Oct 2016 / Blog

If you didn’t quite get the grades for GCSE English, English Language and Maths in August, then no doubt you will be taking exam re-sits this November. But remember, just because you fail an exam the first time around (or even the second or 100th time around for that matter) it doesn’t mean that you’re a failure.

All of us have taken some form of exams at some point in our lives and it’s a fact that some of us do well in exams and some of us don’t.

For those of us who don’t do well in exams, we know exactly how you’re feeling, so here’s our advice to you:

Remember that exams are not for everyone

It’s true. Everyone learns differently. Some like being tested on their knowledge and skill while others are more hands on and prefer to learn and demonstrate their understanding through practical application.

However there is no right or wrong way of learning. There are lots of people in life who have gone on to become extremely successful even without GCSEs. It’s no secret that our Managing Director Andrew Cooksley left school at the age of 16 with no qualifications. Seven years later, in 1988, he set up ACT Training, becoming one of Wales’s youngest managing directors in the process. 

His passion and vision meant that the company quickly expanded into the award-winning organisation it is today. Andrew is just one example, but we see hundreds of learners who join us with little or no qualifications who go on to develop successful careers via our vocational training programmes. So remember, just because you didn’t do well in your exams the first or second time around, does not mean you are not going to be successful in life.

Exams are not the be all and end all

Any exam, including a re-sit, is just an exam. The grades that you get simply indicate how well you displayed your knowledge of a subject within exam conditions. If you didn’t do as well as you hoped then don’t worry. Your life is not ruined and the world is definitely not going to end. Although you may be feeling stressed, nervous and anxious right now, just remember that exams are not the be all and end all.

If you happen to do well on your re-sits, well done. But if you don’t, don’t beat yourself up. There are millions of people with A*s these days, but very few have real life experience – which is something that employers really value in potential recruits. Instead of worrying about your grades, go out there and get some relevant work experience. A couple of months working on the job is more relevant to an employer than a certificate with a grade printed on it. If you are unsure of where to look for work experience, then get in touch with us. We can help you!

Don’t put extra pressure on yourself

Exams are renowned for creating unattainable expectations, anxieties and pressure for perfection. Pressure to do well, pressure to keep up with your classmates, pressure to get the grades to go to college and university etc. There will be plenty of people around you pressuring you to succeed the second time around, but be kind to yourself and don’t create any extra pressure for yourself.

This is easier said than done, but remember the simple fact that you have been given a second chance with a re-sit so make sure you learn from the mistakes you made in the first exam and try your best – that is all that is being asked of you.

Imagine how you will feel in 12 months time

In 12 months time you will have left school, your exams will be in be in past and you will have started a new chapter in your life – take a moment to think about how good you are going to feel. No matter what route you have decided to go down, academic or vocational, you will be too focused, engaged and excited about what you are doing at that moment in your life to give your exams a second thought.

Our advice to you at this moment in time is to think of the bigger picture. The next couple of days are just a very, very small moment of your life – you’ve got thousands of more days to enjoy and embrace once you have sat the exam.

Best of luck!