Exam results

It’s the big day. The envelope has dropped through the door, or the text pinged into the inbox.

Exam results are here. And we know that it can be a time of high stress and big decisions.

As a parent, it can be a challenge to balance what you want for your child with their individual ambitions. Even if you want to help, it can be difficult to start the conversation.

We’re here to help you and your child decide on the next steps – whatever their results.

What the results really mean

It’s important to remember that qualifications have changed since you left school.

This SQA chart can help you translate what they mean, and the My SQA portal can help you find their results if your child has lost their certificate. All they need is their Scottish Candidate Number, which they can get from their school.

They don’t get the results they need

Don’t panic. It’s not the end of the world, and there are still plenty of options to explore.

If you have any questions, have a chat with one of our expert advisers. They’ll be able to clarify issues and direct you to further support if it’s required. You can reach them on 0800 917 8000.

It’s important to keep your child engaged, so they don’t lose faith and stay motivated. But there are a few things you could ask them:

  • What do they think happened?
  • Do they have a Plan B?
  • Where do they want to go next?

It could be the perfect time to do a bit of research together into what else they could do.

Do they have interests outside school, like sport, music, art or computers? This could provide a clue about where to go next.

If they’re in sixth year and didn’t get the results they need for further education, look at university clearing options or potential last-minute opportunities at college level.

Apprenticeships, jobs and gap years

Maybe they’ve decided that traditional education isn’t for them, and they’d prefer to earn as they learn. Apprenticeships offer a brilliant foothold into many industries. You can find out more about them on Apprenticeship.scot.

If they’re keen to work, take the time to research opportunities together. Don’t forget about tapping into your professional and personal networks – could you help them by making an introduction?

If they’re not sure what they want to do yet, it could be better if they took some time out to work out what they want to do. Self-development, achieved through part-time jobs, volunteering work and possible training can help them work out their long-term goals and make better choices.

University and further education

If your child has the results they’d hoped for, they may move into further education.

Is their application underway? If they’re working on their personal statement, ask them what have they done that makes them stand out? What do they do outside of school?

They’re becoming adults, and it’s important they begin to take responsibility for themselves and their decisions. This can include sorting their funding and finance for university.

Check in on how they’re feeling – are they excited or nervous? Are they sure the subject they’ve chosen is what they want to do?

And if you need any further help or support, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our careers advisers. You can find them via your child’s school, our centre search or contact 0800 917 8000.

Our support doesn’t stop when they leave school. We’re here to support both them - and you - throughout their adult life.

Go back to careers discussions