Over the past two years, the world has been struck by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and cases are rising in many places yet again with the surfacing of the Omicron variant. A group of people who this has affected in many ways is schoolchildren.

As most students in England are returning from the Christmas break, one thing seems to be on their minds, specifically for those taking GCSE exams later this year. Revision.

It is known that GCSE exams are stressful in general, but these stress levels have been seemingly heightened due to the periods of home learning pupils took part in during the past years. 

I was able to speak to year 11 student Nuria, who is set to take her GCSE exams this summer. She said that certain exam boards removed things from their specification to prevent additional learning. Yet, the troubles of lockdown meant that 'the amount of lessons and time needed to teach was still the same, if not more' and 'a lot of catching up had to be done', especially for those who had chosen subjects with coursework.

We then spoke about how the pandemic has affected her mentally through her GCSE studies. She felt that there was more than just regular exam stress.

'I think just the anxiety of the unknown is what causes it to be more stressful. It's the anxiety of not even knowing if you're going to sit your summer exams or it's just going to be a predicted grade from teachers.' 

The pandemic has likely also affected students in other years. Though not sitting exams in 2022, many others were supposed to be learning 'key information' whilst in lockdown. Will they get support for missing out?

Do you think it's fair for students to be sitting exams in just a few months? Should they be altered further?