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Five things CALM knows about exams

They do matter, but if your teachers or parents told you these exams are the most important thing in the world, they lied.


1. The beauty of getting results is knowing the exams are over. The beauty of life is knowing the exams are still over.


2. If you didn’t get the results you wanted, it feels really good to let off steam, howl at the moon and rip up your exam papers. Then talk it through and get over it.

3. Some rainbows aren’t worth chasing. If you missed some grades, maybe you dodged the bullet of going down a path that isn’t right for you.


4. Usually, the only thing that passing exams tells you about a person is that they’re good at passing exams.


5. If X = exams and Y = success then WGAF = who gives a fuck? Your future happiness isn’t part of the equation.


CALM CEO, Jane Powell has this advice to anyone concerned about their results

“Chances are that if you are worried about your exam results, you probably haven’t failed them all – you’ve just not the grades you hoped for.  Ask the next five employers you meet about the exam grades of their staff.  Trust me, they’ll have no idea and they’ll fumble too on what uni – if any – those staff attended.  Even if you fluffed every exam going, and magnificently zeroed them all, they are still just exams.  What do you want from life?  What interests you most?  How can you turn what turns you on into a career?  Go investigate.”

If things didn’t go your way and you’re feeling stressed or down, the CALM helpline 0800 58 58 58 and webchat are open 5pm – midnight daily. CALM’s services are free, confidential and anonymous. For more information and support visit Please note CALM does not provide advice about the university clearing process.

You can get some advice on clearing and your options in this BBC article.

The Mix provide excellent advice and support for issues affecting young people.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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