News

Students feel the pressure as they await their exam results

9 August 2022

72% of students waiting for their A-level results (or equivalent) to be published on Thursday 18 August feel under pressure from their family, friends and teachers to do well in their exams, according to a survey commissioned by the University of Derby. 

The survey, conducted by The Student Room, was designed to get a better insight into how students are feeling in the run-up to exam results day and Clearing. This is the process a student can go through to secure a university place if they don’t get the results they’d hoped for, or if they’ve done better than expected and want to ‘trade-up’.  

In addition to feeling under pressure to perform well, the survey revealed that 53% of students found their A-levels (or equivalent) more difficult than expected, 56% are being kept awake at night worrying about their results and just 46% have a back-up plan if they don’t get the results they’re expecting.  

June Hughes, University Secretary and Registrar at the University of Derby, said: 

“The run-up to exam results day is understandably an anxious time for students across the UK, but this has been exacerbated by the pandemic and the subsequent disruption to their studies. Knowing that fewer than 50% of students polled have a back-up plan in place indicates that there are many out there that haven’t considered what they will do if they don’t get the results they had hoped for, or if they happen to do better than expected.” 

A good way for students to be better prepared is for them to familarise themselves with the Clearing process and the universities that are going to be offering courses in Clearing. There will be some fantastic options available for them to choose from, even if it means they don’t get to go to their first-choice university because they haven’t got the required grades.  

June adds:

“At Derby, we have many examples of students coming through Clearing that end up finding a course that suits their interests and aspirations, and who go on to have a fantastic university experience and career, so it should be viewed as an opportunity by any student who finds themselves in that position.” 

The University of Derby has the following top tips for students who decide to go through Clearing on results day: 

  • Don’t panic - if you haven’t got the results you were expecting then you still have alternative options to consider. Even though it may feel like the end of the world – it isn’t!  
  • Stay true to yourself - while it’s often helpful to listen to other people’s opinions, particularly those close to you, remember that this is your future so don’t be swayed too much by what other people think you should do 
  • Be prepared - ring as soon as the phone lines open to give yourself the best chance of securing a place on the course you’re interested in. Take note of the opening hours of university hotlines in advance as most will open earlier than normal office hours. At Derby there’s also the option of contacting us through WhatsApp 
  • Have the right information to hand - make sure you have important details close by before you begin contacting universities. You’ll need to have your UCAS number, exam results and your log-in details for UCAS Track. You may also want to compile a list of questions to ask and have your personal statement to hand to answer any questions 
  • Keep calm - once you have a list of universities you wish to contact, find a quiet place, take a deep breath and start calling. Try to remain calm and composed so you can get across everything you want to. Ensure you take the details of anyone you speak to in case you need to contact them later 
  • Better results than expected? - if you achieve better results than predicted, or you change your mind about where you want to study, UCAS offers the option for you to change universities by releasing yourself into Clearing  

June adds:

“We have a team of experienced advisors and academics who handle calls through the Clearing hotline on results day and they will be on hand to offer support and reassurance to anyone calling the University to find out what places we have available. They will guide a caller through the whole process and answer any questions they may have to help make it as easy and stress-free as possible.” 

The survey also found that once they’ve secured their place, students are keen to hear from their university, with 75% of respondents expecting to receive regular information and support following their exams. 

Commenting on this, June said:

“Starting university can be a daunting experience as there are so many unknowns. At Derby we are in regular contact with our students, new or returners, so those accepting a place can be assured that we will be in touch with all the information they need before they start their studies with us.” 

Find out more information about Clearing at the University of Derby or call 01332 592648 

Chairs and desks in an exam hall
Female student writing notes at her desk in her bedroom in student halls

For further information contact the Corporate Communications team at pressoffice@derby.ac.uk or call 01332 591891.