Why A-Level Results Do Not Have To Define You


By Danielle Desouza, Legends Report Contributor


There is a lot of pressure on students to achieve high exam results, however, we should remember that success is not determined solely by grades. 


August 16th is A-level results day; a day that will either plague 18- year- olds around the country or provide them with immense satisfaction.

The pressure on young adults to achieve three B’s or above is paramount. They are led to believe that their A-level results will define their futures and how successful they will be. However, having gone through A-level disappointment myself and coming out of the other side, I have seen that it is possible to grow and achieve success from disappointment.

Failure is misconstrued as being the end of success. However, every failure can be a stepping stone to your goals, if you learn from them and improve.

Legends Who Have Overcome Failure

Jon Snow, an acclaimed journalist from the UK, received a C in English, a D in economics and an E in law for his A-levels.

He stated that: “ [he] was really chuffed [to have gotten] any A-levels at all.”

He physically visited the university admissions service and began a law course at the University of Liverpool, and then went onto become one of the most recognizable channel 4 news reporters. His message to teenagers is to “toil in hope and you will get there.”

Ben Fogle, one of the world's leading adventurers, achieved a C in politics, a D in politics and an N in geography,

“which [was] basically my subject, because I travel around the world.” He shed some humour on the situation by mentioning that “to this day I don’t even know what {an N} means.”

However, Mr Fogle did not let his disappointing results deter him; he spent a year working in an orphanage in Ecuador before going to the University of Portsmouth to study Latin American Studies.

The commonality between both Mr Snow and Mr Fogle is their honesty about themselves not being academically well - honed. Mr Fogle said: “academically I’ve never been particularly strong,” whilst Mr Snow stated that he was a “complete dunderhead.”

Both Mr Snow and Mr Fogle did not focus on their obvious shortcomings, but excelled through their determination and pursuing their passions.

Their stories and those of other famous faces can be viewed here


Finding The Right Path Is Not Always Determined By Your Grades

Personally speaking, I went from being a high- achieving, top-set pupil to gaining a B in history, a C in economics and a D in mathematics for my A-levels. Two years later, I am currently on a 2:1 for my BA History course at Goldsmiths, University of London. I am also a music scholarship recipient, the President of the History society and am climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in September for charity.

Also, getting high grades does not mean you will have certainty in your next steps. Sally Mendez, a 20- year old student who took her A-levels at the London Oratory sixth form in Fulham, attained her university offer to study law, achieving AAB, but decided to enter clearing to embark upon a new degree instead.

It was "more in line with [her] passions:" she said. "[She] was so glad [she] took the leap, as [she] is now loving [her]course."

Some students even decide to pursue a different path to the conventional one of attending university. Charlie Danport, a 20-year-old student who studied at Sacred Heart High school in Hammersmith, decided to enrol on a one-year acting course before applying for drama schools.

She said: "going to university would be a mistake, as I would just be following the crowd. It was more beneficial for me to apply to drama schools, where I would receive specialist training in the field I want to pursue."


Self-Education Shouldn't Stop. Ever!

People that get amazing results should feel so incredibly proud of themselves. However, those who do not achieve spectacular results should still be proud. A-levels exams are mentally and physically draining. They also do not encourage students to think outside the box enough.

On Thursday 16th August, students should remember to breathe and think carefully about what they want to achieve, and plan their next steps. For some, the route will be easier, but every journey is unique and is fuelled by persistence and having the strength to follow your heart.

It is also important to remember that learning is not exclusive to the education system. The joys, and even the hardships, of learning travel with everyone through the entirety of the lives. Education does not teach many fundamental principles that legends use to succeed in life, as we explore here via the Legends Report. These lessons shape people far more than any set of exams ever could.

To find out more about those core principles followed by legends, please follow this link 

If you would like any advice on this, please contact a mentor on our live chat below.


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