Based largely on academic achievement - and often neglecting the sacrifices and consequences, home commitments and extra-curricular ones, the person and people behind the grade and the figures - we place our lives in the superior knowledge of a white piece of paper.
That in fact Maths and English is not everyone's cup of tea, and making it compulsory is very stressful. We don't make it compulsory to take music exams over and over nor do we make it essential to be good at sport or business.
Schools consistently tell you about increasing standards in exam results and the need to raise the bar even higher, in turn creating more pressure for students in the long run.
Young people need to be aware of all the options this results day, not just the college and university route. Already statistics have shown that the value of higher education may be in question. So why do we keep pushing young people down this path? We need careers advisors who have actually had careers and teachers who have actually had professional experience to be in our classrooms.
The focus is always on A Level results day. The positives - those students achieving 3 A*s or more, the equally successful twins, and how high they can all jump for joy. Or the negatives - what to do if things don't go too well, or how to get through clearing.
Teachers do an incredible job, but inevitably if you are teaching a class of 30 you cannot give them the same attention as you can in a 1:1 session. Working with schools, volunteers can play a vital role in equipping pupils to achieve those crucial grades that will enable them to progress to further education, employment or training; narrowing the attainment gap and ensuring a bright future for all regardless of background.
Getting your GCSE results can feel like a life changing moment. I remember just how nervous I felt when I collected my equivalent results around thirty five years ago. It can be a time of jubilation or disappointment, as not everyone gets the grades they'd hoped for.
The cultural fixation with high achievement and failure to acknowledge the damaging consequences which such an unhealthy obsession yields for children, is a damning indictment of parenting in sections of the British Asian community.
Stress and anxiety about exams can have a big impact on young people's mental health. It can trigger anxiety attacks, depression, tearfulness and even eating disorders. All this can ultimately affect exam performance. In some cases it can lead to self-harm and suicidal feelings.
With exam season fast approaching, it can be a exhausting and pressurising period for many students. A period of time where health ranks lower than that essay due next week, but here are some easy and manageable ways to keep your mental health in check to stay on top of your academic game this exam season...