After the exam results: 5 tips for managing anxiety

Sep 2, 2020Other, Anxiety

After the exam results: 5 tips for managing anxiety

Books for studyingSo you have finished your exams and got your results…

Some people are celebrating the end of exams, others are upset with their results while many people will be anxious about what they are going to do next. You hope that the pressure is off once exams and coursework has finished, but is it?

Here are some reasons why you might still be feeling anxious after your exam or test results followed by 5 tips that can help.

Why being tested makes you feel anxious?

Any exams or assignment where you are measured can cause anxiety. This is because you are in a situation that makes you fearful or apprehensive for the future. You also feel threatened. Tests and exams trigger what is called state/trait anxiety. It can be about your personality that gets triggered by the situation that you find yourself in. What makes it worse is that you know that you are being judged and other people around you are also being measured so your results get compared to others.

Tests and exam anxiety is about emotions, worry, the inability to relax, plan, study and understand exam techniques. It’s a global problem that affects people of all ages and backgrounds.

In the UK this year things have been even more anxiety-provoking for some people. As major changes had to be made to the educational system during the Pandemic, exams were cancelled. This resulted in many people becoming more anxious as the focus was then on their coursework rather than on specific exam results.

People also had time to worry before the results were released as social gatherings are restricted and everyday activities of life have changed.

Then there was unrest about the results process.

Now some people will choose to take the actual exams in the autumn when the schools reopen. This might mean another anxiety-provoking time, though it doesn’t need to be like that.

These issues will all contribute to anxiety.

Many people feel anxious about exam results as their results can impact their future.

Why thinking about the future might make you anxious

So after the exams, you might experience a period of relief that its all over. But then there may be the feelings of responsibility, confusion or dread of the next step. This is because change can be difficult at first. It needs determination, a vision and the energy to go forward.

You need to be ready for the changes. You also need to feel that the changes that will happen in your life are of benefit compared to doing nothing. Some people might see this as a cost-benefit analysis where we all weigh up the pros and cons of change. It’s easy for other people to push you towards change but it needs to feel right for you and that needs time.

Furthermore, if you are one of those people who have decided to take the exams later you may now feel anxious about studying again.

What can you do to feel better?

Here are 5 tips to manage any negative feelings or apprehension after your results. Dealing with your feelings will help you to make the right decisions for the future.


It’s now time to relax and do all the things that you enjoy doing. Read that good novel. Have a few days away. Do some yoga. Meditate or do some hypnosis. (Find hypnosis downloads at Awaken the Change) Perhaps you could go for a walk. Consider your sleep pattern and decide to get more sleep if you have been worrying or missing out on sleep lately. Get back to doing as many things as you can that help you to relax.

Make a plan

Dream, then write down all the things you would like to do in the future. Some people like to make a vision board. Other people use a journal, a spreadsheet or other tool to help them plan ahead. Remember the plan must be achievable. Once you have written your plan put it into a place where you can easily see it. If you like art and crafts make the plan look inviting so that you will want to carry out the plan.

Laugh more

Watch a good comedy on the TV. Have a laugh with friends. Think about a time when you giggled. Laughter has huge benefits mentally and physically.

Eat a healthy diet

If you don’t put the correct fuel in a car it won’t work. The same applies to your body. You need to eat a healthy balanced diet. Eat regular meals and drink water. If you are not sure what to eat or cook buy a healthy eating recipe book and start a new hobby!

Talk to someone about your feelings.

Finally, if you feel that you are overwhelmed with all the pressures of exams, the results and your future, talk to someone. Take control and do something. This could be talking to a trusted friend, a relative, a teacher or a professional person like a counsellor. You don’t need to feel awful anymore.

Finally, other people might not notice now how you are feeling unless you tell them as most people recognise anxiety before an exam, but less people recognise anxiety after exam results. Only you know how you feel after your results so if you are still feeling anxious take the first step and do something today.

Linda at Awaken the Change provides a professional counselling, coaching and hypnotherapy service. Book a free initial consultation through her website.


Awaken the Change is about Focusing Minds for Positive Results

Awaken the Change is a self-help service providing education and information.

Linda sees clients at her practice in Bournemouth, in the UK. She is also happy to provide online help via webcam for hypnotherapy, counselling and supervision. Counselling and supervision can also be provided by telephone.

Linda is an accredited trainer and supervisor.

Linda Witchell
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