Not a lot actually – well it’s not like you can run the country with a politics A-Level.

The common examples include Richard Branson and Bill Gates, people who did not do exceptionally during their school years but are now at the top of the world’s rich lists. Sure, not everyone will be as successful or as rich as these two common examples but it does still prove a point, that point being that exam results do not really mean that much at all.

With A-Level and GCSE results day only a couple of weeks away and the nerves of thousands of students growing across the UK, it does seem a good time to consider just what the bits of paper that are given to nervous teenagers every year actually represent about their intelligence and ability.

One of the main focuses of the UK Youth Parliament over the past couple of years has been the ‘Curriculum for Life’ initiative, focusing on introducing to schools, as the title suggests, a curriculum that teaches the necessary skills needed for life.

The simple fact is when school ends we all go into life, we do not go into an exam hall. As someone who completed my A-Levels last summer, I very much felt that the last two years of my school life had been spent becoming prepared to remember as much as I can about a particular topic to write down in an hour or two on some paper in an exam.

So what does that exam grade on the bit of paper that students will soon be getting actually mean? Some students will naturally do better and some worse, or in other words, some will remember more and some will remember less.

On the other hand, that grade does also in some instances mean a lot, it is that single letter that universities use to decide upon your future; that single letter that basically shows how good you are at remembering.

You may sit an economics exam in which you will try to remember from memory all the formulas and calculations you have been given over the past year, to answer a question or two. But if you wanted to become an accountant for a company or a wealthy individual, you would probably struggle to get much business if you were advising them from memory.

You may choose to take politics and learn about the history of the UK’s or the US’ political system, you may also simply have a bad day in the exam and not do so well, but that should not be taken as a sign that you would never be good at politics, if anything it would show you are human. You can not run a country with a politics A-Level.

In the end, an exam result is not an important thing, once you have a degree it is unlikely that your school record will ever be looked at, and if you are someone who does not take the route of university then experience will always be more valuable than a grade.

The only problem is that in the beginning that exam result does matter, though it is something that shouldn’t. Education should be there to help prepare you for life, teach you things that will actually be useful to you instead of just getting you to repeat the same thing year after year that it becomes so boring you choose to forget it by results day anyway.

One day there may be a change in the education system, with the world advancing quicker than ever before there will become the need to change the way we learn and what we learn.

The facts of today though are that life is about learning and developing, if everyone followed life by the textbook nothing new would ever come about. So if you are a student who has just got their results and they are not as good as you hoped, don’t let it matter so much, it shouldn’t.

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