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Why exams shouldn’t matter (even though they do)

1 min, 57 sec read
15:30 PM | 25 April 2017
by Layla Lawson
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In schools, we are taught to work towards our GCSE and A Level exams; as young students, you are pressured to get excellent grades, and some institutions go as far as making students believe that if they don’t score the points needed, they won't have a positive future. 

"Exam results don't determine success in life."

In an article written for The Telegraph by Rod Bristow, president, UK and Core Markets, Pearson, Bristow writes that "the emphasis on students to gain the best exam results leads to a ‘pressure cooker environment.’"

Setting the same benchmark for all students is not only unfair but could result in students who struggle to achieve the results deemed necessary to feel like they are not smart or good enough!

There has also been some speculation that this ‘tunnel vision’ institutions practice could lead to confidence issues. Let's face it, being a teenager is tough enough without having to feel like you are an underachiever!

However, it's not all doom and gloom! Exams are good practice for teaching everyone how to produce high-quality work under pressure and how to plan and recall relevant information when needed. Different tests measure different things, and that is also fine. 

Exams allow teachers to understand how you understand the information being taught to you; they also allow teachers to see who may need more help.

It is important for institutions to educate students, and part of that teaching is explaining that passing an exam and doing well in school, one, doesn't always guarantee success and, two, isn't the only path to success.

Some successful people in the world didn't pass their exams, an easy example, Richard Branson, who dropped out of school at the age of 16 and is now a billionaire.

"Young people need empowerment and encouragement, not sleepless nights worrying about hitting their exam targets."

The list of-of people who have made it just fine without having scored the best GCSE or A Level results include, Tinie Tempah, Sarah Millican, Simon Cowell, Guy Ritchie and even Alan Sugar.

This isn't to say that your exams are not important, but more to say that there are other avenues to achieving success, and if you are not doing so well in your exams it doesn't mean that you won't do just fine in life. You just have to apply yourself elsewhere.

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