United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

you know that ancient egyptian embalming technique where they pull out the brain through the nose? that’s what i do with writing. if i were you, i wouldn’t lick my pencils.

Message from Writer

'the world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. the curves of your lips rewrite history.'

16 | english | she/her | enfp | ravenclaw | stark | big nerd

I’m tired of crying over school

March 16, 2019



Dear Examiner, 

I am writing to you about a horrific ailment that is plaguing generation after generation of poor, unsuspecting children. What is this horrible malady, I hear you ask? My answer is simple: exams. 

Even writing that horrible phrase has sent a shiver down my spine and carved a frown on to my lips, and I suspect it did the same to you, too. 

I reckon it even conjured up memories in your mind of trudging to school with wasps in your stomach and flash cards clutched desperately in your hand, begrudgingly taking the green mile to the exam room. Once there, you would sit on a tiny plastic chair (with very little back support), hunched over a tiny plastic desk and write and write and stress and stress for hours on end. Afterwards, you would be sick over contemplating all the little things you did wrong – perhaps you did the wrong calculation? – and, even if you did feel confident, you would have peers who would boast of their immaculate answers and the doubt would creep back in. 

Why do we subject tens of thousands of the vulnerable youth to this torture each year?

Education is meant to be about freeing the mind and inspiring kids to change the world. It’s supposed to be fun and spark passion in the hearts of the hopeful children with fire in their eyes so they can face the world with the assurance that they can do whatever they dream to do. 

Education is not meant to be a game of memory and endurance. It’s not meant to be about breakdowns in the toilets and tears splashing on to pages and pages of horrible questions. It’s not meant to induce a struggle to get up in the morning, wringing hands and the sinking realisation that maybe – just maybe - you’re not good enough.

At the moment, the pressure of external assessments are corrupting the education system to be the latter. This is a problem. 

Currently, GCSEs are a two year course followed by two months of intense exams. The average student will sit 25 examinations on 7 different subjects at the end of year 11. This system is ineffective, unhealthy and too demanding. The information students are expected to retain for these assessments is too extreme, and often results in breakdowns and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Admittedly, there still needs to be an assessment module in place so students are able to obtain qualifications and prove their academic and creative prowess. Instead of these gruelling exams, I propose that pupils are tested periodically throughout the years in manageable chunks. This way, the knowledge is more accessible, and without the looming threat of that exam period, teachers can make their lessons fun.

I want to be able to say that I’m excited to go to school. I want to see a world where knowledge is power. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. 

Yours faithfully,
Another Number.
The irony is, I wrote this in exam conditions to prepare myself for mock exams in a week :/ heck

also this is specific to the English system so soz if it’s confusing 


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  • March 16, 2019 - 3:29pm (Now Viewing)

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  • pencils.and.paper.roses

    This is a great piece! Really well written and relatable.

    8 months ago
  • JCWriter

    I'm not English so I can't relate to the specifics of this but honestly, I agree with all of this. The "I want to be able to say that I'm excited to go to school" line really rang true. Nicely written!

    8 months ago