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Famous People Who Flunked in Exams!

Published by Austin M in Trivia
March 30th, 2010

Failure in exams should not bring you down. Take the example of these people who failed in exams and yet came to be known as the some of the greatest people in the world!

We have all faced exams at some point in our lives. Some of us do well and some don’t. But never let failure get in your way of success. Here are some examples of people who failed in test yet came to be some of the most important people in the world.

1) Albert Einstein: as a child, Einstein was dyslexic (he read letters backwards), and he showed little scholastic abilities. He left school at 15 with no diploma and poor grades in history, geography, and languages. At 16, when he first applied to the Polytechnic Institute in Zurich, Switzerland, he failed the entrance exam. Einstein grew up to become on the greatest theoretical physicists of all time, with one of the most creative intellects in human history.

2) Isaac Newton: A lackluster student, Newton graduated from Trinity College at Cambridge University without honors or distinction. Yet, Newton had one of the greatest scientific minds in history. All modern science and technology stem from his work.

3) Thomas Edison: The most famous inventor of all time went to school for only three months. After his teacher called the eight-year-old Edison “addled,” meaning that his mind was confused, his mother pulled him out of school and taught him at home. By the time he was nine, his experiments had gone far beyond his mother’s understanding. Among his more than 1,000 inventions were the electric bulb and phonograph, and he helped perfect motion pictures, the telephone, and the electric generator.

4) Benjamin Franklin: This famous American failed arithmetic as a boy. His father took Franklin out of school at age 10 and put him to work cutting wicks and melting tallow in the family’s candle and soap shop. Franklin grew up to serve his nation as a great statesman, scientist, and public leader.

5) Charles Darwin: Young Darwin did so badly at school that his father took him out, saying, “You care for nothing but shooting, dogs, and rat catching. You will be a disgrace to yourself and all yourself and all your family.” Afterwards, Darwin was sent to study medicine, which nauseated him. He was then sent to study for the ministry, but he spent his time with young sportsmen instead. Yet, Darwin grew up to revolutionize the science of biology.

6) Senator Edward M. Kennedy: The Massachusetts senator and one-time presidential candidate was suspended from Harvard University because a friend took an exam for him.

7) Sir Winston Churchill: Author, artist, statesman, and prime minister of England, Churchill failed the entrance exam for the Royal Military College not once, but twice

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  1. Posted March 30, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Interesting information about some famous people. I really loved the fact about Charles Darwin.

  2. Posted March 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Very impressive to include all of them! Especially Albert Einstein and Sir Churchill because a lot of people do know about their unintelligent past!

  3. Posted March 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    I also failed college. Thanks for giving me some hope.

  4. Posted March 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Weren’t there any famous women?

  5. Posted March 30, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    well, not really. I looked around but couldn’t find any :/

  6. Posted March 31, 2010 at 4:14 am

    Another name that should be added to the list: Rabindranath Tagore, the poet, the composer, the author, the philosopher, an educationist, Noble prize winner, and much more (not sure if you have heard his name?)

  7. Posted March 31, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Interesting collection. The trouble is that in the times when these men found success you could do that by prooving yourself, but things have changed and if you don’t have an education no one will even give you a start.

  8. Posted March 31, 2010 at 5:34 am

    You have to make your own start! These people achieved everything through their own effort. :)

    And yes I have heard of Rabindranath Tagore :o

  9. Posted March 31, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Nice idea for an article gives us all hope!!

  10. Posted March 31, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Who knew all of these people all struggled themselves at one point?

    Very inspirational!

  11. Posted March 31, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    This was a very interesting article, and look all those people were famous for something, test aren’t everything.

  12. Posted March 31, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    All those big names there will certainly give inspiration to many people. A little failure doesn’t matter in the end.

  13. Posted March 31, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    School is one system which teaches a person to unlearn unnecessary things learned.

  14. Posted March 31, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Very interesting, and this definitely boosted my self esteem a little.

  15. Posted March 31, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    First it was just the correct facts. Then people reworded them to make it sound better. Then people read the rewordings and made their own article. However, they took the rewordings wrong and made up information. It just builds imaginary information. This article is almost entirely false. -_-

  16. Posted March 31, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Society has a limited view as to what “smart” is. A lot of times the smartest kids are the ones who do worst at school.

    This is a good article. Inspires those of us who were “too cool for school.”

  17. Posted April 1, 2010 at 5:10 am

    see dis

  18. Posted April 1, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Great article! And a comment, I wonder what Israel would be like today if he took the offer of President of Israel. Of course we’ll never know, but it’s an interesting thought.

  19. Posted April 1, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Apparently there is more to intelligence than mere testing can verify.

  20. Posted April 1, 2010 at 3:30 pm


    I have added the link of your article to my social bookmarking site..

    Check if you want


  21. Posted April 1, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you for your support :)

  22. Posted April 2, 2010 at 3:51 am

    makes us feel less bad about the times we screwed up

  23. Posted April 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    I’ve flunked plenty of exams and am sure to be famous one of these days…haha Good article. Well done.

  24. Posted October 20, 2010 at 7:39 am

    i have failed in physics in this exam
    but i love physics the most
    why did it happen i dont know

  25. namkha
    Posted June 24, 2011 at 4:58 am

    i really appreciate their hard work and tireless afford to make this world a better place to live in with their far sighted thoughts and vision.
    it really inspires me a lot…

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