With A-level Results Day today, students across the UK are experiencing an array of emotions from excitement to terror. Being the UK’s largest online student community, The Student Room delved into student sentiment to explore how they’re feeling about their results and the impact of receiving their grades.
In this article, we’re sharing findings from a recent survey of over 1,500 students which reveals what students were most concerned about, whether they know about the alternatives if they don’t meet their university offer and what factors have contributed to anxiety around revision and exam performance this year.
LACK OF CONFIDENCE AND WORRIES ABOUT EXAM RESULTS
Students are far more concerned about exam results this year compared to 2017, with more students in England and Wales feeling more negative than they were last year.
Almost all respondents (93%) were worried they won’t get the results they need and 76% expressed feelings of anxiety or desperation about Results Day.
We uncovered the key contributing factors towards student’s revision and A-Level Results Day concerns:
- Over half (57%) of students are not sure what the available options are if they don’t get their firm university choice.
- 53% of students felt their revision/exam performance suffered from this year’s tremendous heatwave.
- 72% of students felt that they lacked access to enough relevant practice papers before their exams.
The research also highlights how parents and teachers could have done more to reassure anxious students; with only a quarter (25%) of respondents saying their parents are making them feel better about Results Day.
It’s similar for teachers too, 32% said teachers made them feel worse about receiving their grades and only 26% agreed their teachers have helped calm them down. One student took to The Student Room to share their experience:
“Most of [my teachers] were pretty awful with the amount of pressure they put on me, especially since they knew I had depression and anxiety during year 11.”
ENCOURAGING CONFIDENCE IN YOUNG PEOPLE
With Results Day today and Clearing open, we expect to exceed our biggest day for on-site activity ever, last year we had 550,000 users on Results Day with 1.5 million page views. So, when students turn to us at a time they’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, we’re making sure they are met with useful, friendly and life-changing advice.
To counteract the Results Day panic, we’re continuing to run our #BeResultsProud campaign, which is based around empowering students with confidence and inspiration for their next steps.
The idea of our campaign is to send out messages of support to all students, encouraging them to be proud of their results, whatever the letter – or in this year’s case, the number – grade may be.
UNCLEAR IN ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS
Over half (57%) of A-level students don’t know what their options are if they don’t get their firm university choice. This indicates how there’s still more to be done around educating students on Clearing & Adjustment, as well as the UCAS process and alternatives to university.
When speaking to students we found of those that would consider Clearing still had a lack of understanding around what the process involves.
We’ve seen a very similar pattern on The Student Room. Check out some of the recent discussions and requests for advice about their next steps:
“What steps and procedures are there in Clearing?”
“I may have to re-sit some subjects if I don’t do well but if I don’t need to do that what should I do?”
“I have been thinking about a gap year, but I am really unsure about what I would be able to do, especially since it is a path I never imagined myself taking”
The Student Room is the place where young people turn to for expert and peer-to-peer advice on life-changing decisions. Last year we helped 1,567,000 users who came to us for support over the results period. Explore how we can help you connect with and support this undecided audience by offering them another option through your courses in Clearing this September.