It was results day for my son last week and to be honest, it couldn’t come soon enough. It really has been hanging over him since finishing school for the summer and as the day grew closer, he became really quite nervous about his results. Obviously once the exams have been sat, there is very little you can do about it. You can only try your best on the day and worrying doesn’t change anything. I always say that you should hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Even though it was only AS results for him, actually there was no only about it. The results of these exams would determine if he would be staying on for school in Year 13. If he didn’t reach his predicted grades, it would be game over for him. Re-sits are no longer an option at this stage which I actually think is terribly unfair but there you go. I know that you could argue that AS levels are not as important as GCSEs or final A levels but actually they are the most important thing in his life right now. It’s too easy to dismiss AS levels as just being that in between year that doesn’t count for quite as much but actually I’m sure that my son would say that it bloody well does when it is you sitting them!
As it happens it was a day of good news. And not so good news. But we chose to focus on the good news as it really was exceptionally good news! It means that he will be staying on for Year 13 but unfortunately he won’t be able to continue with one of his courses. He’s fine with that though and honestly, we couldn’t be prouder of him. He might not have reached his expected target grade but he has the subject as an AS level under his belt even if it won’t go on to be an A level. He has worked incredibly hard over the last school year and even though he’s not going to be taking the same path as he expected, I am sure that he will get to where he wants to be in the end.
Around results day every year, the same old stories are rolled out in the press. A few days before my son got his results there were reports about incorrect marking of papers this year meaning that hey kids, you might have passed after all! So are you not to believe that scrap of paper on the day then? Are we to presume that they were all marked incorrectly? Terrible. And then of course the age old story that pass rates are getting higher which must mean that exams are getting easier. I mean heaven forbid that this generation might just be smarter than those that have gone before. Let’s not underestimate the huge pressure that schools put kids under these days. Trust me when I say this, expectations are high. I mean higher than high.
Of course there are always those who are quick to hand out their own advice too. Look at me kids, I failed all my A levels and look at how amazingly successful I am. Yawn. Do you know what, hindsight is a wonderful thing and I’m a big believer in us all making our own paths in life. I know both Mr Mostly and I both did. We couldn’t have taken more unconventional routes but we did alright. In fact in Mr Mostly’s case, more than alright! But actually there is nothing less helpful for a teenager to hear. You might as well say that all these years of studying are pointless. You don’t need these qualifications anyway and even if you do pass them with flying colours, it’s only because they are easier these days. Seriously. Do me a favour.
So there we have it. One very relieved son looking forward to starting Year 13 in September. And as if that wasn’t enough, tomorrow is GCSE results day for my eldest daughter. We don’t do things by halves, do we?