My daughter sat her very last GCSE exam yesterday. My son had his last AS exam a week or so earlier. And breathe. For her this means twelve long weeks of summer stretching ahead and I hope she makes the most of every lazy minute. It will be a long time before she gets another break quite like it. If ever. As for my poor son, he finished his AS exams one week and started his Year 13 curriculum the next. Not quite so much fun. But only five weeks until the summer holidays to go.
It seems like forever ago that we were getting ready to sit those first exams back in May and to some extent, I think that pre-exam stress is the worst of all. There is definately a sense of relief when they get that first exam out of the way. And then of course it dawns on them what is still to come. Weeks of exams, sometimes two exams in one day. Argh it really is hard going!
They feel the need to study like a loon of course, cramming revision into every spare minute. But then soon hit burn out and realise that you were right when you said how important it is to rest in between too. I have to say that I felt really frustrated for my daughter not having study leave like my son did last year. I know that she would have been able to manage her own time much better at home than trying to fit in revision around her usual school timetable.
It was quite nice having that school holiday in the middle of the exams though as it enforced a break. We went away with family and they both brought piles of books with them but being away from home meant that for those few days, they had real fun and real rest too. It was much needed. And they came back to the second half of exams refreshed. It’s so hard seeing your children under so much pressure. I have felt much more stressed about their exams than I ever did my own, it’s such an awful feeling. Part of me wished that I could sit the exams for them. But actually, I know that they can outsmart me in an exam hall any day. But still.
After all those weeks (well months really) of pressure, that’s it. Done. Finito. And although I think we all feel a huge sense relief to have survived, it doesn’t really feel like time to celebrate just yet. The pressure of the actual exams may be over but the stress of results day still looms for them. My daughter is quite fixed on what she wants to go on to do in sixth form and fingers crossed, she will get the grades needed in her GCSEs. And my son has to reach his predicted target grades at AS level to go on to do the subjects at A level in Year 13. What will be will be and I have told them countless times that there is no point worrying as it is out of their hands now. Only results day will tell and we will support them regardless (that goes without saying) but I feel for the poor kids I really do. From my point of view, I honestly don’t think that they could have worked any harder than they did over these last few months and I hope I really really hope that they get the grades they deserve and very much want come August.
GCSEs and AS levels at the same time, I really didn’t think that small age gap though did I!? Argh!