Exam season’s leering face is clambering over the horizon ready to subject students whether GCSEs or A Levels to another tumultuous trial of stress but in spite of this rather daunting prospect students still manage to cope.

Is it luck? Is it pure resilience? Or are there techniques and methods adopted to combat the pressure and high expectation that are intrinsic to this time of the year?

There is no universal answer to this eternal question as it affects students in different ways. No amount of exhortation or reassurance will dissolve this fear.

When enquiring after how A level student Leyla Huo [17] feels she expressed that, ‘exam season is very stressful so you allocate specific revision times and then in the rest of the time just enjoy yourself’. This may seem generic and self-explanatory advice but surprisingly it is seldom listened to, people either procrastinate until the last possible minute or drive themselves to madness through a constant pressurised environment of revision.

Furthermore, ‘the best advice I’ve ever been given is that if you do just a little bit every day by the end you’ll know it all so you don’t have to cram and stress yourself out’. This strikes a very relatable cord as humans are invariably distracted but even if you just do ten minutes on a subject per day you’ll learn more than you will in a 5 hour intensive revision session the night before. When asked about the educational impact of the pandemic Leyla admitted that, ‘do I have a positive outlook for exams this year? No. People will not do well generally after the complete lifting of the lockdown and two years of restrictions people will want to go out and enjoy themselves so revision will not be a main focus so I hope people take that into account’. Granted that this is a somewhat cynical view about people’s resilience and priorities but the train of logic is sound and clear as there has been and will continue to be an immense burst of both human energy and stress through both a repressed desire to have fun but the social and economic implications of the past few years.

In Conclusion Leyla maintains that, ‘exams are necessary but some people do not do well under timed conditions although they do have extensive knowledge yet pressure impedes them from communicating it’. This appears to be a rather nuanced view which is a refreshing contrast to the partisan attitude of pro and anti-examinations and furthermore ‘in some cases GCSEs are looked at in later life which is not an appropriate method considering that a 1hr 45 min test is not a fair way of assessing someone’s ability’. This undoubtedly is a view that many concur with as both a vice and virtue of exams is their universality since many people operate in different ways.