In the past month, the number one topic of conversation amongst teenagers has to be exams; whether it be the daily countdown to GCSEs, how little revision you have done or how you do not understand a thing about physics, almost all of it is negative. And we can understand why, after all – who wants to sit in a cold sports hall for 2 hours doing a paper about how the study of microorganisms has shaped modern day biology? However, are exams as bad and useless as everybody claims? 

We can safely say that exams are stressful, I think every year 11 across the country will be feeling that in the coming weeks. But despite what others may say, sometimes this stress can prepare us for later life. Throughout our lives, we will come to experience many examples of anxiety similar to that of exams, such as work pressure, meeting deadlines and long hours, so isn’t it a good thing that we can be prepared? GCSEs can help build resilience and perseverance amongst young people, along with teenagers having to manage their time effectively, helping us build time management skills.  

In addition, GCSEs can be a clear indicator of school success, where schools with higher attainment will generally reap better results. Along with other factors of course, school results are one of the top elements considered by parents when considering secondary schools; without these, the search would be much more difficult.  

Furthermore, if it weren’t for GCSEs, who would really have the motivation to learn the information previously covered at school? They provide us with subject knowledge we would have otherwise forgotten! Instead of what we thought we knew, they show us what we really know and give us an incentive to learn this material.  

So the next time you sit down to revise, dejected and reluctant, think of where it will get you, and how beneficial these exams really are.