(Original post by Minerva)
At this time of year many people worry a lot about whether they are going to make their offers. For some people it's simply a loss of confidence, while others are panicking about that exam that they are sure went really badly and can’t imagine how they will get the grades they need. This thread is for you
If you have been ill or there have been other things going on in your life (eg bereavement) which may have significantly
affected either your revision or the exam itself, you should make sure that your school/college informs both the Exam Board and your firm/insurance unis well before
Results are published. There is no guarantee that this information will be taken into account, but on the other hand it can’t be if the Exam Board/unis don’t have it in the first place. Bear in mind, however, that you are very likely to be expected to provide some documentary evidence of the issue, whatever it was.
If you have had a teaching disaster - wrong syllabus, absent/incompetent teachers - the school/college should be prepared to write to the unis concerned to inform them about it. Again, there's no guarantee the uni will take any notice, but it can be helpful.
I’m panicking – I don’t know enough/the work is going really badly/I don’t understand a key topic
Easy to say, but really important: stay calm. Freaking out is not a good strategy for exam preparation. However bad things may seem, unless you’ve been bone idle you certainly know more than you think you do, and you’ll be surprised how much surfaces when you need it in the exam.
Try and be organised in your approach to revision, but don’t beat yourself up if the timetable doesn’t work out quite like that. Most revision timetables are works of fiction worthy of the Nobel Prize for Literature. If you are too distracted at home, go into school/college or a library and work there instead.
If there’s a topic you absolutely have to understand and you don’t, contact your teacher and ask for help. It's not a good idea to rely on your friends unless you are absolutely certain they know what they’re about
Looking after your health is really important. Don’t stay up all night on TSR; try not to sleep late in the mornings (yeah, yeah, I know) and make sure you get out for some fresh air every day; a brisk walk beforehand is excellent preparation for an exam. Seriously.
Try not to eat too much random rubbish; keeping the fruit and veg and plenty of water going in will improve your ability to fend off the bugs, and generally help you to cope with the stress more positively. Remember to take some plain water into the exam with you as your brain works better if you have enough fluid on board!
I’m sure I failed/won’t have got the grade I need
Whatever happened in yesterday’s exam, however disastrous you thought it was, don’t be distracted from the exams you still have to do. You are likely to have done better than you thought, and there will be very little more annoying than to find out in August that it was the exams after
the ‘disaster’ that actually let you down.
If I do miss my offer, what are the chances that my firm/insurance uni will let me in anyway?
No-one can say what your chances are. The higher ranked the university, and the more competitive the course, the more likely it will be that they won’t take you if you don’t meet your offer. HOWEVER this is not definite, by any means. In previous years, many unis have accepted people who’ve missed their offers, even for competitive courses, so do not assume that all is lost. The only time when you will know for sure either way is on Results Day, so there is little to be gained by worrying about it now, and it is a terrible waste of energy if you still have exams to do.