Exam failure; is it the be all and end all?


In the news today there has been a report released that students who receive poor grades lose all ambition and give up on themselves. I therefore write this blog in the hope that, should you find yourself in this situation, you never give up on your dream. 

Let us begin with some key figures from the report: 

Some 34% of 2,300 16 to 25-year-olds with poor grades polled for The Prince’s Trust charity believed they would “end up on benefits”.

The study found that those with poor qualifications had often faced “significant barriers to learning at home”.

They were more than twice as likely (29%) as those with good qualifications (12%) to agree that they had “struggled to concentrate on schoolwork due to family problems”.

About 22% of those with few qualifications said their “home life was so stressful that they struggled to focus on homework”. This compares with just 11% of all young people.

The first point is, in my opinion, the most important because this gives the result of all the factors in points 2-3. 34% is a staggering number and I believe that, had the poll been for all students at secondary school graduating level it would have been much higher. Why do I believe this? It is because I both know people who have gone through this and I, too, have felt like this. Granted, I did not believe I would end up on benefits but that I would never get to where I wanted to be- a commercial lawyer- and I am not there yet. 

At GSCE I did exceptionally well, I thought. Through a combination of BTECs and GSCE’s I found myself with 4 A*s, 1 A, 4 B’s and 4 C’s. First point; do not let the fact that doing BTEC is easier than an exam. It may negate the need for a 2 hour written exam but there is the same amount of work to put in and they are still highly valued. Especially if you can show you can perform well in both written and unwritten exams. 


On the jump from GSCE to A Level, I found that I thought I would perform well, but the result was different. I ended up with 2 A*s, 1 C and 1 D. When I saw that C and especially that D my immediate thought was ‘my entire life is over’. I will never get into law now’. But I was wrong. I was accepted into BPP Law School and am now in my second year (accelerated course) and performing well. I am applying for training contracts, and although I may not get one this time around, I will continue to push on and I know that I will succeed. Somehow, someway, someday. 


My intention in writing this in light of today’s news and next weeks results for millions of students is that you too realise that, yes exam results are important, but that when you have a bout of bad luck, you can brush it off, move on and pursue your dreams. Thomas Edison once said that ‘genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration’. 


So work hard, and if like the 12% & 22% who stated family problems and stress as barriers to success- remove yourself from the home if you can whilst studying. Go to your local library, or your grandparents,  friends, anywhere that you can sit and study in a way that best suits you. But, please, whatever happens and whatever you do- do not give up. 

I finish with this quote for those that have already given up, those that might find themselves sat at home reading  this & not having done anything since results day- ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been’- George Elliot. 


If you’re waiting for results- I wish you the best of luck and  do let me know how you get on on Twitter or via the comments section of this blog. You can do it! 


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