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5 things to do the night before your GCSE results

5 things to do the night before your GCSE results

3 min read
  • Stress management & well-being
  • Study skills & exam prep

The night before GCSE results day can be very nerve-wracking for students. For GCSE students, this is their first “big” results day, making it even more of a nervous experience. Therefore, getting into the right mindset is essential to help students feel less nervous on the day.

Here are our top 5 tips for students to try the night before their results… 

1. Share your worries

On the night before GCSE results day, it’s common to feel very nervous or anxious about the situation. Students might bottle these feelings up, which will in turn increase their worry.

Therefore, it is essential that students remember they have a support system around them. Whether that be their friends, family or teachers, they will always have someone they can share their fears with. Letting these feelings out and surrounding themselves with good people can allow them to handle this situation better.

2. Make a game plan

We need to address the elephant in the room: students’ future academic or career plans can depend on their results to some extent. For example, they might need certain grades to enter the Sixth Form they want. But sometimes, things don’t always go to plan.

However, that does not mean it should be the end of the world. It’s important that students some up with a backup plan if things don’t go as well as they hoped. Having it in place can help students gain more control over the situation, and avoid feeling frantic on the day not knowing what to do.

Similarly, the surprise may sometimes go the other way, and students might achieve better results than they had expected. A plan is beneficial in these circumstances, too. For example, they might be able to enter a Sixth Form they never dreamed of getting into, which can be equally daunting.

Having both plans in place can help remove any uncertainties and allow students to feel less nervous on the day and know that whatever their grade says, they know what to do. 

3. Develop a sense of perspective

GCSE results day can feel like the biggest event in a student’s life. If things don’t go as planned, this can be even more devastating. Therefore, it is essential that students keep a good sense of perspective.

Being reminded that this is not the be-all and end-all and that their results don’t define them can help them feel less nervous about the situation. Developing this sense of perspective and looking at the bigger picture can also help students gain a sense of hope.

We will teach your students to thrive under pressure with key stress management skills. Ideal in the lead up to exams.

4. Distract yourself

Panicking and stressing over results in the days and weeks before does no good. The exams have long passed, and worrying won’t make results come faster. Therefore, students should focus on spending their time on things they enjoy that can help distract them.

For example, they could watch a movie or hang out with friends. Taking their mind off the situation by doing something fun can help them feel more relaxed.

5. Get a good night’s rest

Arguably the most important thing to do the night before results day is to get a good night’s rest. However, this is often easier said than done. Students might find it difficult sleeping, as they twist and turn thinking about their grades.

Therefore, it is helpful to use some tricks which might help them get a better night’s sleep. These include:

  • Sticking to a good routine
  • Exercising beforehand
  • Turning down the brightness of their phone
  • Taking a hot bath

Implementing these into their night-time routine can help students be well rested before the next day.

Final thoughts

There is no escaping the nerves that come the night before your first ever exam results. The uncertainty of whether students will achieve what they hope and worked so hard for can be overwhelming.

However, we’ve always advocated for focusing on what you can control. Relying on their support system, getting a game plan together to remove uncertainty, putting things in perspective and focusing on relaxing and resting are all great ways for students to get into a better headspace before the big day.

About the editor

Bradley Busch

Bradley Busch

Bradley Busch is a Chartered Psychologist and a leading expert on illuminating Cognitive Science research in education. As Director at InnerDrive, his work focuses on translating complex psychological research in a way that is accessible and helpful. He has delivered thousands of workshops for educators and students, helping improve how they think, learn and perform. Bradley is also a prolific writer: he co-authored four books including Teaching & Learning Illuminated and The Science of Learning, as well as regularly featuring in publications such as The Guardian and The Telegraph.

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