The big results day guide

Tuesday 7 August, 2018. The date you and your pupils have been working towards for months. Finally, it arrives and the results are in. As the nerves and excitement bubble over make sure you ace the big reveal.

Across Scotland certificates will be getting delivered or the ping of a phone will have an unread SQA text. The suspense is too much to handle, almost like it’s your own results you’re waiting on.


Emotions will be all over the place on results day. Pupils, parents and teachers are all invested in the marks inside an envelope so it’s crucial that someone is a calming force.

That falls on your shoulders, dear teacher.

Parents will be eager to ensure their kids have done well, students are on another planet for the full day and may not be thinking clearly. You have to make sure that you know everything about the next steps – good or bad – that will help ease everyone’s concerns.

Talking to your students away from their parents may also make the day a lot smoother. Some pupils will open their results in front of mum and dad, if the results end in tears – and not the good kind – then it can be added pressure to have their parents asking questions only you have the answers to.

Allow an empty classroom for pupils to go into to process their results, cry, vent to you and group chat, before facing the parents.


If things don’t go as planned, make sure you can guide your students with handy hints and tips for what to do next. For those looking to get into university without the predicted grades clearing is still available. From July to September students can find an alternative course or university with UCAS.

Each year around 60,000 students find a course through clearing and go onto have successful and enjoyable further education experiences. All hope is not lost.

Heading to college to retake exams is also a popular option for students. There is a benefit here, too, as it allows a sense of structure available from school life with a dash of independence that university has to offer. College could be the best of both worlds.

Or, why not encourage students to pop the educational bubble? There are more and more student dedicated travel sites for young ones looking to explore the world before deciding on their future career.

You can’t expect to know exactly what to do at 17-years-old. Maybe a trip around South America with those hard-earned Sunday job tips will reveal the answer.

Buckle in for the results day ride with your fill of advice, tissues, and next step know how in your back pocket. You got this.

Exam Result Helpline

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