Dyslexia and exams

Many dyslexics dread exam results time. Education systems typically measure success by how accurately students regurgitate facts in a test, and most dyslexics aren't great at this – I certainly wasn’t! 

For those who did well in their exams this year, congratulations! For those who didn’t, I promise you that there is a lot to remain positive about.

I'd probably fail school exams if I took them today. Remembering loads of facts and figures, and getting them on paper quickly has always been a nightmare for me. But exams don't measure skills like reasoning, exploring, communicating and positively influencing - essential skills that the world needs.

Dyslexics naturally excel at these ways of thinking, so we should value and celebrate this, instead of seeing ourselves as failures because we don't fit into the exam culture. My dyslexia has given me a massive advantage in life. It has helped me to think creatively and laterally, and to simplify things, which has been a huge asset when building our Virgin businesses. 

I’m blessed to have had parents that encouraged me to follow my passion and talents. They allowed me to leave school at 16 years old to start my own business, because they recognised that I was at my best when I could do things my way. Find out more about my school days in my interview with Made By Dyslexia below. 

I’m not suggesting students should drop out of school; I’m advocating for all people – not just dyslexics – to find their passions, and then work hard to become really good at it... that is what all of these amazing dyslexic minds did, and look what they have achieved. 

Whether you got the grades you wanted or not, if you do what you love and what you are naturally good at, it will take you far in life. It certainly has for me. 

Take the Dyslexic Thinking Skills on Made By Dyslexia's blog.

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