Failure Thread

Inspired by @imaperv 's driving test thread.

What have you failed? I’ve actually only experienced formal failure once: I failed my FPC1 (basic level financial planning certificate). I was in a job I hated and was put forward for a vocational qualification that I wasn’t interested in. I’d just started going out with Mrs CCB and I’d been away visiting friends in Slovakia and so I’d barely revised. Still, it really smarted, and I was determined not to fail on my re-take.

I’m sure you’ve got better / funnier tales of failure than this one. Let’s keep this SSP. And in the meantime: WHYYYY HAVE I ALWAYS BEEN A FAILUUUUURE?

two driving tests, many many university exams and an AS Level.

I’ve never failed anything*. the key is making sure you never attempt anything remotely difficult.

*that I can remember



failed cycling up stuff before but they have since been CONQUERED.

In ascending chronological order:

  • Grade 4 violin
  • one driving practical test
  • one driving theory test

Passed loads and loads of exams at school and uni and got all my professional qualifications on the first attempt despite some of those papers having a 35-45% average pass rate because I’m really really clever and generally brilliant. No, YOU’re pathetically needy and insecure.

Obviously I’m no Dr. Epimer but I was top of my class at school, got straight As at A Level and a first at uni. So it was a bit shit to fail an exam which was around an NVQ Level 2.

I don’t know what that means because I’m so very, very clever and astonishingly academically gifted that I don’t know anything about vocational qualifications.


Quite a few job interviews I suppose.

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One particular AS Level Economics paper.

I got a B, overall, which was crushing in itself, but when we got a better breakdown, it turned out I’d got As on three of the papers, and a D on the fourth. Weirdly, my mate Dave had exactly the same result.

Our teachers queried it with the exam board since it seemed unlikely, but they ultimately found that there was no issue with the paper or anything. I can only conclude that we were spectacularly mistaught one vital section, which wouldn’t be a surprise, given the teachers.

I completely wankballsed’up my first year of A Levels. Public school, became a right cocky little shit, thought knew it all and fell flat on my arse. Took some time out, did some simple crap for a year so I didn’t get booted out, then went and smashed it. Was so humiliating at the time. Pulled it all together though!

I’m imagining now that there is some fundamental bit of economics that you have a misunderstanding of that you’ve carried into adult life because of this, and it’s going to surface at the worst possible time.

My AS Level history exam went so badly that I turned an A from my coursework into an overall E, got in there, realised I knew nothing about the Russian Revolution, desperately searched through the paper to see if there was anything I knew about that was on the syllabus for other schools, found that there wasn’t so wrote half a side of A4 on a king who it turned out didn’t exist in three hours.

Tsar, mate. They had tsars.

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failed a minor module at uni at the end of a year that i only needed a pass for, in relation to my overall grades.
i could not be arsed so tried to pass with as little effort as possible, whilst still adhering to the framework. turns out it was just a fraction too little effort (was a mark or two short of passing). spent another fifteen minutes on it and got my 40%.

so near…


Had this happen at school with German A-level. There was one paper that me and most of the class took multiple times and never improved our bad grade on, and this grammar thing that seemed really complicated and mysterious and we could never get right.

The next year, the school had an inspection and it turned out our teacher couldn’t actually speak German very well, and she got fired. I was doing German classes at uni at the same time, and they completely covered the “difficult” and “mysterious” grammar point in a half hour summary.

I say it all in this video


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Classic Dave

Asking a girl out straight