Don’t Assume it’s in the Bag. Bets is hoping to go to the UK, but in some countries eg the USA, places are offered on an unconditional basis before results are released. There is a slim chance that universities can rescind offers so whilst I don’t want to be all doom and gloom just be aware that this could happen. In this case you might need your best negotiating skills at hand to persuade the Admissions Officers to change their mind.
Encourage Independence. This one is hard for me as I’m such a micro-manager, but I guess it makes sense to encourage your kid to be independent when sorting out university entrance problems. Ideally, they should be the one making contact with university Admissions Officers.
Self-Promotion. Encourage your child to sell themself. Have them create a list of all the things that they can say to the person at the other end of the phone about why they ought to be accepted on a course. In cases where students are close to achieving their predicted grades university places are often still awarded, especially if the applicant can make a convincing case on the phone for why they should be allowed to attend. 
Stay Positive. In the UK it often takes a day or two for a university to make a decision about whether to accept a student or not. Try to stay positive and be patient. Easily said and very hard to do! I’d say keep busy.
Not Quite There. If your child narrowly misses attaining their predicted score then they will probably have enough points to automatically be offered a place at their second choice of university. In this case do all you can to make the second choice become the favourite after all! However, if they narrowly miss the points needed for this they will be entered into the University Clearing Process. This opens in August and aims to match students to unallocated university places. Most other countries don’t have such a centralised system and you are far more likely to find yourself negotiating with universities directly, so we’re in a good position from that respect.
Re-Marks. It is possible to have exam papers re-marked. If the grade is changed then this is free, if not then you will need to pay. The IB Coordinator will be able to assist you in the process for doing this. Be warned that marks may go down as well as up so take advice from school about the exam papers you wish to have remarked. It is useful to know how close your child was to the next grade before appealing.

Re-Sits. Know prior to Results Day whether re-sits are possible at your child’s school. I’m really hoping that we don’t have to do this as statistically re-sits tend not to be so successful. I think everyone has lost their mojo for doing well.  Re-sits take place in November, so unless you child is going to Australia or New Zealand that means a year’s delay.

It's a funny old time waiting for results. In our house there is a lot of 'NetFlix' watching and hanging around. I'm trying not to mind, but should probably encourage something more active.

Exam Results Nerves

Gosh, I think my blood pressure is going up again but really that’s all I have to say about managing this situation. I’m trying to avoid being glib by suggesting that if things go badly then the IB can stuff their results up their …  or anything so coarse! i think the truth is I’m suffering from  waiting for exam results nerves!

Hopefully this will be the least useful post I’ve ever written and parents and students across the nations will be jumping for joy! As I said yesterday, though, it isn’t the end of the world if things go badly. I think whatever results will emerge our kids will be in need of a big hug. It might also be good to distract them from obsessing about them. We’re going to be driving to Edinburgh in a very old, noisy and uncomfy Land Rover. I’m hoping hours at the roadside waiting for the AA won’t be our form of distraction but you never know…
To all IB (and in August) A Level students and of course mums and dads. Good luck with your results. Hopefully you’ve stopped stressing about exam results and can relax a little! 

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