MY heart is beating fast and I feel sick. I force myself to eat some chocolate because someone said it might help. I take a deep breath and open the door…
The hall is silent except for the occasional cough and the shuffling of chairs. The stench of nervous sweat lingers in the air.
“Turn over your papers, you may begin.”
I look at the clock and I am filled with panic. I feel like I might pass out. I pick up my pen but my palms are so sweaty it is hard to grip it properly. I want to cry. I want to scream, and I really need the toilet.
This was how I felt before every GCSE exam I took. I was 16. This was also how I felt before taking my driving test, aged 22, and my journalism training (NCTJ) exams when I was 24.
Being tested makes us feel anxious. Even the most academic of adults find being in an exam situation stressful, so it’s not hard to imagine how a young child about to sit their Year 2 SATs must feel….
Read more about my thoughts on the impact of testing young children over at The New Statesman!
I also wrote about all the weird and wonderful words for Vagina at Metro UK.… YES. Discussing SATs and vaginas in the same week. I LOVE my job.