Ipswich students share thoughts about GCSE and A-level exams next summer

A group of students from Copleston High School in a classroom

GCSE and A-level students from Copleston High School in Ipswich share their worries and concerns about exams next summer - Credit: Tamika Green

From concerns about future lockdowns and online learning, to what will be covered in exams, Ipswich young people have shared their thoughts about taking A-levels and GCSEs next summer. 

Young people today have had to adapt very quickly to the ever-changing environment that the Covid-19 pandemic has thrown at them.

August saw GCSE and A-level students collect results based on coursework, mock exams and homework, with many young people doing better than expected.

For young people at Copleston High School in Ipswich this is how they feel.

Jemma, 17, from year 13 said she feels the normal amount of exam anxiety and feels confident for next summer, but she does worry about how the government will handle changes. 

“It’s quite intimidating especially with the gaps we’ve had in terms of not being in school. But I think Copleston has really helped and supported students during that time,” she said.

Jemma, a student from Copleston High School standing in front of a white board

Jemma says she feels supported by Copleston High School, but worries how the government will handle possible changes. - Credit: Tamika Green

“I’m feeling the same normal anxiety that I would any other year but the uncertainty of how the government handles these situations and whether they will take into account the gap in learning worries me,” she added.   

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Saruna, 17, also from year 13 thinks that the way lessons were taught in the pandemic has made students more independent. 

She said: “Learning online is not ideal, but going into university that may be a possibility – we may have to do online lessons.  

Saruna, a student from Copleston High School standing in a classroom

Saruna says the pandemic has helped students become more independent - Credit: Tamika Green

“We have to be more independent. It didn’t pull us back from developing, it actually brought us forward,” she added.   

However, a group of students from year 11 explained that the pandemic has been much more of a challenge for them. 

15-year-old Hayden said: “Our year as a whole has struggled a lot during lockdown because we have missed important information that we needed. 

“Everyone’s worst nightmare at the moment is that we’re going to get into the exam hall, find a question and think ‘what is this question?’”

A group of students in year 11 in a classroom

Hayden believes students in Year 11 have struggled more during the pandemic - Credit: Tamika Green

Yusuf, 15, explained that parts of certain subjects' curriculum may be cut from exams next year, but says there has not been any guidance on this yet.  

He said: “We have eight or nine months until our GCSEs start. We may have all this content to revise for but if we don’t know what’s getting cut, it’s kind of a waste of time."