The GCSEs have started!

Well, the GCSEs have been underway for a few days and I’m pleased to say things are going pretty well. My son is in a routine and everything seems pretty calm and stress-free. Just as it should be. Just as I’d hoped it would be.

My son doesn’t have study leave just yet, which seems strange to me, but apparently it’s the norm at comprehensives these days. It means kids are definitely revising, rather than sleeping all day and playing Xbox or messing about on their phones.

I’m very proud of my son for the amount of revision he did for his GCSEs. He started slowly in February half-term and has gradually built up the time he spends on it. He’s not a kid who has ever been good at studying, so this is really impressive. For the last few weeks, he’s been doing two hours a day on weekdays and three hours on weekends.

He had his first exam, French, last Tuesday. As we counted down the days, it felt crazy to be saying ‘three days to GCSEs’, ‘two days to GCSEs’… I felt a little bit nervous myself, but also quite excited. This is what he’d worked for and he was finally going to put it all to the test.

Two days before his French GCSE, I realised we hadn’t stocked up his stationery (he’s the kind of kid who loses and breaks stuff all the time). Then the evening before we had a dash to Sainsburys, especially for Polos. He wasn’t even sure he was allowed to have them, but he wanted some just in case. He transplanted them into a clear plastic freezer bag.

The biggest piece of advice you’ll ever hear about GCSEs (other than to revise) is to get plenty of sleep. This isn’t something my son is good at. The night before, he’d had a shower and was cleaning his teeth by 10.30, which is very early for him (he’s usually doing those things after I’ve gone to bed). But then I heard him banging around in his room at midnight, which is not ideal. It took me longer to get to sleep that night too. Although I woke up at just after 5, which is normal for me.

On the morning he was calm. I got him up 10 minutes earlier than usual, as he usually gets ready in 25 minutes flat. I wanted him to have time to think carefully about what he had to do and make sure he was organised. Soon after he arrived at school, he texted to ask me his seat number for his first exam. Thank goodness I knew where his exam timetable was! Later he texted me to ask his seat number for the second exam. It is this sort of detail which is the exact reason I got him up 10 minutes early.

He was calm and happy when he got home. The first exams had gone well. He was particularly pleased with how he’d done in his biology exam. He got through the paper quickly (and promises he most definitely checked his answers back afterwards) and felt confident he would have got an A.

He eased himself into the exams quite gradually last week. He only had three exams – French and biology on the first day and chemistry on Thursday. This week and the first week after half-term are the busy ones. This week he’s got two English literature papers, geography, business studies, maths and physics.

He’s worked hard for his GCSEs and his reward is to be calm and relaxed for his exams. Here’s hoping that carries on right until 16th June, and he gets the grades he deserves in August.

GCSEs, Exams, Son, Silent Sunday, My Sunday Photo

Author: Sarah Mummy

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24 Comments

  1. He can only try his best. Glad that they sound to be going well though. Is he being rewarded on results at all?

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    • Thanks very much, he’s definitely made a good start, although he was a bit unsure of his English Lit paper today. Yes, he’s being rewarded for good results.

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  2. Oh I can understand why you are feeling nervous too. It sounds like he has had the right attitude to revising which I am sure will pay off. Schools don’t allow too much exam leave anymore and I understand why, I remember having far too much time on my hands when I was on exam leave and kids are more likely to work if they are in school. Good luck to him, I hope they go well.

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    • Thanks very much! He’s certainly made a good start. I’m pleased with the way he’s revised. I think he’s done enough, but without overdoing it. He certainly hasn’t been stressed! I was very good at revising on study leave, but I was probably the exception!

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  3. Ahh! I am glad everything is going well.
    Well done your son with all the revision he has been doing.
    I hope everything continues to be stress free and calm x

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    • Thanks very much! It’s still calm into week two, so hopefully that will continue. x

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  4. I’m glad the exams are going well so far and he is a real credit to you for managing to do enough revision and be calm for the exams.
    Nat.x

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    • Thanks very much! It’s just his nature to be calm. There are some situations where I wish he would be more emotional or enthusiastic, but I’m really glad he’s dealing with his exams in this way. x

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  5. what can i say other than good luck, good tip for parents to keep a copy of the gcse timetable, i had a copy on the fridge, their door, in my wallet and stuffed in their blazer pocket just in case

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    • I’ve got the exams noted on my calendar and on my phone, but I probably also ought to photocopy the actual calendar, which has the room numbers etc on it.

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  6. So glad to hear things are pretty calm and stress free. It sounds like he has been revising lots, and I am sure it will pay off come August. I can imagine I will be the same, and probably more nervous than Morgan when we go through it next year. Lots of luck to him Sarah xx

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    • Thanks very much! He’s really taking it in his stride. Considering how well he did in his mocks with very little revision, I’m fairly confident he’s going to get the grades he deserves. x

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  7. Sounds like a good start to the exams. I’m taking notes, as we have our first going through GCSEs next year. Your son’s approach to revision seems to be helping him keep calm. Good luck with the rest of the exams and I hope he gets the results he is aiming for. Was he was allowed the polos, in the end? #TweensTeensBeyond

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    • Thanks very much! I think staying calm is really key. I’m lucky that’s just his normal way! Yes, he was allowed the Polos 🙂

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  8. Sounds like the preparation went well and eased him into it. They have seat numbers? We just all went in in alphabetical order for ours as far as I remember. Hope the rest go as well.

    Thanks for linking up #schooldays

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    • Thanks very much! I think we had candidate numbers and just sat in alphabetical order. I must say the actual seat numbers did surprise me.

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  9. Oh Sarah this brings back so many memories. The GCSE’s are so labour intensive and really exhausting. Taking polos is something I got my son to take. They are good for those moments of panic and for a quick sugar injection when the energy starts to flag. We are about to start the A’levels for my eldest and are busy discussing life after that! Good luck. Sounds like he has got it nailed in terms of preparation so sure he will be fine. We can only ask them to do the best for them. #TweensTeensBeyond

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    • Thanks very much! I’m really hoping he has got the revision right, he’s certainly put the work in. Good luck to your eldest with the A Levels!

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  10. Sounds familiar, we are going through exactly the same! A break this week and then 9 papers next week

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    • It’s full-on, isn’t it? I just keep telling my son (and myself!), it’s only three more weeks and it will all be over!

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  11. What a trooper! This really is the coming together of everything isn’t it. I wish him these best of luck and a well deserved break afterwards. It must seem like it lasts forever to these kids. Nicky x #tweensteensbeyond

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    • Thanks very much! It really does seem forever! He’s slacked off a bit more than I would like over half term as he’s so desperate for a break. He forgets he can have a nice long break in two weeks!

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  12. Sounds like he is very well prepared and I wish him loads of luck. My middle daughter is doing her’s too and has set up all sorts of routines that apparently give her good luck including touching the rabbits foot!! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

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    • Thanks very much! Good luck to your daughter too. I hope all her routines bring her lots of luck!

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