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Kissing! That's what matters
I CALCULATE that, so far, I have sat through at least 60 exams.
I’m only 25 – it’s not right.
My generation – Generation Exam – now seem to be examined from the moment we can walk.
If it carries on like this it won’t be long before all newborns are drafted straight from the womb into testing centres.
Hundreds of babies, sat behind tiny wonky desks in sweaty sports halls, analysed on their ability to cry, sleep and throw up.
I feel bad for current teenagers. They might be spoilt rotten and toting more gadgetry than R2D2 but, when it comes to the April to July season of panic, the poor mites must walk academic hot coals and jump through hoop after burning hoop.
I think constant gradings kill off brilliant students. They suck the joy out of school and, once you’ve become accustomed to a life marked out of 100, it’s hard to go on to think up your own ideas.
I’m not bitter – these are the thoughts of a true swot. I got nine A*s and 2 As at GCSE, 5 As at A level and a First at university.
Am I a genius? No. I regularly lose my keys, I trip over my shoes, some days I can’t work out the right change for the bus. I just learnt the dull zombie format.
I revised, I used past papers to highlight questions I didn’t understand and I put myself through hideous fake exams so the real thing didn’t seem so bad.
If my parents had pushed me, I think all this grading would have turned me into a robot.
I’m grateful my folks weren’t like that. My Mum told me: ‘No one dies if you fail,’ and advised me to get some decent biscuits. My dad bought me series one of The Clangers on DVD. Their message was try, but don’t worry.
That’s my advice too. And remember your next boyfriend won’t care what you got in your French GCSE. French kissing, maybe, but French verbs, probably not.
Exams are are a test of your ability to survive – but the real test is if you can survive with your personality intact.
It doesn’t take a genius to work that out.