How to prepare on SQA results day

To ensure minimal stress on SQA results day, it is important to be as prepared as you can be ahead of the day. Firstly make sure you know how and where you are expecting to receive your SQA results and make sure you set the alarm to be up in time to receive them as soon as possible. It is even important to plan a good breakfast to help keep you focused in the case that important decisions need to be made. Finally, make sure you are familiar with the process of what steps to take if your results are not quite what you had hoped or in the case that they have exceeded all expectations.

Check that your personal details are correct

This sounds like an obvious point, but it is essential that you check that your school or college has the correct personal details registered to you. Any personal details linked to your Scottish Candidate number (SCN) have to be correct in order to obtain your exam certificate. Before results day, check these are up to date and correct, either make contact with your school or college or log in online to your MySQA account. Your name, address and SCN number should all be correct, if you have a change of address or if any of the details are incorrect you must tell your school or college immediately to ensure the correct details appear on your SQA results.

What date is SQA results day?

Make sure you have the correct day, for 2017 SQA results will be released on Tuesday 8th August, it may sound obvious, but there is nothing worse than waiting on a wrong day and becoming panicked when results haven’t arrived. Check with your school or college, peers or log in to your MySQA account closer to the time to double check the exact time and date you should be expecting to receive your Scottish Qualification Certificate.

How are you planning on receiving your results?

Your SQA results will automatically be delivered via post, so you don’t need to worry about going anywhere to pick them up. Although it can be exciting to wait for the post, it is common for results also to be delivered by email or text message, as these often arrive earlier than the post and at a more guaranteed time. If you want to receive your results in this way you must make sure you have signed up for this option prior to results day online. Simply log in to your MySQA account and change your preferences, you must have set up and activated your account in advance. However, regardless of what option you may have selected online, your SQC (Scottish Qualification Certificate) will still be delivered in the post on results day as confirmation of results.

Will you be away from home on results day?

If you are planning to be out of the country or away from home on SQA results day, it is important that you prepare in advance if you wish to receive your SQA results at the same time as your peers. By signing up in advance to MySQA online you will be able to login to your account to request to have your results emailed or sent to you via text message, this removes the stress of having to organise somebody else to open physical results when they arrive in the post and allows you to instantly make the next steps should anything need to be sorted and arranged on results day. Make sure you have signed up, activated and changed your preferences online well in advance of SQA results day.

Do I need anything for SQA results day?

There are several things you should keep in an easily accessible location in case you need to make any quick phone calls or checks during results day. You should make sure you have your UCAS letter with any conditional or unconditional offers listed, contact details for these universities and your personal UCAS number. Make a copy of your personal statement (If you haven’t written one, you’ll need to get on that right now! Use our Personal Statement Editor and check out our useful Personal Statement Examples, too) and the copy of any references you may have, by having everything printed out and listed in front of you, things will be much clearer to see quickly, should you need it. Your UCAS and application details will make it easier should you have to call up your university choices to double check any offers or to verify details. Should you go down the Clearing route or if you try to change university, keeping your UCAS number and application details close by relieves any unnecessary stress of trying to locate these in a panic and rush on results day. If everything goes to plan you may not even need any of these precautions, but it is much better to be prepared! You never want to make rushed decisions or lose out on time or a university place because you weren’t organised!

How to prepare for unexpected results

Ahead of SQA results day, you should make sure you understand all of your options in any scenario, if your results are better than expected, as expected, or worse than expected. You will have received your university offers, and it is most likely that these are conditional and dependent on your SQA results. Check what grades you need to meet the conditions of your university choices so that on results day you immediately know what your likely outcome is as soon as results arrive.

If your results are lower than expected and you have been unsuccessful in securing a place at your university choices, do not worry, there are plenty of options available to you. If this situation occurs, firstly check your personal UCAS account as you may still have been accepted, however, if you haven’t you can apply through UCAS Clearing for a university place. From 5th July 2017, the clearing options will be displayed on UCAS, listing the universities with places still available for specific courses, so it is worth checking this out before results day, so you know where to find it and what sort of course and universities are still available, if you need to use it.

If your exam results are better than expected – firstly massive congratulations, achieving better results calls for a big celebration! However, if this happens, it might be worth considering if you want to accept your current offers or if you want to change university to one that may not have been an option with lower predictions. To do this, you must go through UCAS Adjustment. 

If you receive your expected results – well done! This is a massive achievement, and you should be very proud of yourself. Make sure you have got into your university choice and accepted your preferred university offer!

How to prepare if you’ve changed your mind

If you are panicking ahead of results day because you are having doubts about your university choices, course choices or even if you want to go to university anymore, do not worry. Having these thoughts are completely normal, but you should carefully consider what they mean. When you receive your results, it can be very tempting to get swept up in the day and accept whatever is thrown at you. Although it may feel scary to change your mind on such a big decision, you can change your course or university on the day of results and apply through UCAS Clearing to study a completely different course. Or, if you’re having second thoughts about further education, you can reject your university offers to pursue a career, apprenticeship or even to take a gap year. If this is playing on your mind it is worth thinking about options ahead of SQA results day, but just bear in mind if you get accepted into your universities, you will have to give a reason as to why you wish to be released from their offer.

The night before SQA results

It is also a good idea to talk to your parents about how your result day will work. By doing this, they will be able to help you should you need their advice, or steer clear if you need some time alone. By letting your parents know the process, they are less likely to ask you irritating questions in the middle of a stressful day, and they can be there to hopefully celebrate whatever your next step may be!

Once you feel as prepared as you can be for SQA results day the best thing to do is to get an early night. It could be a restless night with lots of thoughts on your mind, and you might find it difficult to get off to sleep, so make sure you plan for this with a relaxing Monday, both during the day and towards the evening. Try having a soothing bath, hot drink and reading a book before bed, try to avoid using mobile phones, plug it in to charge away from the bed – you’ll need full charge for the big day and avoid talking to friends too much, their emotions could have a negative impact on your sleep and make you panic or stress more. Whatever happens, results day is bound to be a long day so get as much rest as you can!

What should I do the morning of results day?

Start the day with your favourite breakfast and try to stay focused. If you receive the results you want it is likely, you will be rushing off to celebrate with friends and if you don’t, a long day of phone calls and decision making may be on the cards. Either way, you will need to have the energy to stay on the ball so fuel your body with some healthy and nutritious food.

Most of all try and enjoy results day as much as possible and stay focused on what you want. Fingers crossed that the day will go smoothly and how you want it to go, but either way, if you follow the above steps to be prepared, you can remain calm and make rational decisions for your best future. Good luck!