21 Successful People Who Didn’t Get Good A-Levels


mrw test today failed

So you didn’t get a perfect set of A Level results…

It feels a bit crappy, doesn’t it? Especially when all the A* smug brainy face people are out celebrating and posting a 500 word long Facebook status that reads a god damn Oscar speech.

We’re not going to deny that getting lower grades than you expected sucks. It’s disappointing to feel like you didn’t achieve a goal that you worked hard for.

But, at the same time we’re not going to let you wallow in your own self pity or drink the disappointment away. It’s not the end of the world.

Now, I know, I know, I know you’ve probably heard that a thousand times today and it doesn’t make you feel any better at all. But seriously, hear us out; missing out on the results you wanted, does not mean you’re condemned to fail everything and live under a bridge for the rest of your life.

You might not be on the path you expected, but you could be on a better one. You may not be getting to do the university degree wanted, but you could have dodged a mighty bullet. Remember that there are different routes to the same destination. So even if you have your heart set on a specific career, this just means you have to find another way to get there. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

And if that ‘reach for the stars, you can do anything’ speech didn’t work, you don’t have to take our word for it. Take a look below at this pretty impressive list of rich and successful people who got rubbish A Level results. These guys might just convince you that everything is going to be ay-ok, if you refuse to let this little blip define you.

1. Carey Mulligan

Rejected from every drama school she applied to. Poor Carey.

carey mulligan language far from the madding crowd woman women

2. John Snow, Channel 4 Newsreader – not the guy from Game of Thrones

Got a C, an E and a D in his A Levels. He’s probably still crying about it.

3. Prince Harry

Got a D in Georgraphy, which hugely impacted how his life turned out.

kate middleton usain bolt prince william prince harry royaltyedit

4.  Lorraine Candy

The editor of Elle magazine dropped out of school at 16 to get a job at her local paper and begin her journalistic career. What a mistake that was.

Image result for Lorraine Candy

5. Benedict Cumberbatch

Once said: “I did sort of blow my GCSEs out of the water. I couldn’t believe it and neither could my teachers. And then there was a lot of pressure on me to achieve an Oxbridge level of brilliance at A-levels. But then adolescence came late and I discovered girls, pot and all sorts of other things, so I got a bit lazy. That stagnated my growth a bit as far as being academic.”

drinking benedict cumberbatch oscars 2015 go away flask

6. Clare Balding

Got poor grades in History and Latin, so took two years out and then went to Cambridge.

Image result for Clare Balding

7.  J.K Rowling

Despite wanting to go the Oxford to study languages. poor wee Rowling didn’t get in.

harry potter jk rowling

8. Jeremy Clarkson

Tweeted today: “If your A Level results aren’t great be cheered by the fact that I got a C and two Us. And I’m currently sitting in a villa in St Tropez.”

top gear jeremy clarkson 07x06

9. Mark Kermode

Film critic Mark Kermode tweeted: “Good luck to everyone getting A Level results tomorrow. Mine were rubbish.”

Image result for mark kermode GIF

10. David Milliband 

Despite getting a D in Physics, David Milliband went on to have a very successful brother – sorry, I mean political career…

Image result for David Miliband

11. Chris Moyles 

On A Level results day 2014, he tweeted: “Here’s the deal, bad results, you can try again. Really bad results you can become a DJ.”

Image result for Chris Moyles

12. Ben Fogle 

Last year, he tweeted: “For those getting their A Level results today. I got an N in my economics. Don’t despair. It’s what you do with your results that matter.”

Image result for Ben Fogle

13. Russell Brand 

Despite having a wizard-like vocabulary and penchant for words, Brand doesn’t have a university degree or even an A Level to his name. However, ironically, he has been included as a point of study in the A Level English Syllabus.

russell brand russell mine russell brands ponderland

14. Tinie Tempah  

Mr Tempah didn’t go to uni and started selling double glazing instead. I think he’s doing a different job now though.

cara delevingne the graham norton show tinie tempah

15. Declan Curry

The BBC journalist needed an A and two Bs to get into university but got a ‘tremendous shock’ as he put it, when he received his results. Despite appealing the grades, he still didn’t get accepted and decided to resit sixth year and try again.

Image result for Declan Curry

16. Sarah Millican 

“To A level students getting their results today: much luck to you. But if you don’t get what you need, it isn’t the end of the world: You can always resit. Yes, good exam results are useful but not the be all and end all. (I got 2 Ds and an E) Take care.Hugs and love.”

millican

17. Richard Branson 

This high flying gazillionaire doesn’t even have a qualification to his name. In fact, he dropped out of boarding school age 16. He worked his way to the top and has some pretty solid advice for today’s youths. He says: “Young people need empowerment and encouragement, not sleepless nights worrying about hitting their exam targets. They need to learn to take risks and not to be afraid of failure. Failure is part of life, especially in business. The key is to learn from it.” Preach.

18. Simon Cowell 

People always tell you that you need English, Maths and Science GCSEs to do anything in life. Simon Cowell left school with just three O Levels and we think he’ll get by alright.

facepalm memories ally brooke simon cowell x-factor

19. Guy Ritchie 

Guy got expelled from school age 15 and without any qualifications, he took a series of low-level jobs to tide him over. He then went on to become one of the most successful ex husbands of Madonna.

Image result for guy ritchie

20. Dr Mark Lythgoe 

Dr Lythgoe’s parents actually CRIED when he received his A Level results – three Fs and an E in physics. Nevertheless, Mark worked his arse off and is now one of world’s leading neurophysiologists. (Doesn’t that sound fancy?) He once said: “Over the years my sense of failure was my closest friend. I never doubted my abilities but, at moments of darkness when I’ve struggled academically, it’s the thing that’s got me up in the morning. When I gained my PhD at the age of 37, it was one of the happiest days of my life.”

Image result for Mark Lythgoe 

21. Alan Sugar 

Proof that only having one GCSE can not stop you from become stinking rich and famous.


Heading to uni this September?

Find out how Uni Baggage can make your life easier!

girlluggage

Learn more:

What To Take To Uni – The ULTIMATE Checklist

International Student Shipping

The following two tabs change content below.

Lana

Digital Marketing Manager at Uni Baggage
I'm the blog editor for Uni Baggage! I write about university life and all things student related.