Claire Cohen

There are some things you never forget and, for me, A-level results day is right up there. My mum drove me to school, where I made her wait in the car as I walked into the sixth form common room on legs that felt like jelly. I hadn’t slept the night before, nor the one before that, and the one before that…

三级成人视频The reason? One of my predicted grades. Despite having got an A at GCSE, and an A at AS-level, my history teacher had decided I was destined for a C in the final exam. No amount of pleading, crying (I did plenty) or explaining that this cruel downgrade would scupper any chance of an offer from my chosen university, would persuade her otherwise. My dad even came into school and tried to reason with the headteacher. Still no dice. 

My entire future had been decided by scoring a rogue B in the mock exam. But there was a tacit understanding that mocks were designed to be extra tough – they were meant to give us a kick up the backside, not crush our dreams.

三级成人视频As part of Generation Guinea Pig, it hurt even more: mine was the first year group of the National Curriculum (before which teachers not only decided what they taught, but how they taught it – perish the independent thought), the first year of Sats, and the first year of the (now axed) AS-level system.

三级成人视频Test cases, tested relentlessly. If there’s one thing I had been trained to do, it was ace exams when it counted. Now this? The whole thing caused me such worry that I can still feel it prickle in my chest today.

So my heart went out to the A-level students in England who got their results this week – specifically, the nearly 40 per cent who discovered their predicted grades had been downgraded三级成人视频 and are now being denied university places, not to mention clarity over how they might appeal. They’re devastated, and little wonder – I know what it feels like to be held back because of others’ carelessness.

And make no mistake, this is pure human error. It’s not Covid that has created the exam results crisis, but the politicians who – bless them – have only had since March 23 to come up with a solution to the grading problem, and have totally bungled it. Still, this furious A-level year will have one thing that I didn’t; I couldn’t vote my history teacher out...

三级成人视频Of course, my own story has a happy ending. I got my A grade (fat lot of use it was), went to my fifth choice university and had a great time. I turned out just fine.

So it would be easy for me to jump on the “It’ll be OK” bandwagon with the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, who this week posted the same banal tweet he shares on results day every year: “A level results not great? Don’t worry, I got a C and 2 Us and I’m currently building a large house with far reaching views of the Cotswolds”. Thanks, Jez – relatable.

三级成人视频My social media timeline is still full of them; people writing: “Oh, I got two Ds and I’m about to publish my tenth novel.” They probably have good intentions – if you can locate them amid the humblebragging – but these stories mean nothing to a tearful teen who has spent their school years being told that hard work would be enough.

三级成人视频If anything, it only piles on more pressure to succeed despite your grades, when the pressure to succeed because of them is already overwhelming.

三级成人视频This generation doesn’t need platitudes. In previous years, we might have been able to get away with gently explaining that, while disappointing results might seem like the end of the world now, no employer ever cared what you scored in A-level Geography.

But what’s to say there will even be employers able to hire those now leaving school as we plunge into a recession? It’s not as if they can get Saturday jobs, or fly off on gap years, either.

While we’re at it, can we also put an end to the predictions that all this could make them the “most resilient generation” ever? None of us can imagine the anxiety these teenagers must already have suffered. Having their exams cancelled. Missing out on their last day of school. All as they worried about what impact it would have on their futures.

As one girl said, through tears, in a clip being circulated online: “I’ve never got a D in my life. I don’t want a D.” That really got me. Because, as I know, every A-level setback is an individual story of pain – no matter how big or small.

Anything that stops a young person from following the dreams they’ve worked hard to achieve – having been told that hard work would be enough – is a personal tragedy. And for many, myself included, that sense of injustice never becomes history.