16 August 2018
As thousands of teenagers open those much-awaited envelopes today, I certainly don’t envy them!
On A-Level results day when I was younger, I opened the envelope to see four incredible results on the paper… four Unclassifieds. I literally hadn’t made the grade.
To be honest, that came as little surprise to me; I was never academically minded. I certainly wasn’t enthusiastic about sitting in a classroom for hours on end, listening to someone talk at me and expecting me to absorb the information. Put me on a rugby pitch or sit me in front of a piano and it’s a different story!
You simply can’t judge everyone’s gifts in the same way, and certainly not in a one-size-fits-all exam.
As Einstein said: “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
I could easily have left my A-Levels feeling inadequate, like I wasn’t good enough, because the results paper had the wrong letters on it. However, when people tell me of my weaknesses, I make them my strengths. That’s how I feel when it comes to exams. If you are told you are not a success, use that to make you more determined to succeed.
Exam results don’t define you
Sir Richard Branson left school at 16, Simon Cowell left school with just one GCSE equivalent and Alan Sugar has one GCSE. Exam results don’t have to dictate the rest of your life or career.
If you look at some of the most highly qualified young engineers at UKFast, many of them opted to do an apprenticeship instead of going to university. More than 50% of our workforce don’t have a degree and that 50% includes many of the most highly paid.
In the past, the traditional route has been to go through university and, whilst that’s of course still important for professions like law and medicine, now we are seeing many incredible careers beginning with apprenticeships.
It’s not about the qualifications you have; it’s about your attitude and where you want to end up.