Jessica’s Sea of Mocks

There was a time when I didn’t care about revision. The word for me had little meaning: half-terms were truly about chilling out on holiday and there was no way I was going to have my life revolve around one of those dreaded revision timetables back in Year Six, anyway. How I miss that time when exams had no bearing on my future prospects, a concept which rarely crosses the average eleven-year-old’s mind, save for the desire to become a footballer, astronaut or – in my case – Prime Minister. Those were the days when the end of the year was synonymous with the school disco and those seemingly endless summer holidays, not A-levels. Six years on and so much has changed.

This January, many of us were bombarded with exams – including AS re-sits and one awful A2 Biology paper, from what I’ve heard – whilst I was lucky with just one: maths. It’s difficult to say how it went, although if I’m honest, have I ever said anything different? I often find myself in this no-win situation: saying an exam was really hard – I might even have failed, I think to myself – risks upsetting people on Results Day if I actually come out with a great grade, whilst daring to say it was an easy exam leads to major embarrassment if – hard luck – I’ve messed up this time. So I play it safe and for most exams, say they were ‘alright’ and leave the rest to Results Day. No point second guessing how I did if it is in the past now, right?

Besides, there are more important things to think about. This year, I will be sitting the most important exams of my life so far: University places are riding on my Maths, English Literature and French A-level results and only a few marks mean the difference between an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ grade; the difference between getting into my dream University and just missing the boat. Then again, people tell me ‘don’t worry – you’ll get an A* anyway!’ which inevitably adds more pressure than it does reassurance. Over time, their high expectations have rubbed off on me, to a point where anything less than the best possible grade makes me feel like I should’ve done better: no pressure!

Although my maths exam result is looming, this can hardly be compared to the ultimate Results Day this summer, when I find out about all my other subjects. This year, it conveniently falls the day before my 18th birthday, so exam revision once again becomes a twisted kind of ‘investment’ into a birthday present. Currently fighting the urge to procrastinate revision, a voice inside my head keeps saying ‘it’s only February’. But that’s what we all say, isn’t it? Then before we know it, June has arrived and it’s exam after exam after exam: each an entire year of study crammed into a mere two hours. How will I cope with that? Revision is the answer, so I had better get started…

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