Advice to A-Level students


A-level results day. It still gives me shivers. The sleepless nights, the anticipation, the phone calls, the decisions, the pressure. The pressure, on pupils, on parents, on teachers. It is the pressure which has become fierce. The pressure to perform. The pressure to be better. It is needlessly demoralising.

So as thousands of students await their results tomorrow, what advice can we give them? After all, to some, these letter grades may dictate where they spend the next 3 or 4 years, perhaps longer. But to those who miss their grades, to those predicted A’s and who fall short, to those who do not shine at school, you should know this: whatever happens tomorrow does not determine who you are.

Celebrities, CEO’s, Managing Directors, and other high paid, high esteemed professionals didn’t necessary get the best grades. They too were disheartened or unhappy with their results.

So if you are one of the thousands nervously awaiting your results, I have a little secret to share: few of you will ever be asked what A-levels you got or even what class of degree. Yes, your grades will stare back at you in black on white on your CV, but school is a poor representation of you as an individual and who you have the potential to become. Success (as I’m told) usually lies in what you strive for afterwards, in how you pester and persist HR departments for internships and work experience, how you construct the start of your career. I’m not for a moment suggesting that a “good education” is not relevant. Of course, education is a necessity.  But there is so much more to a person than a couple of letters.

Whether you are jumping for joy or locking yourself in the downstairs loo in despair, remember that whatever results you achieve, you have completed thirteen years of school education, and even if you can’t quite see it now, there is a reason for celebration.

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