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How can I tell people my exam results?


Telling people your exam results

One of the challenges of results day is thinking about how you are going to share your results with parents, family, friends, the list goes on. Oftentimes, getting great results will feel easier, but if you have friends with disappointing results, it can feel a bit complicated. On the other hand, if you are disappointed with your results, it may be difficult seeing friends getting good results.

But, with a little planning, you can make the results day more manageable for yourself.


Remember that people love you as you are

It’s all too easy to think that your parents and friends want you to be some perfect version of yourself, and one that gets amazing results. But they’ve known you for a long time, and know how hard exams are. Even if you get disappointing results, remember that they will still love the person you are.


Share your hopes and fears with someone else

It takes courage to tell someone before results day what you’re hoping for and what you are worried about. But if you can open up to someone, they will be there, able to support you, when you do get your results—they’ll be able to share both excitement and disappointment with you on the day.


Decide in advance how you will share your results

It is easy to broadcast news on social media, but you can’t know what impact it might have on your friends. So think about what might be the best way of sharing—whether that’s in person, via a messaging app, or in a family chat—so you can get and give support.


Whatever happens, celebrate

No matter what your results, you have shown up and put yourself through this process. That is an amazing achievement and, whatever your results, you deserve a celebration for doing your best through a difficult time. 


How Do I Support a Friend Who Got Better or Worse Results Than I Did?

Results day is a personal experience for everyone—whether you did better, worse, or as you’d expected. Your situation may end up being very different from your friends, so planning how you will talk to friends about each other’s results can make an intense day a little easier.


It’s okay to keep your results to yourself

If you are not happy sharing your results with your friends, you shouldn’t feel bad about keeping them to yourself. Give vague responses that your results were better than / not as good as expected, and let your friends know if you need some time.


Give yourself space

Delay talking to potentially insensitive friends until you feel you can provide a rehearsed response.


Avoid the ‘humblebrag’

Don’t have false modesty if you’ve done really well. Saying ‘I don’t know how I got top marks when I didn’t put in much effort’ or ‘I only did well because the exams were easy’ will only put down those who haven’t done well and make them feel worse.


Be mindful on social media

Think about the impact posting your results on social media might have on your friends who didn’t get the results that they’d hoped for, and think carefully about the comments you make. As well, try not to let anger or jealousy spoil a friendship if your friends have done better than you. You might find it easier to take a step back from social media on results day.


Be there for an upset friend

If a friend hasn’t done so well, give them time to talk about how they feel, and listen. Try not to offer reassuring comments that neither of you quite believe, such as ‘It’s only an exam.’ Instead, just listen to them, let them know that it’s ok to feel the way that they do and ask if there is anything you can do to help.


Think about the person behind the results

Whatever their results, stay connected with your friend(s) and don’t fall into gossiping about who got what results. Make an effort to keep in touch—they may need a friend, and so will you.


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