Parent's guide to exam results

As a parent or carer, you might be wondering what you can do to help on results day.

Whether your child is feeling happy or disappointed, here’s some advice to help you support them.

get the jump

Disappointing results

If your child has not done as well as they’d hoped, there are still lots of options available.

They might not show it but they probably still care about their results and your attitude towards them and their grades.

It might help to:

  • give yourself some time to reflect
  • encourage your child to talk
  • reassure your child there are always other options available
  • focus on their next steps

Education and training choices

There are lots of education and training options available.

You do not need to rush into anything. Encourage your child to take time making their decision.

Explore all education and training choices

Planning a career

If your child has some ideas about what they would like to do, encourage them to do some research.

They'll need to consider the pros and cons based on their research and then put their plan into action.

To help your child plan their career, it's important you:

  • listen and try not to judge
  • stay open to their ideas
  • encourage them to explore all their options
  • help them make choices based on their goals and abilities, not what you think they should do

You can explore careers to find out how to get into a certain career.

Ideas for careers

If your child has no idea what kind of career they might like to do in the future, it can make it difficult to know what to do next.

Talk to your child about jobs that interest them. You can be a positive influence on their choices.

You can encourage them to:


If your child did not get the grades they needed for their university offer, they can use clearing to find other universities that have places available.

They can also use clearing if their grades were better than expected to apply for universities with higher entry requirements.

Remember there are also plenty of options other than university.

Useful information

Here are some guides and factsheets that may help you:

Explore your choices

Combine work and study

T Levels


A levels
Higher education
Higher technical qualifications (HTQs)
Vocational technical qualifications (VTQs)


Supported internships
School leaver schemes

Special educational needs (SEND) advice

You can get education advice if you're disabled or have special educational needs. 

It may help you choose what you'd like to do next.