How to Cope with the Stress of Waiting for your AAT Results

3rd July 2019
Kathryn Kirton

We’re all familiar with the stress and strain of revising for and sitting exams and your AAT assessments are no exception. So, once you’ve finally completed your exams and binned your revision timetable, the relief and sense of freedom can be great – but then it’s often only a matter of time before you start feeling anxious about getting your results.

Here at MacKenzie King, most of our candidates and several of our consultants have been through the AAT exams themselves, so here’s our top tips for reducing the worry when you’re waiting for your results:

Distract Yourself

Waiting for any kind of results or decision that is important to you can be nerve-wracking and it is easy to let your mind slip into a vicious circle of worry. You can find yourself obsessing over what you think you did wrong, or should’ve done differently, and going over and over the exam in your head.

Logically, you know this won’t change anything but sometimes it’s hard to stop those negative thoughts and they can leave you feeling anxious or depressed. So, do everything you can to get a handle on these toxic thought patterns.

Try your best to stop going over the exam by finding some ways to distract yourself: go to the cinema, go for a swim or for a walk in the countryside, clear out your wardrobe and take a bag of old clothes to the charity shop, meet up with friends, bake some brownies, enter a competition, visit an art gallery – anything that’s not thinking about your results.

Getting a change of scenery and doing something different to your normal routine should help you fight the temptation to sit at home and dwell on something you have no power to change.

Try Some Calming Meditation

If you have regular periods of anxiety around exam time, you could try some stress-busting breathing exercises. The AAT website suggests trying these simple meditative exercises that you might find calming.

If you often struggle with anxiety around exam time, the obvious advice is regular exercise, plenty of sleep and cutting down on caffeine and alcohol. You could explore some other ways of relaxing, such as yoga, aromatherapy or mindfulness apps such as Headspace or relaxing podcasts like these.

Form Some Strategies

Even if you think the exam didn’t go as well as you’d hoped, you shouldn’t automatically assume the worst. However, it can be useful to work through three different scenarios. Think through what action you will take if you fail the exam; do the same imagining you only just pass; then imagine that you pass with flying colours. Try to focus on what advice you would give a friend who was nervous about getting some test results.

This way, whatever result you end up with, you have a strategy in place and if the worst happens, you can reassure yourself it’s really not the end of the world; you have a plan rather than helplessly worrying about what might happen.

Plan for Results Day

As results time approaches, it can be helpful to have some sort of plan for the day. You might prefer to arrange to be with other friends who sat the same exam, or you might want to meet with family or other friends, who can support you without having their own results to celebrate or worry about.

It can be a good idea to have something enjoyable planned after you get your results. It’s good to have something to look forward to and of course it’ll be great if you’re happy with your results, but if you’re disappointed, it’s good to have something structured to do and to know you have people around to support you and to discuss your strategies with.

Where Next?

If the worst happens and your results aren’t what you wanted, do try and be positive about overcoming this temporary setback. Don’t panic – there’s always a plan B and it’s not the end of the world.

And whatever your results, if you need advice about junior Accountancy and Finance opportunities in Suffolk and Essex, don’t hesitate to contact Ben Goldie or Lois Wilson-Fox at MacKenzie King, who can advise you on taking the next step in your career.