Letters from the dorm: Free at last ... or maybe not

Letters from the dorm: Free at last ... or maybe not

For those who follow the English educational curriculum, there comes a time known as exam leave. For me, that time comes 21/2 weeks after the beginning of next term, as I prepare for my Pre-Us (an A-Level equivalent). After that point, I will never have to attend lessons again. If I wanted to, I could sleep until midday, watch TV to my heart's content, spend hours getting ridiculously good at the latest Grand Theft Auto game, and so on.

There is, however, a catch: Pre-Us are external exams, and the results will stay with me for the rest of my life. Failing them is not, therefore, an option. Logically, good qualifications increase the likelihood of getting into a good university, which should, in turn, increase my chances of landing a great job (at the SCMP, for example) that can pay the bills and allow me to provide for my future family. You get the picture. They're a really big deal, and must be treated as such.

Luckily for me, my teachers have told me that although we may not be obliged to go to class, they'll still be around to help us with any queries we may have and to guide us through revision. From what I can tell, most English public schools operate on the same basis, so if ever you're given the same opportunity to sneak in extra sessions with your teachers, I'd strongly advise you to take it.

At 9am on May 12 (the first official day of exam leave at Winchester), therefore, I know where I'll be: sitting through an economics hour, furiously taking notes, with one eye on the board and another on the time. My first exam is on May 16, so I want to make every second count.

When it's your turn, I hope you do the same.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Free at last ... or maybe not

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