Education news

Overwhelming majority of pupils experience high stress as A-level results approach

A-level results will be published this week

MORE than eight in 10 school pupils experience high stress levels as they await A-level results.

A survey published ahead of results day also found half of young people never use the knowledge learned for exams.

About 25,000 pupils will find out their A-level and AS-level grades on Thursday.

The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment (CCEA) has set up a dedicated helpline.

It will operate from 9am until 5pm, starting Wednesday August 14 until Friday August 30. On A-level results day, it will open from 7am.

Anyone with queries regarding CCEA's examination results can call 028 9026 1260, email, or visit

CCEA Examinations Manager Michael Crossan said A-level and GCSE results days marked the end of two years hard work and the beginning of new pathways for many.

"I congratulate all students receiving results and wish them every success," he said.

"CCEA's experienced staff will be on hand over the results period to assist with any query or concern about CCEA examination results. The useful FAQ section, available on the CCEA homepage, will also provide information on the most common issues around the period of the results."

New survey findings released by Arden University show an overwhelming majority (86 per cent) of young people are "currently experiencing very high stress levels". Further, 71 per cent who have taken A-levels in recent years feel there is too much pressure put on results.

However, as one third of those aged 30-plus say they have never been quizzed about results during a job interview, the university said "it begs the question are exam results worth the stress especially when, with the benefit of hindsight, one day doesn't define a whole career"?

When asked why they made the decision to take A-levels, nearly three in 10 (28 per cent) only did so because they had no idea what to do next, with 13 per cent saying they felt pressured by their parents. Yet, more than half (53 per cent) admitted they never or rarely use the knowledge learned for A-levels.

Pupils finding out their GCSE results next week, meanwhile, will be the first to receive new C* grades.

The C* was necessary following a move in England to scrap traditional grades in favour of a numerical system. Exams bodies in England replaced A*-G with 9-1 - with 9 being the highest.

The CCEA was asked to create the new grade to "align with the level of achievement consistent with grade 5 on the English 9-1 scale".

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