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How exam results affect life

We’ve all seen posts from celebrities telling us how they got a string of F’s in their exams and still made it big. So how do exam results affect life?

News reports every year tell us of increasing numbers of top exam grades. Decrying the ‘grade inflation’ and how it merely reflects easier exams and not hard work.

Preparing for exam and life

In the heat of results day, it is easy to forget what our exam results really mean. Despite how it may seem, results days like these are not an opportunity to weed out the smart ones from the less able ones. Ultimately none of us is good at everything nor do we all learn in the same way or are interested in the same things.

So not doing well on results day does not mean that you are destined for failure. Well then, what does results day mean and how do your exam results affect your life?


The first myth to bust is the one that says that the results of your exams will affect the rest of your life. They won’t. Your exam results, be it a GCSE results or your university degree classification will not affect your whole life. As a young person, they will though affect the next stage in your life. Your exam results at every stage determine what you can or can’t do or maybe where you can do it at the next stage. For example, your GCSE results might affect the sixth form you go to. This in turn might impact what A Levels you do. Your A level results might affect what or where you can study at university.

Tests and exams

Because these exam results typically affect the next three to four years of your life it doesn’t mean that you will be a failure for life if you don’t do well. Nor do they promise eternal success if you do. This does not mean you shouldn’t work hard and try to do well. The better you do at every stage whether that be school, sixth form or university the more options will be available to you in the next stage.

Whatever happens, try and make sure you are prepared. If your exam results might impact the college you go to, talk to the college about your options. If you are worried about how your exam results are going to impact your university place take a look at the UCAS guide HERE.

Preparing for your exam to support your life goals


Because these exam results primarily affect the next three to four years of your life, it means that their shelf life is small so they won’t be remembered for long. Your GCSEs will not matter much after three years once you’ve started University. By the time you graduate your A levels won’t either.

The exception is a few very competitive degrees like Medicine or lucrative graduate schemes. The good thing about this is also that every stage is a new clean slate, an opportunity to try again. So even if you did not do well at your GCSEs then in sixth form A levels are a new playing field.


Just because your exam results might not be remembered long by others does not mean that they don’t mean anything to anyone. They will always mean something to you. Though your exam certificates may end up lost in your attic one day, you will remember the hours you slaved away over maths and only you will remember the grade you got in your GCSE exam.

When the hype of results day is over and a decade has passed, your exam grades will still mean something to you. Make sure you take this as an opportunity to make yourself proud. Work hard and get the good grades you deserve.

Exam success for life

None of this is to say that results day does not matter because it does. It’s just that it does not determine your whole life. The habits and hard work ethic you learn from working towards obtaining good grades are something you will take with you throughout life. Along with the little nuggets of knowledge you pick up here and there from your syllabus.

If you are reading this and results day is still looming, take a look at our blog post HERE about how to relax after exams! Or take a read of our post-exam survival guide HERE.

You might not ever remember in future the events of world war two as well as you do now. Hopefully, the love of learning and the ability to learn outside of school will be habits you utilise throughout life.

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