Knaresborough A-Level student explains why she was left 'devastated' by the decision to cancel exams

The decision to cancel all GCSE and A-Level exams has split opinion. King James High School sixth form pupil Hannah Reeder explains why she was left ‘devastated’ by the decision.

For myself and all other A-Level and GCSE students, these last few weeks have been ones filled with uncertainty and stress.

With year groups being made to stay at home due to a shortage in teaching staff and a teacher training day dedicated for them to learn the new online teaching system - it was unsurprising when the Government announced school closures last Wednesday.

Exams have been cancelled this summer for pupils in the UK.

Whilst it was clear this was a decision which needed to be made, it did not reassure us students preparing to take our exams.

Almost two years of work was on the line and the consuming thought that the hours we’d spent learning extensive amounts of context A-Level courses would not conclude in May and June was frustrating to say the least.

Students were left with the burning question: how will we be assessed if not by exams?

As we waited for news, we had sympathy from our teachers and school staff but in reality nothing was going to reassure us until we knew more about our A-Levels.

Then, on Friday, we were told that the work we had been producing for the past two years, mock results and ‘other relevant data’ would be combined to produce a final grade. Upon hearing the update I was left devastated. The work I had produced, which should never have been considered good enough to go towards my final grade, was now doing just that.

Although I do have faith that my teachers will allocate me a fair end result, I can’t help but think back on taking my GCSEs where in some of the final exams I managed to achieve two grades higher than the work which I had produced in lesson. News of how we are to be graded this year has been met with a mixed response from my friends Polly, Lucy and Rebecca.

Polly and Lucy, both sixth form students ready for their exams, have a similar response to me, stating: “Using mocks is very unfair as to quote our teachers ‘they’re the perfect time to make mistakes’. Now these mistakes are being calculated to make our grade.

“To take past levels and results may work for some people but not everyone. It is a real concern”

Whereas, Rebecca has a differing opinion: “I think the government didn’t have much of an option as logistically they couldn’t run exams. I think we should trust that our teachers know us well and want the best for us.”

So that is what we must do. While we accept the nation’s health comes first, we can’t help but feel frustrated. We must trust in our teachers and hope that our ‘coronavirus class of 2020’ is given a fair grade, however it is achieved.