The Horror That Was #EdexcelMaths

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An online petition has called for the grade boundaries of a tricky GCSE exam paper to be lowered Lily, 16, explains why it was so challenging

Despite the constant doom-mongering from my teachers in the run up to GCSEs, exams have been pretty chilled so far. I’m not saying I’m enjoying them, just that I’ve only gone home in tears once, which is better than I expected!

But oh my goodness, the Edexcel maths paper yesterday has really put a damper on my good mood. I was optimistic when I walked into the exam hall. I have been having extra tuition for months and practiced using countless past papers because I am not the best at maths and I really want that B. After all the hard work I’ve put in I was fairly confident

But yesterday the nightmare begun.

Walking out of the exam hall was like walking into a war zone. There were zombie-like shocked faces, tears, hugs, bitter recriminations and of course, the dread of any student taking exams – people discussing their answers (which, by the way, were all different to mine.) I seriously don’t think I answered a single question correctly.

Coming home, I thought it was just me who had effed up. But logging on to Facebook in a futile attempt to cheer myself up, or at least numb my brain to the horrors I had just endured, I saw that half an hour before, Buzzfeed had put up an article about the exam I had just done. Everyone had found it hard. No, horrific. Whilst it didn’t make me out right happy, it gave me hope that the grade boundaries would be lenient.

Now – Edexcel. I don’t want to be rude, but your exam sucked. If one person complains about an exam, they are unprepared, or perhaps unlucky. But if the whole entire country found the exam difficult? Something is wrong at your end of the line. So you’d better get that sorted out for next year. I might not be able to re-do my exam, so the best I can do is protect future generations from going through what we went had to.

I also have something to say to all the people commenting on articles saying how easy the ‘Hannah’s Sweets’ question was. You did not sit that paper in the stressful conditions of an exam and the majority of you are adults, likely to be more capable at equations, than the thousands of young teenagers that found it challenging. As someone who has been studying for months, saying that those who found it hard must have not revised is frankly rude.

I had biology today, and coming into school everyone was still shell-shocked after maths. It was all everyone was talking about. Leaving an exam to find memes about it all over your social media and that it’s trending on Twitter is quite surreal.

I’m just glad that exam is over. I want to move on with my life. Unfortunately, I have the calculator paper on Monday. After the travesty that was non-calculator, I dread to think what that will be like.


Are exams stressing you out? Find out how it happens and how to deal it here

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