See the person, not the exam result

We all need to make sure young people getting their exam results from today are not put under unacceptable pressure, says Samaritans.

With thousands of students receiving A level and GCSE results this month, it is crucial to emphasise that emotional wellbeing is more important than grades.

Keeping their results in perspective and their options open helps young people to recover if they are disappointed or do not get a place on the course or career they want to join.

Making sure that young people who are anxious know they can help themselves by talking to someone about the way they feel, and planning strategies to deal with their worries, should be a priority.

It is also helpful for young people to think about how they can relax and distract themselves so that they are able to take a break from thinking about their results. Anyone worried about themselves or a student can contact Samaritans for free from any phone on 116 123, or email

Coping with exam stress is one of the topics Samaritans’ Developing Emotional Awareness and Listening (DEAL) resources for teachers covers, in a series that helps pupils to build emotional resilience and to support each other.

Karen Harvey, who leads Samaritans work in education, said: “Getting exam results can be stressful. We hope you are all pleased with your results. If you are not, remember that your results don’t define who you are, or show all that you can do.

“There are other opportunities and a chance to study again if that is what you want to do.  You may need to make other plans and take some time to think, but that’s ok. It helps to share your thoughts and feelings with someone, so do talk to friends, teachers and parents about how you are feeling, and look out for your friends. You will be ok, and Samaritans is always here.”

Samaritans has worked with YouTuber and teacher Primrose Kitten to offer support with exam results

(2.36) Primrose Kitten says: “Look after your mental health and look after your physical health, it is just as important and as getting good results. I would much rather my kids got average GCSE results and average A level results, went to a not-great university and were happy.”



For more information or interview requests please contact: Samaritans media team on 0208 394 8300.

  • Anyone can contact Samaritans any time for free from any phone on 116 123. This number is free to call and will not show up on your phone bill. Or email or go to to find details of your local branch where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.
  • Samaritans responds to more than 5 million calls for help a year.
  • Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Your money or your time could save a life. Find out how you can support us: