Coping with SQA Exam Results Day

Coping with SQA Exam Results Day

Tuesday 7th August will be a daunting day for many. We’ve all been there, waiting nervously for that life-defining SQA certificate to slip through the letterbox or for that text to ping us into heart palpitations. Results day can be nerve-wracking, and rightly so! You slaved away all year and your efforts will be defined by the number or letter on that certificate.

Newsflash: It doesn’t have to be so dramatic! Whether you get the results you dreamed of or they weren’t exactly what you were after, there is a good chance you will get to where you want to be.

In 2017, 93.7% of school leavers went on to a positive destination including higher education, training and immediate employment, so the likelihood is you’ll be just fine!

Here at Stafffinders, our consultants have put together a few tips on how to deal with the stresses that often come with SQA results day.

Have a plan 

Before your results arrive, you should know what you’re going to do regardless of the outcome. Are you hoping to go to university or college? Start an entry level job or apprenticeship? Know your plan, and have a plan B. 

You got the results you hoped for? Great!

If not, there are a million and one other options. If you don't get into uni first time around, one option is to look into 'clearning' - you may find another uni that suits your needs.

Talk it out 

A problem shared is a problem halved. If you’re feeling overly anxious during the wait for results or don’t know how to deal with the results you achieve, the relief of sharing your concerns with a pastoral care teacher, a teacher you feel comfortable with or someone close to you can truly lift a weight from your shoulders. Often time the problem is not as dreadful as you have built it up to be.

Don’t compare 

One of the worst things you can do is compare your grades to others. You could have worked the hardest you’ve ever worked and achieved the best grades you possibly could but having a peek at a friend’s certificate will likely make you feel your efforts weren’t worthwhile. Sometimes keeping your results to yourself is the best way to go if you don’t want a confidence knock!


At the end of the day, you’ve done everything you can. Regardless of the outcome, you’ve worked as hard as you can, and you will find the right path. Reward yourself for all the hard work you put in. De-stress by spending time with friends or try something completely different like attending a yoga class or practising daily meditation.

Your grades do not define you 

Remember that whatever happens, your SQA grades are not the be all and end all. Your strengths, skills and qualities will sculpt you into the person you are supposed to be.

If you are unsure of what job opportunities are available to you after school, don’t hesitate to get in touch or register with us and we can help you find the right career path for you. We recruit for over 30 sectors, so we are bound to have something for you!