Exams. This single word alone holds enough strength to instil dread in the hearts of most teenagers. Why? Because the fear of failing and disappointing others as well as themselves is rooted so deeply that it is something we never wish to face.

The fact that a large percentage of students develop mental illnesses such as depression due to the mere thought of school should start ringing some alarm bells. What could be so horrific that students would beg their parents to stay at home or fake being sick to stay at home and avoid school? It could be a number of things: other students, bullying, unkind teachers and exams.

Nazeerah Patel, a 15 year old student at Lister Community School, says: “I personally believe exams are stressful. I have a constant fear that I won’t be good enough. Exams and grades are not how I want people to see me, I want people to see my effort and hard work.”

Some students would much rather be judged by their character and determination than some letters and numbers on a page. Also, exams are based off of everything that has been learnt over the past year or two, so they may not be accurate. The stress of knowing about upcoming exams often causes students to underperform, making their overall grade lower than what is should be.

In conclusion, I believe that school system should take a look at the weight they are placing upon the shoulders of school children, and find a way to make this burden lighter for the teenage population.

Sajida Yasmin, Lister Community School.