How Important Are Exams And Qualifications?

However you do in exams, you’ll have plenty of options to explore. Even so, knowing WHY it’s worth revising for exams might help you get motivated. And you can get exam-free qualifications too!


How Important Are Exams?

Exams aren’t the only measure of success.

You have lots of great qualities to focus on in life, not just exam grades. But it’s always important to do as well as you can. You don’t have to get the highest grade possible to feel the glowing satisfaction of “I gave it my best shot”.

Got exam fear? They’ll be over soon.

You won’t get many exams in life, so it makes sense to give them all you’ve got when they turn up. There’s lots of effort involved but they’ll be over soon and then you can forget about them.

When you prepare for exams you’ll build powerful skills for life.

You’ll be getting to grips with skills like self-management, initiative and organisation. Every time you do some revision even when you don’t feel like it, you’re building self-belief skills like resilience (dealing with life’s hard knocks) and having a positive attitude.

These are all life skills that will help you live the kind of life you really want to live. They’re nothing to do with exams, and everything to do with who you are and what you want from your future, wherever it takes you.

Even if your circumstances are tough (because real life can be tough) you’ll know you did your best in exams, and that’s what matters.

You’ll get even more options to choose from after exams.

Getting the best results you can opens you up to even more options to choose from after your exams. If you didn’t get the results you wanted there are still lots of next steps available to you, including exam resits or earn-while-you-learn opportunities like apprenticeships. Getting the results you hoped for just makes next steps like university UCAS applications a bit easier.

You don’t know what the future holds. So it makes sense to try your best.

Do you really, truly know what the future holds? If you do, great – you could make a lot of money out of such an amazing skills. For most of us, thinking about the future involves a bit of gut instinct, a bit of guesswork and keeping an open mind.

The subject you found hardest to revise for could turn out to be really useful in a future career you’ll love – even if you haven’t thought about it as a good career for you yet.

Revise as well as you can for all your subjects, and you could put yourself in a good spot for all kinds of dream careers.

Doors will open for you whatever your exam results are…

“Dollar” Bill Gates (the Microsoft multi billionaire) once said “I failed my exams in some subjects and my friend passed. Now he’s an engineer at Microsoft and I’m its owner.” They are probably both pretty happy with how life turned out.


How important are qualifications?

Qualifications are useful because they make your life skills visible.

That qualification is a bit of proof that you have had the grit and determination to stick out a long project, and you have applied all kinds of life skills (from aiming high to staying positive) in order to complete the course and achieve that qualification. There are other ways to prove you have these skills – but a qualification is useful because all employers can understand what it means qualification means.

It’s often the life skills that employers are most interested in. That’s why your marketing degree could get you a job in journalism or sales. The qualification suggests your literacy skills and life skills are of a level the employers are looking for.

Qualifications show your knowledge and skills building in a specialist subject.

If you achieve a qualification in a specialist subject like engineering, employers know you have developed not just the life skills but also the concrete knowledge they need to offer you the job.

Qualifications are proof of your literacy skills.

To achieve many qualifications you will need to do written assignments. Employers will know your literacy skills are of a level that you will feel confident in doing things like writing reports or emails that represent the quality of the organisation.


If exams or qualifications are a problem, there’s always a solution.

If you don’t like exams?

Maybe you feel extreme exam pressure or are not confident in taking them. You have to be in some form of education or study until you are 18, but you have options like taking a non exam-based qualification course (like BTECs). Once you’re of age you can build all the skills and experience you need through doing jobs and getting involved in the world of work. If you don’t pass your English and Maths exams, you have plenty of options to boost your literacy and numeracy skills to get the qualifications you need – or you can find employment that doesn’t require them. Many traineeships can help you get the literary and numeracy skills and qualifications you might need.

If you don’t have a certain qualification?

Many roles let you do a rewarding job without needing a particular qualification. You have other options, like studying for a qualification part-time as you work part-time. You can do online courses or college courses to get the qualifications you really want at your own pace. Earn-while-you-learn options like traineeships and apprenticeships enable you to study for a qualification AND work, so you can have the best of both worlds. There are even degree apprenticeships, so that you can work AND study for a degree without going to university or paying any student fees, with no student loans to repay.


Approach your future with confidence, whichever path you choose. Exams and qualifications don’t have to hold you back from a goal you really want in life.

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