I've got my AS level results. What now? (3 steps to forming a plan for success next year)
You've opened that dreaded envelope.
You now know the truth that it contains.
You've got your AS level results.
What should you do next?
Whether you were over-joyed with the results, got just what you expected or are horribly disappointed there are several things you can (and should) do now.
1. Work out what worked and what didn't….
Look back over the last year and pinpoint all the things leading up to, and including, your exams, that did and didn't work for you.
- Was there a particular subject that just felt right? Was there one that was just plain wrong for you?
- Was there a teacher who ‘got' you and made everything easier? Was there a teacher that just couldn't explain things in a way you understood or rubbed you up the wrong way?
- Were you well organised? Did you hit your deadlines? Or, were you all over the place, always scrambling to get things in late?
- Did you complete work to the best of your ability? What helped you to do this? Or, was everything just rushed to get it in and out of the way?
- Did you have a revision plan? Did you stick to it?
- Did you use revision techniques that worked?
- How did you keep yourself motivated?
- Did you practice your exam technique?
- Were you well supported by school, friends and family?
- Did you have distractions that stopped you from achieving your goals?
- Were you studying the right subjects?
You need to do some real soul-searching here. If you did badly this is particularly important. However, it's also important if you think you did well. It might help to sit down with a teacher, parent or even book a session with me to help you analyse this stuff.
If you know what went well you'll be able to do more of that next year. If you know what went badly you'll know what you've got to fix and you can start trying to find solutions to the problems.
2. Make a plan for the future
Now you know what went well and what went badly last year you can make a plan to improve in the coming year.
If you know your problem was that you were really badly organised and kept getting behind on work, not completing it to the best of your ability, what are you going to do about it?
If you didn't make a revision plan and felt out of control and chaotic in the lead up to exams, how are you going to change next time around?
If you know you've got to do retakes, what are you going to give up to make space and time for them in your life? (You can't do everything).
If you've realised that your original ambitions are now unattainable, what are you going to aim for instead?
Going into the next school year with a plan that either builds on your success last year, or aims to tackle the things that went wrong, will set you up with a strong foundation.
If making the plan sounds too difficult (after all, if you knew how to fix the problems, you'd have done it already) then book a one-on-one session with me and we'll bust through the problems and put a plan in place.
3. Decide if you really want to follow through with your plan
Sometimes a bad set of results is a sign that you've been following the wrong path. Maybe you picked the wrong subjects. Maybe you're aiming for the wrong goal. If you didn't do as well as you hoped (or maybe you exceeded your expectations) you may well be reassessing your original plans. Wanted to be a Vet but got disappointing results? Perhaps your destiny lies somewhere else. Massively exceeded your expectations? Then perhaps you need to aim higher.
I believe that everything happens for a reason. If you're rejected for a job that's a sure sign that job wouldn't have been fulfilling for you and you probably wouldn't have progressed. However, if you love every second of your interview it's a great sign that job is a great match for you.
You have to look at your exam results in the same way and pick up on the signals they're giving off.
Does your plan involve doing loads of retakes that means you'll have to give up your part-time job or seeing your friends? Are you really willing to make these sacrifices? If not, you need to reassess your future. There's no point in doing retakes that just pile stress on you if you're not going to give them your all.
If you're going to do retakes but you can't pinpoint what went wrong the first time around you have to question if it's a wise choice. Will taking the same exams in the same way end up with different results? Probably not.Click To Tweet
If you can't come up with a plan you're willing to follow through on, you need to to find out if there's a different path that will suit you, your talents and skills better. This alternative path could well be your path to sucess.
Follow a plan that works
I cracked the code of getting the top grades (5 A Grades at A-Level) and they got me a place at the University of Cambridge. I had a system that worked for me and I've written it all down in my e-book, The Ten Step Guide to Acing Every Exam You Ever Take. Get hold of your copy now so you can put in place a system that works from the beginning of the school year. That way you'll be setting yourself on a sure-fire path to exam success!
What's your plan?
Leave a comment below telling me: 1) One thing that went well, 2) One thing that went badly and 3) What your plan for next year is. Writing it down in the comments will help you to make it clear in your own mind and make you accountable. I'll reply to all your comments!
Now, share these three steps for exam success next year with your friends. They'll thank you for it!