A levels in 2020

Updated: Jan 5

A-levels results are here. So, how did it go? This was the weirdest exam year ever. You are the first, and hopefully last, generation to have your exams upset like this. This makes you special and unique, though perhaps not in the ways you would have planned. I hope you got the results you wanted. For those of you who didn’t, do not despair. This is not the end of the road and there are other opportunities to shine out there, you may just need to be a bit creative about finding them.

I have heard a couple of people reflect on feeling that they “didn’t really do A’levels” or that people won’t really respect their results. You did do A levels. Do not let anyone downplay or underestimate your efforts. Exams are designed to test your knowledge at the end of a course. They are an imperfect way to check whether you learnt the things from the course that the people setting the course hoped you would. If you did the course, whether or not you got to sit the exams, you still did the course. You can still feel proud of your effort.

And if you are one of the many who feel disappointed or cheated not to get to sit your exams, I’m sorry. I know you were looking forward to the opportunity to show teachers, parents or others who maybe hadn’t expected enough of you that you could do it. I know there are many of you who were totally set to pull it out of the bag and it is frustrating if you didn’t get to do so.

I hope you can find another way to tell whatever story it was you were going to tell: determination; exceeding expectations or just having a try anyway. Let people know about the effort and the abilities that you have. My best suggestion is to find someone who does get it. Find an ally, someone who will understand where you are coming from, or who may have had similar experiences themselves, and tell them what you were planning to do. Find other ways to show anyone who doubted your abilities just what you are made of. Because exams are not the only way to tell that story.

You did your A levels. You made it to this point. You can make it a lot further. Where is your story going to take you next?

With all best wishes to you,

Dr Helen Care, Clinical Psychologist