I’ve been waiting, since May the 12th, for the fact I’m doing my GCSEs to settle in. (I’m hoping its like the emotion equivalent of buses- you know how you wait for one and then three come along at once- I’ll just wake up tomorrow and suddenly be overcome with feelings.) Because right now I simply don’t feel like my GCSEs have been all that they’ve been built up to be for the past 11 years (no biggie or anything) of my school career; the class of 2015 has almost conquered the lengthy trek up exam mountain and our biggest struggle has been getting rid of finger dents from writing so much. Where’s the frostbite? Where’s the severe altitude sickness? Where’s the dramatic cliffhanger when someone is literally cliff hanging and needs Ben Fogle (my stunt double) to swoop in and save them from death? Instead we’ve got some chewed penlids and twitter uproar over Jane and her blady Edexcel sweets. In homage to the underwhelming nature of the exams so far, I thought we should discuss the THINGS THEY NEVER TELL YOU ABOUT EXAMS (or as I like to call them, GCSEcrets)
Revision You’ll decide that the week before your first one is a great time to start the Game of Thrones box set and risk confusing your entire historical knowledge with the political situation of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. No, the war of the roses didn’t involve Gwendoline Christie fighting her cravings over a tin of Cadbury’s chocolates. Note that binging on TV also becomes instantly acceptable when Netflix decide to release a new series (Orange is the New Black we’re all looking at you) mid-exam season so, obviously, physics has to be deprioritised. Love You’ll become really attracted to the people in your revision aids. These will be split into 2 categories: Acceptable (Douglas Booth in Great Expectations) and Better Not Mention In Fear Of Social Rejection (Terry Jones’ voice when he narrates the history of the Magna Carter. I’m feeling like this might just be me. I have attachment issues) Stress (or lack of) You’re really unstressed- ALevelers I’d skip this point if I were you- you’re probably only working at 21% stress capacity. So far in the list of stressful life experiences you’d put GCSEs somewhere between losing your mosh pit virginity and forgetting where you put your glasses (spoiler: they’re always on your face). To be honest, the most stressful part of your day is trying to work out how much brainfood you can breakfast on without having to be rolled into your seat. Body Talk Speaking of seats, they never warn you that by the end of your exams you’ll be fluent in their language. It’s like life size battleships walking into the hall (and probably someone else’s desk if you’re clumsy like me) chanting F9 F9 F9 until you eventually get to column F and row 9 and realise you’ve been moved to F11. The only seat in the room with a desk that wobbles. It’s Oh So Quiet We know that exams are supposed to be in silence, but it must be noted that the silence of silence is incredibly awkward. Usually in a classroom I could get up, sharpen my pencil, ask the girl with the rechargeable calculator who sits out of my 2 metre name knowing radius what the answer to question 5 is and then casually saunter back. But exams are a game changer. Never has asking for a different compass caused such negative sanctions as the confetti of judgmental glares thrown at you from every direction during an exam. When you do eventually get attention from a member of staff, I’ve found they can be rather unhelpful. For example today I braved the judgement of my classmates and asked for a rubber only to be handed this…THAT is not a rubber. That is a cake crumb that somebody accidentally covered in vinyl. Forget what Priestley said about collective responsibility, if I fail maths I’m blaming you. Examiners You will give the examiners personalities and play them against each other like subconscious top trumps as soon as you see which one you’ve got. Floral Dawn French lookaline: timing generous, overly optimistic as dismissing, calls everyone ‘petal’, strong 87/100. Human equivalent of Paperchase: takes shoes off to walk around hall, speaks a decibel higher than I thought possible, doesn’t accept latecomers, 52/100. Double points if they’ve got a beard. Ceremonious Note Destruction Burning your notes won’t feel as good as it should. Yes, this was totally just an excuse to show off my protein synthesis poster but still. You’ve spent hours perfecting your banner headings, colour coordinating your flashcards and arranging all your notes into a beautiful mind map and now they’re on some bonfire that blinds you with smoke every time the wind changes. That’s karma for you. (Warning: this is even more annoying when the one thing you’ve revised beautifully ie. protein synthesis doesn’t even come up) Memory You will remember nothing. Afterwards I mean! I did geography last week and already I’ve forgotten how a volcano forms. Your brain empties itself out like a DIY recycling plant and makes some room for your next syllabus…whatever that may be… So good luck to everyone with exams still to go- whatever qualification they may be. If you have anything to add make sure you comment below and like this if you enjoyed it!