Here is an online version of Paul Speller’s column that first appeared in the Manx Advertiser.
The time of year beloved by students and teachers alike is almost upon us: A-level and GCSE results will be released shortly.
It’s just what 16 and 18-year-olds need during what for many will be their final six-week break, a massive amount of stress as they await the outcome of exams that will quite probably shape the next few years of their life.
There are many things that the students should bear in mind at this time and here are but a few.
- No matter how well you perform in your results, how hard you have studied, how much your teachers have worked with you, you can rest assured that during the week of the results, the media will be full of older people grumbling about how exams have become easier.
- These will probably be the same people who for years have been demanding better performance from schools – yet, when the schools actually manage that, prefer to claim it is down to a decline in difficulty levels.
- You will meet people like this throughout your life. It doesn’t get any less annoying, but you’ll learn to develop some fitting ripostes. In the meantime, you could try suggesting to people three times your age who are criticising how ‘easy’ exams have become that they may like to consider if there have been any major advances in educational resources in the past couple of decades; you know, like the internet.
- Don’t forget to ask all those aged and wise people exactly what grades they needed to get into the University of Life. Then ask why none of them went to the Polytechnic* of Life.
- Didn’t get the results you were hoping for? One word: re-sit.
*For the sake of the exam participants reading this, polytechnics existed before you were born and often dealt with more technical and vocational courses than many of the universities. But then it was decided to call all of them universities, to make it that little bit harder to determine which was the best educational establishment for your needs.
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