17 people who flunked their exams and still achieved great things in life

Because everything's still to play for

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If you've walked out of an exam recently and felt like your life is literally over, you should know that even the biggest, most successful people out there have failed at something. Here are a load of famous names that have won at a life despite failing at school. 

1. Steven Spielberg

The director/producer of Jurassic Park, E.T, Jaws, Indiana Jones and loads more, wasn't always top of the class. Infact, he was rejected from the University of Southern California School of Theater, Film and Television THREE times. 

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2. Simon Cowell

He's the biggest name in showbiz, but Simon doesn't exactly have a degree in Music Management, leaving school with just two O-levels in English Language and Literature. After floating between jobs for a while, he applied for the position of mailroom clerk at EMI Music Publishing and worked his way up.

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3. Bill Gates

Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard University to set up a business called Traf-O-Data that totally bombed. Luckily, he picked himself up and set up a little company called Microsoft. Yep, you might've heard of it.

4. Walt Disney

He hated school so much he once wrote a letter to principal saying he was "disgusted" by it. Later on in life, he was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." It was only after several of his businesses ended in bankruptcy and failure,that a mouse called Mickey walked in and changed everything.

5. Lord Alan Sugar

He grew up in a council flat and dropped out of school at the age of 16 to sell car aerials and electrical goods out of a van he bought for £50. He's now A LORD.

6. Johnny Depp

He dropped out of school when he was 15, and fronted a series of music-garage bands, including one named 'The Kid'. He moved to LA at age 20 to become the famous actor he is now.

7. Eminem

Eminem had a pretty tough time as a kid - once getting beaten up so badly he was in hospital for a week. He ended up spending three years in ninth grade due to poor grades and truancy, and eventually dropped out age 17.

8. Albert Einstein

Einstein didn't speak until he was four and didn't read until he was seven, which led a lot of his teachers to believe he was mentally handicapped. He was later expelled from school and refused entry to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

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9. Winston Churchill

Shock horror: Winston Churchill, Britain's most famous and most successful prime-minister actually FAILED the sixth grade. This pattern continued through most of his life - as he was defeated in every election for public office until eventually becomining PM at the age of 62.

10. Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard to concentrate on his internet creation, Facebook. The initial site was actually launched from his college dormroom.

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11. John Lennon

He was expelled from college, so he decided to join a small band. Called The Beatles. 

12. Stephen King

His very first book, Carrie, was rejected by publishers THIRTY TIMES. It was only after his wife encouraged him to re-submit it, that it was finally accepted. 

13. Richard Branson

He left school at 16 to set up a record store, and ever since, he's always encouraged teens to test their limits outside of formal education. 

14. Ang Lee

The director of Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi was expected to pass Taiwan's college entrance exam as a teen, but, to the disappointment of his father, failed twice. He later enrolled at the National Arts School, instead.

15. Isaac Newton

He wasn't particularly great as a student. Infact, he graduated from Trinity College at Cambridge University WITHOUT honors or distinction - which he clearly made up for later on.

16. Thomas Edison

Like Einstein, teachers didn't think 8 year-old Thomas was anything special, calling him "addled," which led to his mother pulling him out of school to teach him herself.

17. Charles Darwin

He was an easily distracted student as a kid, with his own father once telling him: "You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat catching. You will be a disgrace to yourself and all yourself and all your family."

Not so, Darwin Sr.

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