Testing Times: How to avoid arguments over exam results

With exam results arriving on door mats on Tuesday, 9 August, young people and their parents & carers may be feeling stressed, which is causing conflict at home. In our latest blog, we look at ways to avoid arguments as you wait for the postman.

On Tuesday 9 August, young people in Scotland will receive their exam results. The week before results arrive can be one of anxiety for young people and parents & carers, causing tension in the home. The SCCR has free resources on its website that can help families as they wait.

Once the results come in, many will celebrate, but for some there will be dismay and recrimination. Some young people will be angry with themselves or feel sad. Parents & carers, siblings and friends might find the disappointed young person taking out what they’re feeling on those around them. Or it might be a parent or carer who can’t contain their disappointment.

When we’re stressed, talking openly can become difficult. Whichever way a young person reacts, it’s important to give them support. You might also want to help to distract them at this time, to take their mind off worrying as they wait. Exercise, for example. Our Hacked Off Hacks series of short films demonstrates easy exercises that can help to calm the mind (scroll down the page if you click on the link).

If you’re the parent or carer of a young person waiting for their results, why not try talking with them about the options they have and how they feel about them.

Other tips include:

  • Reassure the young people you care for that, whatever the results are, you are proud of them and will support them.
  • When we are disappointed, a positive conversation can be difficult. Maybe you could agree a good time to discuss the results – but perhaps it’s not just after they arrive in the post.
  • Why not mark the big day with a treat? It doesn’t have to be a fancy affair. You could make the young person their favourite meal or watch a film or programme they like on telly, just something to show that you know the day means a lot to them and to you too.
  • If a young person has a place at a university or college conditional on results, keep a note of a contact number; sometime you can negotiate on a lower grade. And there’s clearing to consider too.

Check out the SCCR website for advice about how to have better conversations. We have ideas specially written with young people and parents & carers in mind.

Good luck to everyone waiting on results and remember – there is always more than one route to any destination.