The Importance of Exams

As brilliantly talented as you might be, in the eyes of the rest of the world you are decidedly not very special. Get used to it. The vast majority of candidates for universities and jobs are judged and filtered entirely by their exam performance. You are no exception. If you don't get the grades, you won't even get a chance to show what you can do.

But why is everyone so obsessed with exam results?

Companies and universities are overwhelmed with more applications than they can handle. They can typically only afford to give yours a few seconds' attention. How else do you expect them to judge you in that amount of time?

A great set of exam results is one of the strongest credentials you can have because in so many cases it is the only key to the doors you want to open.

"Wait!" you say, "There are many successful people out there who performed terribly in their exams! How can exams matter that much?"

This is a very common argument, but it is misguided. It is indeed true that some remarkably successful individuals have triumphed despite remarkably unsuccessful exam performance. But in recognising such people, you must also recognise that countless others who performed badly in exams have got nowhere in life. Unsurprisingly, you only hear the success stories.

It may seem unfair that such a narrow slice of experience as your exam performance will have such a drastic impact on the outcome of the rest of your life. However, we are not here to debate what is fair. That won’t get you anywhere. We are here to respond to what is.