This Is How Far John Lennon Got In School

It's not enough for some Beatles fans to simply claim their allegiance to the legendary group, they must also pick their favorite member of the four-piece — Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, or John Lennon. For this reason, each Beatle picked up a nickname of sorts, reflecting their persona within the group. Per NPR, Paul was the "cute" Beatle, Ringo, the "funny" Beatle, and George, the "quiet" Beatle. Which left John, tagged as the "smart" Beatle.

But just how smart was John Lennon? Born in Liverpool in 1940, the academic records of John Lennon, including how far he got in school, reveal that while Lennon was clearly an intelligent person and musically gifted, he was not an especially bookish type. Neither was he particularly well suited for the world of formal education. Based on his performance, in fact, an early schoolmaster of the future superstar even predicted Lennon would never go to traditional college at all, but instead, pursue another educational path better suited for his skills and disposition, via Biography.

John Lennon dropped out of art school

According to Biography, John Lennon was a mischievous student who seemed to bait trouble wherever he could find it. He also drew the ire of teachers and schoolmasters with controversial drawings. Lennon's patchy school performance is even reflected in one of the songwriter's early report cards, via Dusty Old Thing. Feedback on the report calls Lennon "an intelligent boy who could do very much better with a little concentration," and "on the road to failure." Interestingly, one of the only few positive notes in the report came from his art teacher, offering only "Good work this term." 

Based on that, one of Lennon's schoolmasters encouraged him to enroll in the Liverpool College of Art. Lennon only just made it in based on test scores, according to Beatles Bible. Even then, Lennon's academic performance suffered, and he dropped out in his final year to focus on The Beatles. From poor grades to no college diploma, Lennon nevertheless became one of the most well-regarded and influential artists of his generation, proving that there are better measures of intelligence than how well someone does in school.