What A-Level results did stars like Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Smith get?

And do A-Levels matter anyway? We also look at successful stars who have none…

What A-Level results did stars like Benedict Cumberbatch and Matt Smith get?
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If you're of a certain age (or a newspaper photographer), then today is only about one thing: A-Level results. Whether you got the results you desired or not, though, you should seek solace, inspiration and bragging rights from these successful stars – those who either aced their results, flopped them or didn't even take their A-Levels at all. 

Stars like… 

Emma Watson

The Harry Potter actress took her A-Levels at the same time as shooting the film franchise. Impressively, she managed to get three As, in A-Level English literature, geography and art. Swotty Hermione Granger would be proud, although we suspect someone might have been using a Time Turner… 

Tom Daley 

The Olympic swimmer and Splash! presenter dived into his A-Levels, to emerge with a A* in photography and A grades in both Spanish and maths, before going on to earn a bronze medal in the London 2012 Olympics.

Benedict Cumberbatch

Didn't do that well in your A-Levels? Were you distracted by the new-found hedonistic delights? You're in good company. Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch once told Metro, "I did sort of blow my GCSEs out of the water. I couldn’t believe it and neither could my teachers. And then there was a lot of pressure on me to achieve an Oxbridge level of brilliance at A-levels. But then adolescence came late and I discovered girls, pot and all sorts of other things, so I got a bit lazy. That stagnated my growth a bit as far as being academic."

Prince William 

Obviously a big fan of the Jackson 5, the future king of England achieved an A, B and C in this respective A-Levels of geography, art and biology...

Kate Middleton

...while his wife, Kate Middleton, beat him with As in maths and art, and a B in English. 

Matt Smith

Although it's not exactly clear what A-Levels the 11th Doctor took at school and what he got in them, he has revealed that he has nine GCSEs and four A-levels, two of which are definitely psychology and drama. He also once gave students the advice of, “exams just tell you how good you are at passing exams.”

Jenna Coleman 

Like Smith, it's unclear how many subjects Coleman studied or what they were but it is known that she got straight As in her A-Levels. She skipped the chance to go to university (which she says she regrets) to take a role in Emmerdale (which she doesn't regret).

The Doctor 

While it's impossible to know the Doctor's exact A-Level grades (did they have A-Levels at the Time Lord academy?), Peter Capaldi has helpfully given us a gist of what they might be with this report card. You'll note that he scored an A* in Dalek fighting, but had room for improvement when it comes to manners. 

Jon Snow 

You would think that the Channel 4 journalist would have had no problem getting the grades he wanted, but you'd be wrong. Snow managed just one A Level at his first go, a grade C in English language, as he failed geography and biology. He then switched to a college in Scarborough in which he managed to get grades in economics and law, good enough to, as he once said, "scrape a place reading law at the University of Liverpool."

Lily Cole

The model and Doctor Who guest star shows that she's no Zoolander; having got straight As in English, politics, drama, history & philosophy and ethics. 

And then there are those who made it with no A-Levels at all… 

Alan Sugar

Not only does the star of The Apprentice not have any A-Levels, he only has one GCSE. Instead of education, Sugar chose the practical route of fighting his way to the top from a sales assistant in a green grocer to the head of a global trading business. He is now said to be worth £770million.

Simon Cowell

The X Factor mogul dropped out of school after his GCSEs (or O-levels as they were known back then) and got a job in the mail room of EMI. We wonder how that worked out for him?

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

The Girls Aloud singer and X Factor judge left school with nothing to show for it. She would eventually, of course, go on to audition on the ITV talent show Popstars: The Rivals, where her life changed forever.

Richard Branson

The Virgin tycoon's education suffered due to his difficulties with dyslexia. He left school at 16 and moved to London, where he ran his first successful business, a magazine called Student. He then set up a record mail-order business in 1970. In 1971, he opened a chain of record stores, known as Virgin Megastores. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Joey Essex

Probably not the most inspiring person on this list, but The Only Way Is Essex star is proof that great things can happen out of the blue to the nice but dim. It's just all about grabbing those chances when they arise. Essex left school with a U in drama and a D in wood tech at GCSE. Now, though, the reality star runs his own fashion line and a successful boutique store. Who'd've thought it? Probably not his teachers, that's for sure...