It is that time of year again… EXAM Results!

Having spent a lot of time for the last few years working with exam year groups on staying calm and focused to help them improve their results for the exams. But so often we forget that the stress isn’t over when we finish our exams. For many people it is just beginning. Some people are fortunate enough to be able to walk out and forget all about their exams until they collect the results. Others will have worried for weeks and will now either be breathing a sigh of relief or panicking about what the future holds.  

Is there really a reason to worry?

Has anyone you know ever died from getting a D instead of a C in their exams? No (I know it’s a level 3 instead of a level 4 – why we have to change things again I’m not sure!) Has anyone ever failed their exams completely and still made a huge success of their life? Of course they have.  

Quick list:

Richard Branson dropped out of school at 16. Jim Carey dropped out of school at 16 to get a job. Katy Perry dropped out of school in freshman year (Y10 in the UK). Simon Cowell only got one O level. Debra Meadon left school before she sat her A levels.  

Did these people let a lack of certificates prevent them from being successful?

Of course not! Because as valuable as education can be it can never teach us everything, and the education systems that we have just don’t suit some people – no matter how intelligent they are, or how gifted they are.
Einstein (who incidentally dropped out of school at 15 years old and then failed his entrance exams for polytechnic!) said; “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” What more do we need other than to be determined, to find a way, to be creative, imaginative and passionate?

If you fail an exam, you can choose to keep trying and resit it, lots of people do.

You might not get to go to the university you wanted to go to this year you can resit like, like Clare Balding, she took a couple of years re-sat her history and did so well she got into Cambridge! Exams aren’t unimportant, they can be very important depending upon what you want to do with your life and what career you want to pursue. But for some people they are totally irrelevant! Do you think Mozart had an A level in music? Did Picasso have a degree in modern art? – I doubt it! Not everything needs to be taught and not everyone has to learn at the same speed. It’s just that we have to have a system for teaching and learning and this is the way we are doing it at the moment. It suits some, it doesn’t suit others. So if you are sitting at home, worrying that you have “failed”, don’t panic. No-one fails at life.

You always have choices.

Take a few big deep breaths. Have a good cry and get it out of your system and start to plan how you want your life to be.  Only you know what will make you truly happy. No-one else can do that for you. So if you know that resitting your exams and getting the job or university place you want will make you happy – DO IT! If deep down you were never bothered about going to uni/FE college, whatever the next step was for you, you just felt you should be taking that route, then embrace this opportunity to do whatever it is you really want to do in your heart. There are so many amazing possibilities out there and I just know that you will find the perfect path for you.
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