Are 24 exams too much for our teenagers ?

Today my teenager completed his penultimate GCSE exam. Exam number 23 out of 24, with his final exam being taken next Wednesday. 24 exams between the 14th May and the 20th June, 24 exams to revise for, 24 exams to feel anxious over, 24 times to walk into the school hall under exam conditions, and to remember everything you have been taught over the past 3 years.

Are 24 Exams too much for our Teenagers

I remember looking at the exam timetable a few months ago. I naively thought that the 2 page document in my hand was every single GCSE, not just the ones my son would be taking. But no, this 2 page document was my sons GCSE timetable, all 24 exams staring back at me. And this timetable has dominated our fridge for the past month, ticking off every exam as they happen. And he is down to the last one. Film Studies that will take place next week.

Now I know I did my GCSEs a very long time ago, but I don’t remember doing this many exams. Morgan decided to take combined Science as it’s not his favourite subject (let’s not talk about the fact that his Dad is a Scientist). You would think he would sit 2 or 3 papers for combined science, but he sat 6 separate exams, just for 1 subject. Just writing this down makes my brain hurt. I struggle to remember what I go upstairs for, never mind taking in information for the vast amount of subjects he has studied.

And it’s not just the exams. There have been countless hours of coursework for subjects such as PE and Business Studies.

There is no denying that year 11 is a tough year, and I salute every single student who is coming to the end of their GCSE journey. I am proud of my son for how he has handled the pressure of the past month. He has been incredibly self motivated, getting the balance just right between revision, seeing friends, and of course playing Fortnite. But a few days ago he hit a wall of exhaustion, and he felt he couldn’t carry on. This is what 24 exams does to our teenagers, and thankfully he smashed his wall of exhaustion by taking a step back from revision for the evening.

On Wednesday when the final exam is over, the words GCSEs, revision, exams, coursework, will be banned from our house. Well until the 23rd August when it’s results day. Onwards and upwards to an amazing summer of fun, our teenagers deserve it.

The teen at the beach



11 thoughts on “Are 24 exams too much for our teenagers ?”

  1. That’s mad 24 exams! I definitely didn’t do that many when I was at school, it definitely seems like too many. They have recently changed the GCSEs again to make them much more exam than coursework weighted sadly, which puts even more pressure on them all.

    Stevie x

    • They changed one of Morgan’s subjects half way through his coursework to be just exam based !!! You can imagine the uproar it caused with the teachers and the pupils (it was a government change grrr). All those hours doing coursework for nothing x

    • Thank you Kim. Thankfully he has an amazing summer to look forward to starting with Prom this coming Friday, and then NCS starts next week. He definitely deserves to kick back and enjoy the summer after everything he has been through with exams x

  2. Wow, it really is a lot! I can’t believe he had six exams just for combined science! I can’t actually remember how many individual exams my son had and it was only a year ago, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t as much as 24.
    It must have been horrible when he hit that wall and well done to him for getting through it! He has worked so hard, he really deserves to do well. x

    • Thank you Sarah, it was really difficult seeing him so down over everything and thankfully he bounced back to his normal self the next morning. I just think he was exhausted with all the revising, and thankfully he took a step back from everything that night. I cam counting down the hours till the last one on Wednesday x

    • Thank you Jess, very nearly at the end now and we never have to mention GCSEs again (except maybe on results day lol) x

  3. Ah well done Morgan remember ticking those exams off last year with a highlighter, it seems so long and now which of course it isn’t I think we have just erased it form our minds. The pressure education puts our young people under is astounding, the system is broken and wrong hence why so many teachers are walking away. I have to say college life feels so much more chilled. Have a rest until results day no doubt he will have rocked it x

    • I love that we are so similar as that is what I have been doing to, good old highlighters lol. I am pretty sure that we will banish all mention of GCSEs from tomorrow, apart from results day, and we get to do it all again in 4 years Sarah !!! Glad college life is much more chilled x

  4. I didn’t realise it was that many exams, that is an awful lot. It is such a pressurised time for kids, I really feel for them and as a tutor I see so many kids so stressed out and shattered and it is so hard. At least with A levels there are less subjects and I think that is a relief after GCSEs.


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