There is no denying that exam periods are one of the most stressful and mind-challenging times in any student’s lives. With tedious revision sessions, heaps of worry, lack of sleep and the dreaded results day itself, it is understandable that there is an air of negativity from teachers, parents and students alike. However, hard work pays off and good exam results can provide a foundation, guidance and structure in the subsequent choices you make.

However, do exam results really determine your future? Should you be re-evaluating your life if you don’t achieve your desired results? We think not, and here are 5 IDEAL reasons why.


As research grows into learning styles, different speeds of development and different forms of intelligence, it is now becoming more commonly accepted that exams should not be the only way to assess performance. Many schools are now willing to look beyond result and take a broader snapshot of the individual based on a variety of factors. Cognita Schools, for example, have made it clear that there is no need to worry unnecessarily if you didn’t get the results you’d wished for, especially at GCSE level. There will always be alternative options that will help your life pan out in the most suitable way for you.


Potential employers won’t simply look at your exam results and give you the job, no questions asked. Sure, they may be important on paper, but nowadays, employers are looking for far more than multiple A grades. A few things that employers value over exam results include; creativity; the ability to work in a team; motivation and determination; resilience; and experience.


Perhaps the most important factor listed above is experience. It is so important to rack up as much experience as possible, preferably in your desired career field. Employers will always be impressed to see that you have taken the initiative and reached out to companies to help enrich your knowledge and skillset. Experience will always be a valuable attribute in your armoury. If you’re planning a career in finance, time spent in an office will stand you in better stead than a C grade in textiles. Go figure.


Your ability to work and communicate well within a team is another skill that will impress your potential future employer. There is nothing better than to simply get stuck in, getting to know you co-workers and making an effort. Although your precise role and responsibility will vary from job to job, the objective is simple. Communicate with your team, listen to your team and understand your team’s needs. When employees are happy with their working environment, the increase in productivity is remarkable – and you can play a part in this.


At the end of the day, it can be tough to establish whether you should depend on exams to determine your future. Exams are an excellent start in building your future, providing foundation and guidance. However, being shoehorned by success in a specific field at a young age could, in fact, close doors, rather than open them. Be open-minded and willing to look beyond your skillset at paths you may not have otherwise trodden. You may surprise yourself!