A-Level results 2016: Sir Richard Branson reminds students grades are not everything

'You won’t necessarily reach success because you failed exams but you can reach success in spite of failed exams.'

Olivia Blair@livblair
Thursday 18 August 2016 16:00
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Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson

For any students disappointed with their A-level grades, one of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs wants to reassure you grades are not the be all and end all.

Sir Richard Branson famously left school without any qualifications and went on to launch the Virgin group which has since expanded to an umbrella of more than 100 companies and 60,000 employees worldwide garnering him a wealth of $5 billion (£3.8billion).

In a piece entitled: ‘The Alphabet runs A-Z not A-C’ on his blog, Sir Richard says the key to success isn’t necessarily grades but applying strengths and focusing on goals.

“My suggestion is to not get too caught up in grades and concentrate on goals,” he writes. “Some people point rightly to the likes of Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Sir Winston Churchill and Bill Gates and note that they all failed exams. They all went on to achieve great things.

“But they also applied themselves and found the areas where their strengths were. You won’t necessarily reach success because you failed exams but you can reach success in spite of failed exams.”

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The 66-year old also encouraged students to travel, see more of the world and experience new things in order to find out what it is you want to do in life.

“If you didn’t get the results you were hoping for, don’t despair,” Sir Richard wrote. “There is lots more to be learned from failure than success, and if you have the will to succeed, not having a paper with A,B or C written on it isn’t going to hold you back.”

This year the number of students achieving the highest grades at A-levels fell but the overall pass rate remained the same. However, early Ucas figures show a record number of A-level students gaining university places.

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