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Testing Times



The coronavirus has had a major impact on my life. As a Year 11 student studying at a boarding school in the UK, things this summer term haven't turned out to be what I expected.

Firstly, my school closed with barely any notice. Luckily my mother was in the UK already. The school had also asked all parents from Asian countries to self-isolate for 2 weeks before seeing their kids (but don’t get me started on how they didn't enforce this for parents from European countries, where the coronavirus had already begun to spread). My sister had been at home that weekend as well, and 200 overseas students had already left to travel back home, so my mother had decided to come to pick us up a week and a half early. Just as we were packing up the car, an email came through from our headmaster: school was closing.

By the time we had made it home, things had only continued to spiral out of control. I opened my BBC news app only to see that all public exams had been cancelled. Next, came the flurry of messages from friends— some were celebrating, but others were devastated, as all of their hard work felt like it had been for nothing. For me, I was upset because the opportunity to take the test was an opportunity to prove myself was taken away from me. I felt insecure and unsure about how I would eventually be graded and achieve my results.

Over the next few days, we were told by our school to relax, as it had been a tough week for us. I spent my days gaming, playing board games with my family and helping my grandma in the garden. Still, I was worried about how our grades would be determined, as this was still uncertain. The UK government had said nothing of note, leaving everyone very confused and anxious.

Because my exams were cancelled, my family made the decision to fly back to Hong Kong to be with my father. At this point I still didn't quite know how exactly we would be assessed, so packing to return home was hard as I didn’t know what schoolwork I needed to bring with me.

After Easter, my school decided for us to start our A-level courses early through online learning. So far, it has been really challenging— starting new subjects such as Economics and learning Maths over a Teams call is not exactly ideal. I also have new teachers, and getting to know them has been really hard as we can’t be face to face.

I’ve come to terms with the way my GCSEs are going to be graded, and I await my results that come out in August. I’m sad that I didn’t get this term off, but I am going to make use of the extra time that I would have otherwise spent on revising and taking exams. I can only hope all the parties and celebrations we were planning will go ahead later this year!

—Alex



Written by: Abi Brooke

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