Results, results results! But what if you didn't get the results you were hoping for?

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So, exam results are out, and degree classifications are here. If you’ve not got yours yet, you soon will; as I’m sure you’ll be aware from all of the posts you’ve undoubtedly seen over social media about your peers and how they’ve done. What you’ll most likely have invariably noticed is how successful everyone is, and how happy they are. After all; all of their snaps are gleeful, their statuses are proud, and their Tweets are endless.

If you’ve not done so well, it can feel like everyone else is gloating. It can also feel like you’re the only one in the world going through a less than desired outcome during the exam season. Stop – you’re not. You see, it’s human nature to share the good times with people, and less common to share the things that didn’t go well. Sure, you might see the odd angry or dejected person who’s being upfront and honest, but such moments can often go amiss among a sea of people celebrating.

If you’re one of the people who hasn’t done as well as you’d hoped, it can be a challenge. Everyone from family to friends will want to know how you did, and often people tend to play off such curiosity with humour. It can be tempting to laugh it off and say “well, I didn’t even go to classes anyway…”, but when you’ve tried your best, it can really hurt.

So, here are a few words of advice about your next steps.

Be Honest With Yourself

Did you really try as hard as you thought you did? Sometimes distractions happen to the best of us, which can lead to nasty surprises if things don’t quite go to plan. It’s normal! On the other hand, if you did try really hard, do you enjoy your course? Is this really where you want to be? Sometimes the answer is no, and there’s no shame in admitting that. Other times, you’ve still firmly got a hold on your dreams. That means having to figure out a new plan of how to get there!

You Can Often Resit

You might have to pay, but in the grand scheme of things, a resit may well be worth it. Talk to your tutors about the possibility of taking an exam again. Be warned, however – there may well be caps on your grades. This is to avoid the possibility of people not caring enough to begin with. Usually you will have some kind of chance, however, especially if they can see that you really want the opportunity.

Figure Out What You Need To Get Where You Need To Be

So, you’ve failed an exam, but you want a 2:1 overall. It’s time to do the maths! All is not lost if you’ve messed up one module. If you put all your efforts into everything going forward, you can still come out shining like a star afterwards. It might be that you’ll need to pull up your socks and get firsts for a while, but it is doable!

Don’t Feel Shame In Asking For Help

Universities are there to help you learn, and so it figures that your teachers are supposed to be there to teach you. If you don’t understand any of the material, it’s best to let them know so that they can help you to continue forward. If you don’t ask, you don’t get – they can help make your lives a whole lot easier, or point you in the direction of further resources to help.

Remember, You Are More Than A Grade

This is perhaps the most important point. You are worth so much more than a piece of paper saying you’ve got a first or you’ve failed. A failure in an exam does NOT equate to failing in life. We’ve all done some things in life we are not too proud of or happy about, but it’s all about how you rebuild after that.

If your final degree classification has been released, and you’re not sure there’s anything you can do, remember that it’s not just about your degree. Showing you’re capable is often a sum of many parts, so it’s time to learn to make the best of what you’ve got.

Good luck!

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