Countdown to exams finale

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Exam season has started for real.

And to anyone with kids sitting GCSEs and A-levels, remember the old saying – when you’re going through hell, keep going.

We’ve had tears, tantrums and shouting matches in the build-up – not from our kids, they’ve got their heads down and just got on with it. It’s mum and dad who’ve got the yips.

There’s only so much preparation and revision you can do, and now it’s showtime, there’s almost a sense of relief the talking is over and it’s finally game on.

So far we’ve had two lots of Spanish speaking, a double dose of RE and a baffling biology paper, the questions on which had little or no relevance to what the kids have been taught for the past three years.

Exams are the closest thing I hope our kids ever get to war. It’s a rough old time but after a day or two, especially with GCSEs which go on for a month as opposed to the week-long sprint of A-levels, you get into the rhythm of it.

Soon, sitting in rows of desks in alphabetical order in your school’s cavernous sports hall, where they’ve thoughtfully laid some carpet to deaden the echo, becomes normal. If there’s anything nice to be said for massive exams, which a lot of people think go a long way in determining your future, then it’s as the days go on and exams are crossed off the list on the fridge door, you never have to think about that subject again. Ever. English literature? Goodbye, Bram Stoker. Maths? Algebra, as if numbers weren’t hard enough let’s throw in some letters. Physics? Chemistry? Biology? Press the reset button in your brain.

Here’s the thing. Exams are important for certain careers and once you’ve passed them, no one can take them off you. And if you’ve done well then results day is like Christmas morning times 10, so they tell me.

But remember this, employers are only interested in one thing – and it’s not your grades. All they want to know is what you can do for their business to make it run better and make them more money. That’s it. Nothing else. Lecture over. And like my old English teacher Mr Kimber used to say – I hope you all get the grades you deserve.