Thousands of pupils across Edinburgh and the Lothians are bracing themselves for the thud of a brown envelope on the mat or the ping of an email or text notification which will reveal their Higher results tomorrow morning.
Tensions are high in households as teenagers, and their long-suffering parents, await their fates and see if their efforts, or lack thereof, have afforded them glory or crushing disappointment.
But while it can seem like the single most important day in many students’ lives, Scottish Olympic rowing silver medallist Karen Bennett wants to remind anyone worried that with a bit of hard work, even disappointing setbacks can be turned around. She said: “I would say to children who don’t get the exam results they were hoping for to not be disheartened.
“In one of my first attempts at rowing I fell into the water, and I had to get rescued by someone on a speedboat.
“But I didn’t give in. It’s so important that children don’t give in when they suffer a blow in life.”
Karen, 29, is supporting Childline which has already had contact from a thousand young people worried about their exam results. Last year, the charity held more than 250 counselling sessions on exam results worries in Scotland. As well as calling Childline’s free confidential helpline on 0800 11 11, young people can also send emails to trained counsellors or receive support online via one-to-one chat by visiting childline.org.uk
Skills Development Scotland will open their annual Exam Results Helpline tomorrow in a bid to support young people as they receive their National, Higher and Advanced Higher results.
The service will be open from 8am-8pm on August 7 and 8 and from 9am-5pm from August 9 to 15 and the number to call is 0808 100 8000.
Joanna Murphy, Chair of National Parent Forum of Scotland, said: “Speaking from experience, I know that the Exam Results Helpline offers young people and their parents and carers the chance to talk to someone who is impartial, which helps you to step back and take stock at what can be a stressful time.
“Whether you’ve had unexpected results, or just want to talk over your choices, SDS’s advisers can talk you through the wide range of options available to you.
“A calm conversation takes some of the heat out of the emotion of the day, and reminds young people no matter what results they achieve, there is always a way forward.”
If, after the nerve-wracking wait, your child is left with results that don’t quite meet their college and university requirements, all is not lost. It could be time to accept the insurance offer, enter into the UCAS clearing system, or have discussions about other options available such as going to college to re-sit qualifications, applying for apprenticeships or taking a break with a gap year.
And if they did better than expected, they can use UCAS Adjustment, which allows students to apply for courses that have higher entry requirements and still have places.