In an exam, how many times have you remembered something just five minutes after the teacher said: “Stop writing”? Personally, it happens to me all the time. That’s when I realised: this exam isn’t testing my intelligence; it’s testing my memory.

It’s that time of year again, when end of year exams, GCSEs and A-Levels are looming. Students across the country are studying for hours and hours, stressing out about grades and marks. Is it really worth it? Of course you need certain grades to get into university but when it comes to applying for a job – not many care.

In previous years, English exams have allowed open-book tests, whether it is for Romeo and Juliet or An Inspector Calls. However, now it is different. Students are forced to learn quotations from dramas, plays, novels, poems and so on! In addition to this, some have over 10 other GCSEs to revise for. Isn’t this too much? I am 100% sure that I will never need to know what Mercutio means by “dreamers often lie” in any point of my adult life.

On the other hand, science exams are becoming more based on application of our knowledge. This allows us to actually apply the things we are taught to different situations. This is measuring our intelligence.

In short, many exams test a student’s ability to learn things that they are most likely to forget or never use after their exams. Just ask your parents – do they remember the quadratic formula? If they do, they’re probably a maths teacher.

Exam results don’t determine your future.

Gangah Sivapooranan