What to Do if You Don't Get the Exam Results You Hoped For in Learning

Exam results can feel like the be all and end all of your future success, but even if you don't get all passes you still have plenty of options ahead of you to take the next step in your career or further education. 

1) Re-sit your exams

If you didn't pass this time, there are other opportunities to take the exams again. If you’re in 4th year you'll be able to complete your National 4s or 5s again in 5th year, and having that extra year's experience could help you do extra-well the second time round. If you're in 5th year you can take your Highers again in 6th year, and if you're about to leave school you can look into retaking some of your Highers at college.

2) Talk to your teacher

Your teacher may be as surprised by your result as you, and will be able to advise you on what next steps might be suited to you. They might recommend resitting the subject, or they might suggest that you focus on another subject area in which they've noticed your talent. If your school believes there has been a clerical error with the marking exam they can look into the possibility of referring your case to SQA's Results Services, but this can only be done in rare cases.

3) Look into University Clearing

If you'd been relying on gaining a certain qualification to meet the conditions of your university offer, all's not lost if you haven't got the results you need. Universities offer university places through a process called clearing, so you might be able to find a place on a different course or at another uni. You never know, it might even end up working out better than your original choice.

4) Brush up on some new skills 

It's perfectly ok if Maths or English just aren't the subject for you. Why not have a look outwith school to gain more skills and qualifications that can help you move on in your career or education. Check out what courses are going on at your local college, or have a look online for online courses you could take; first aid, sign language, dressmaking and photography, are just a few excellent courses you could look into.

5) Take a new approach

Our first thought when deciding what to do after school, is often to pick between work or education, but actually you can do both. Modern apprenticeships are an excellent way to earn a qualification while also working and gaining real industry experience. Plus, you usually don't need any set exam results or qualifications to apply for a modern apprenticeship.

Find out more about a day in the life of a modern apprentice.

6) Go your own way

If you've got a brilliant idea for your own business, you don't need to go through years of education or working for other people before launching your own business. There are lots of opportunities available for young people to get funding and training to start your own business. 

Get loads more advice on starting your own business from My World of Work.

Relax!

So if you're stressing about your exams and feeling the pressure, try and remember that if it doesn’t work out there are still plenty of options still open to you - try not to panic!

More Help & Information

The Prince’s Trust Scotland has a wide range of courses and support to help you to get into a job, further education and or start your own business.

You might have an idea of the kind of job you want to do but need skills, experience or qualifications to kick-start your career. Or you might not be sure of your strengths and want an opportunity to try new things and boost your skills & confidence.

Either way The Prince’s Trust Scotland can find the right option for you. Check out our website or call 0800 842 842 to find out more.