Here are The Exam Coach's top tips to make your results day a success this year. Let's get into it...
Tip 1 - Wake up early and get your results fast
Yep, I get it, you're going to be nervous and sleeping well (let alone waking up early) is going to be difficult. But results day is an important day which you’ll need to be on your A game for. You might be required to act fast and grab one of the final spots at University through clearing. If you’re not applying to University, just having time on your side to make well thought out decisions based on your results is vital. Prioritise sleeping well and waking up early. Try tiring yourself out the day before through some exercise to take your mind off of things.
In addition to waking up early and energised, you need to have a game plan for getting hold of your results fast. Are you going to receive them over the internet? A phone call? Going to your school?
I often phoned my school teacher as I knew this was the fastest method for me because he woke up at the crack of dawn every day! Figure out what method is right for you and don't delay. Even though you might be dreading what your results are going to turn out as, not being in a position to react to them is even worse. Be positive in your approach, look forward to receiving your results and receive them early.
Tip 2 - Get all the details on your results in order to make great decisions
Try to get as much detail on your marks/grades/scores as possible. Which module or sections did you do well in? Which not so well? Were there any surprises? How close were you to some of the grade boundaries? Your school or teacher should be able to help provide all the detail for you.
The next step is to assess whether it's worth getting a remark. It's always best to loop your parents or guardian into this discussion as they can help with payment and understanding the remarking policy fully.
Here are the remarking policies of some popular UK exam boards:
Take a look before results day so you know what your options are.
Note: remarks can cost anything from £25 to £70 each so make sure you're confident that you stand a chance of moving up a grade.
If there aren't any huge surprises or you’re not close enough to grade boundaries to make a remark worthwhile the next step is to think....What are my options now?
If you're applying to University, get on the UCAS clearing website early and figure out where your grades could get you.
If you're at the GCSE or AS Level stage think about whether any subject changes might be required based on your results. Always be strategic with your subject choices, put yourself in a position to succeed next year by playing to your strengths.
Tip 3 - Reflect on where you could improve
Now it's time to reflect on your results as a whole. Cast your mind back over the year. What went well? What didn't go so well? As a result, what do you need to improve on?
Note: Think about your approach in class as well as the revision and exam techniques you used.
Below are some of the most common points for improvement I work with students on. Do you also encounter some of these problems? I’ve linked to a video on each topic so you can get a feel for how we can approach the problem and work on your improvement. In order to achieve anything or change a behaviour you need to have a structured programme in place to guide you through the process.
Tip 4 - Set some new goals
Use the day to set some new goals. If you’re going out later that evening to celebrate with friends, do your goalsetting before you leave. This is why we wake up early, in order to give ourselves plenty of time to get stuff done during the day. Here’s an example goal I set myself during my own exams using the SMART goal setting system. Each letter of the acronym SMART represents something to be considered when setting a goal.
What exactly do you want to achieve? The more specific your description of the goal, the greater the chance you'll achieve it.
For example, my goal was to pay more attention and not become distracted during all of my classes.
Measurable goals means that you identify exactly what it is you will see and feel when you reach your goal.
For example, I would see higher effort grades and better performance grades. It would make me feel successful and like I was making progress with my education.
Is it realistic? Shoot for the stars in the long term but realise what's possible in the short term.
I made sure my goal was realistic, I only wanted to improve by one grade boundary in every subject initially. This would help me feel like I was achieving something and therefore encourage me to persist and continue.
Why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind the goal, and will this goal really achieve that
Here's a video for you to rewatch... Understanding the long-term value of exams
I wanted to reach my goal because I knew it would contribute to better exam results on results day the following year. One of the issues I’d had with previous exam seasons was incomplete notes because I’d not been paying attention in class. My new approach would solve this problem.
Set a deadline so you can measure whether you have achieved a goal by a certain point in time.
My deadline was half term after having return to school in September. That gave me about 6 weeks to make the improvement.
Note: Everyone should have a new goal. Even if you scored 100%in every exam you sat this year. Your new goal should be to repeat that perfect performance with even more efficiency and effectiveness.
A final piece of advice on this topic. If you achieved your exam goals this year, think about how the feeling of achieving along term goal feels and let that continue to drive you through next year. If you did not meet or surpass your expectations, package up that feeling of disappointment and regret and use it as fuel to put in the effort required next time.
Tip 5 - You’re only as good as your last performance
I'm The Exam Coach, so I see exams just like sports. Whether you are pleased or disappointed with your results, you have to put them behind you. You are only as good as your last performance. Therefore, come September, and the start of the new school year, you need to treat the score as 0-0. If you did well on results day, don't get complacent and over confident, stay humble. If you didn’t do as well as you’d hoped, don't get disheartened. Just focus on attaining your new goals. The opportunity to do this starts from September. The Exam Coach is in your corner.
What I felt I needed when I was doing my exams was a Coach, someone who had been there and done it. Someone who had struggled themselves and come out the other side better, stronger and wiser for it. There are ways to make exams easier and improve your performance over the course of the year so that on results day you deliver top results. I've dedicated the last 5 years of my life to working this out for each student I work with. The end result is that they become more confident in their approach and begin playing to their strengths in order to ensure strong exam preparation and performance.
This year I'm offering 75% off of my flagship 1-1 Exam Coach online support programme starting this September. The coaching programme lasts 6 weeks and is usually priced at £249 but could be yours for just £62 with the discount taken into consideration.
Here's the programme structure:
Take The Exam Coach study performance improvement survey online
30 minute video chat discovery session with me where we clearly identify areas to improve and lay out how we’re going to do it over the next 6 weeks
Text message and voice note support via WhatsApp (or any messaging service) targeted at the areas which require improving
For example, I’ll send you a reminder of the daily priorities you need to focus on as well as some motivational content to help you follow through
30 minute video chat check in on current progress as well as feedback for improvement based on current performance
Text message and voice note support via WhatsApp (or any messaging service) targeted at the areas which require improving through weeks 4+5
For example, I’ll be on hand to answer any school-related questions or challenges which come up during the week
30 minute video chat check in on current progress as well as feedback for improvement
After 6 weeks we’ll have enough data from school tests and reports to effectively map outprogress so far and what needs to be done in order to make the rest of the school year a success.
The programme is designed to address the areas you find most challenging in your school life, study habits and exam performance. There’s limited space, I can only take on 35 students every 6 weeks in order to ensure improvement in their performance. To apply for the programme, write me an email before August 25th on why you'd be a great student to work with - keep it below 250 words and attach any grades from this year you'd like to see improvement on! Then we’ll go from there.
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For continued help and guidance this year add username: theexamcoach on Snapchat, or request to be added to the WhatsApp broadcast list. All the content on these channels is free and is designed to help you with your exam preparation/performance, career planning and smartphone management.
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