Column: Exam angst comes flooding right back

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Oh I remember those moments well ... and this week it all came flooding back to me.

The sleepless nights, then up at the crack of dawn on the day itself. Pacing the floor as you hovered by the front window or even out in the street looking for the postman with his precious delivery.

Then that stomach-churning, nerve shattering moment when the envelope was slit open and the all important piece of paper was finally in view.

Depending what was written on it meant the hugs were either of congratulations or commiseration when all those well worn phrases were used: “It’s not the end of the world”, “You’ll do better next year” or that old faithful “Who needs to know about Latin verbs anyway”.

Yes, to all those students receiving your exam results this week: “Well done or hard lines” whatever fits the occasion.

But to their parents – you are in my thoughts!

The students only have to turn up on the day and sit the exam then wait on the results but their poor parents have to go through months of agony.

And I know. I’ve been there with both of mine and, I can hardly believe that I’m writing this, but in a few years time, my grandchildren will be giving me exam angst all over again.

First of all you have to get them out of their bed and get them to school every day.

Then you have to get them out of their bed to revise at weekends.

Followed by getting them out of their bed on the day of the exam – before providing them with an energy-loaded breakfast, of course.

But then you are hit with all the agonies of “I didn’t put the same answer as (insert name of best friend) and they had revised more than me so they would know”.

Or it might be “how was I supposed to know what all those symbols meant?”.

Not the time to point out that they had been studying mathematics for the last five years and probably should have picked it up by now.

Believe it or not, it was so much easier when you were the student and had to sit the exam yourself rather than having to go through the lengthy post-mortem with your children.

I hope this weekend all parents whose offspring received exam results give themselves a well deserved pat on the back and a night of celebration ... because for most it will all start again in a couple of weeks time.