books and tablet in a classroom books and tablet in a classroom

10 Things that Standard Exams Don't Measure


10 Things that Standard Exams Don't Measure

31 May 2023


by aparto student

aparto student

While exams can be really important, it’s also good to remember that they are not the only measure of success. Whether you’re preparing to sit an exam, are waiting for exam results, or you’ve already received your results, it can be helpful to consider that your exam scores don’t define you. There are plenty of amazing qualities you have that standard exams don’t measure. We’ve asked a group of teens preparing for their exams about some of these qualities they appreciate in themselves.


10 important things that standard exams don’t measure

We asked a group of teens about the things that their upcoming exams don’t measure.

*All names are pseudonyms


1. Resilience*

“A few years ago, I was fleeing my home country with my family because of war. So while these exams are so important in some ways, they definitely don’t measure just how far I’ve come, and how resilient I’ve had to be. If I think about my journey so far, I think I can do just about anything.” – Hamza

*Resilience is the ability to adapt to difficult situations.


2. Humour

“My friends say I make them laugh, and I know I’m definitely the funny one in my friendship group. It’s a skill that I know will help me make friends wherever I end up in life.” – Kai

two young women laughing together

3. Curiosity

“I really enjoy learning new things, and finding weird and wonderful facts about random things. I hope it’s a skill I never lose.” – Lara


4. Kindness

“I love doing things for others, and while my upcoming exams are testing my knowledge on certain subjects, I actually want to do something where being kind is valued. I’d love to be a carer, or a nurse. Hopefully that’s where my future will be.” – Lorenzo

be kind message with carnations

5. Practical skills

“Standard sit down exams aren’t really for me, if I’m honest. But I do have really valuable practical skills that I know are just as important.” – Siti


6. Courage

“I’ve experienced a lot in my life over the past few years. Some days I didn’t know how I would cope, but somehow I did, and I’m still here and feeling more hopeful than ever. My teacher said the other day how brave I am. I didn’t really consider it until he pointed it out, but now I’m feeling quite proud of myself. In some ways, I don’t actually care what my results are.” – Femi

Young woman climbing a cliff

7. Determination

“I came to the UK hardly speaking English, and I was determined to learn even though it was really hard, and I was scared. Five years later, I’m fluent in English, and I’m actually sitting my exams. It’s more than I ever imagined.” – Farhad


8. Creativity

“I’ve always doubted myself, and considered myself to be not as smart as my friends. But that’s because I was comparing myself to their skills. They’re all super academic, and that’s not really me. I’ve discovered that actually I’m pretty creative, and I’m good at art, music, and drama, rather than the things my friends are good at. We all have different skills, I just didn’t consider mine to be that valuable for a while.” – Tayo

blue pencils on coloured paper

9. Compassion

“I know that being there for others is something that isn’t graded, but I know that I’m good at it. It’s something I do without thinking too much about it. I look out for my friends and family all the time and know how much they appreciate me. It makes me feel good about myself, too.” – Jonny


10. Work ethic

“I have worked so hard, and hope it pays off. But whatever my results, I know that having a good work ethic will be really helpful at university, and when I eventually get a job, too.” – Hanna

However you’re feeling about your exams, the Kooth team are right here alongside you. You can talk to one of our team about anything at all by heading to your Kooth student account. Links to the aparto x kooth platform can be found in your residence Facebook group.

aparto student

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