So we all knew that finding out your A level results is fairly nerve-racking, but a new joint survey by The Student Room and the University of Bradford ( Bradford University study on A level results day ) shows that students feel that August 18th 2016 will be the most stressful day of their entire lives and, worryingly, that parents aren’t helping – in fact, they are making it worse by stressing them out even more. “Parents are stressing out students ahead of results day” “Results day will be the most stressful day of my life” ” Schools raise fears over mistakes in A level marks“– are just some examples of the media’s recent well-timed and attention seeking articles.
You can imagine the scenario:
Edwina: Oh gawd, I’m so scared, what if I don’t get my B in Viking Studies? And that A in Medieval Poetry – that first question in the exam was so hard, why didn’t I do question B, oh why??
Dad: Wait, what? I thought you said the exams went okay, what was wrong with question A in Medieval Poetry? First I’ve heard of this?
Edwina: Well, I thought it went okay but since then I’ve spoken to Cuthbert and he said he wrote something completely different to me and he always gets As…
Mum: Oh no, and I’ve just read this article in the papers today about how examiners are ‘guestimating’ exam results and students are losing university places over it. What do we do if you miss your grades for Readingham University?
Edwina: high pitch wails
Mum, Dad: gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands….
Every year the media loves to fan these flames of panic by rehashing ‘news’ of previous years about exam fiascos (just google that phrase) and exam boards messing up by not marking correctly or teachers being over-optimistic with grade predictions for our offspring’s ucas forms. Why? Because at this time of year it sells papers, obviously, even though it is not helpful.
After results day, of course, we get all the articles on ‘dumbing down’ and how much easier A levels are these days than they were for us. Are they, really? Most parents I know who’ve been through one set of A levels with their children do not agree, funnily enough it seems to be a view held largely by childless journalists in their early thirties or retirees in Surrey.
Ignore the media doom and gloom, especially this week! The majority of our children will get the university place they have been offered. For a more detailed approach on how you can help Edwina on results day have another look at my blog post What to do on A level results day . You’ll know what steps are involved and be able to keep your head when all around lose theirs. The best contribution we can make on the day is to provide calm and quiet and that action plan folder – which hopefully won’t come into action at all.
I should add that there are also a lot of really helpful articles out there, such as The Guardian’s Guide to Clearing as well as the Telegraph Guide to results day which includes information on Adjustment as well.