GSCE Exam Stress – Me not Teen

So my beloved Teen is taking his exams this year. I can’t actually believe this time has come around this fast. It seems like yesterday that he was just starting high school. Honestly.

I’ve been stressed about his GCSE’s for at least a year now! Pathetic I know, but they’re important and I just want him to do as well as he can. To achieve his potential.

He’s not stressed though.

exam time

He doesn’t seem to have a care in the world!

I’ve been banging on about preparation and revision this past year but it’s pretty much fallen on deaf ears most of the time!. Teen wasn’t thinking or worrying about his GCSE’s a year ago…. Jeez, he’s only just starting to acknowledge them now! He was still messing around at school a year ago!

Causing me stress.

Going into year 11 last September, thankfully, he started to knuckle down. Taking things a bit more seriously at long last. But even so, I had to be on his back, asking him questions, asking his teachers questions so that I was clear on what needed to be done by when. I didn’t think he was doing enough though and even his mock exams he didn’t take THAT seriously. He did revise a little and did better in some subjects than was expected, but did ridiculously bad in others.

Causing me stress.

He still wasn’t stressed though. Said he’d be fine in the ACTUAL exams!

Oh yeah? I wouldn’t count on it matey.

He completed all of his Controlled Assessments and did incredibly well in them, which is fantastic. Controlled Assessments are done in school under exam conditions. They replaced the old coursework aspect of the GCSE’s and were introduced to eliminate the possibility of cheating at home by either using the internet or getting parents to do it. This used to happen apparently! Students still have to prepare for the controlled assessments but if they do well in them it gives them a head start towards their final results, so very important. And I’m happy Teen managed to get excellent results in his.

But now we are in the final push before the exams start.

Teen’s first one, Biology is on the 12th May. Exactly SIX WEEKS from today!

And I’m stressed. I don’t like it at all.

I wish I could stop worrying but I can’t help it. There’s so much riding on the results.

His results will determine whether he can get a place on the Sixth Form course at school and do the A-Levels he’s chosen. Yes there are always alternatives but it’ll be so much better if he doesn’t have to re-think his options. Yes he can re-take some GCSE’s if he needs to but that’s not ideal.

I wish it didn’t matter. I know Teen is a bright, witty young man… why should his results of a one or two hour exam on one day dictate his future? Even if he fails, that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a bright, witty young man! It means that maybe he didn’t prepare well enough for the exam, or that he had a bad day, or the nerves got he better of him.

Being 16 is a difficult, challenging time for a person; raging hormones, confusing emotions…. the eagerness to get out into the big wide world, the need to enjoy life and have fun….. exam time just gets in the way!

I get that. I was 16 once. But times are hard out there and the competition is fierce for jobs. If you haven’t got a good education with decent exam results, you’re going to be overlooked, no matter how bright you are!

Teen knows this. He should do, I’ve drummed it into him enough times!

But he’s still showing no signs of stress and I suppose that’s a good thing. He’s confident he’s going to pull it out of the bag. He’s drawn up a revision timetable and he is sticking to a plan, so fingers crossed.

I’ll just be glad when it’s all over!


  1. Oh goodness! Best of luck to him. I think some people handle stressful situations differently, I know I wasn’t too bothered by my GCSEs, although I went to pieces in my A Levels!

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      Thank you! I think he’s being too relaxed though… he’s going to have a rude awakening when the results come through!

  2. oh i do hate the idea of exams i have a 10 year old stressing over sats and i really dont like the impact its having on her

  3. Oh, I can imagine! Teenage boys do seem to have the key to leading stress-free lives at the expense of their parents 🙂 Good luck and hope it all goes well.

  4. I never stressed about exams and hope that my boys don’t either. I wonder if there is a treatment for stressed mums!

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      No, I suppose it would be a lot worse if he was stressed, then I’d be so worried about him! Can’t win really here can I?!

  5. pigeonpairandme says

    I suppose it’s a good thing that he’s not stressed, but it must be difficult if you feel he should be doing more….I don’t envy you being at this stage. I’ll probably be tearing my hair out when it happens to us!

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      It’s hard because I don’t to push him too hard, he needs to relax too and have some down time. It’s just trying to find that balance

  6. I have a long time for my kids for this but feeling the pressure as my daughter is 5 and all eyes over tests grrrrr.

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      I definitely wouldn’t worry about tests at school at such a young age. I didn’t worry about SATS at all in Primary school with Teen, didn’t practice anything at home and he always did well. 🙂

  7. Oh god I absolutely dread when my little ones get to the age for doing these…I can totally understand your stress. Good luck to him.

  8. I am dreading this when it comes! I’m already panicking about KS2 in two years time as that will determine what stream my daughter is in when she goes to secondary school.

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      I think it’s unfair to put pressure on kids that young. I don’t remember doing tests like this in primary school!

  9. StephsTwoGirls says

    Am sure you’re not alone in these worries… but sounds good that he’s drawn up a timetable! Think Mummy should try to chill 😉

  10. I think if teen was showing signs of stress then you would probably be a complete wreck! So it is a good thing he is keeping you both calm!
    Best of luck to your boy at such an important time xx

  11. oh wow .. good luck to your teen! mine took her options this week and i was a nervous wreck so god help me at GCSE time .. eek

  12. Erica Price says

    I’m sure exams will creep up on us before we know it – childhood seems to go so quickly. Don’t blame you for being stressed.

  13. I know where you are coming from, my son is doing his A levels soon! The only thing my son was stressed about when he sat his GCSEs was his maths

  14. Different people cope with different situations in their own ways.Maybe your son is not showing stress because he controls it well. I would encourage him and provide support which will help him more than nagging which most parents tend to do.

  15. I can so see where you are coming form but there is only so much you can do and worst case scenario – he has to resit the exams and learn that maybe he wasn’t so good after all. On the other hand, he may really be super confident. Sending hugs your way and hoping he does really well.

  16. Good luck to your son in his GCSEs. Try not to get too stressed – it’s not easy for us mums is it?!

  17. Awww this is really a stressful time! I hope that you can make your son study more or find a way for him to take this exam seriously. #pocolo

  18. Good luck to him, try not to get to stressed, I hope they go swimmingly in the end for him.

  19. Crieky, I think that I will be exactly the same as you when it comes to Grace’s exams – although I think that she will be the kind of girl who will stress as much as I do! Then I will have to be the one who is calm. I am sure that he will knuckle down when it comes to it. Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  20. Oh gosh such a stressful time. I hated mine and went to pieces but thankfully I did ok

  21. Aww I feel for you, hope the next few months go smoothly. Apparently a banana and mars bar before are good for realesing energy for exams

  22. Best of luck to him and to you for that matter.

  23. cherishedbyme says

    Good luck to your son, my daughter’s first exam is on the 11th.
    This has been my last few years…no let up
    A S levels
    A levels
    A S levels
    and then GCSE and A levels this year! Eeeekk.

    • Mummy Endeavours says

      Oh no I am not looking forward to any of it. Although I think with the A Levels it’s up to him… he’ll be older and if he’s not prepared to put in the work by that time then he deserves to fail. Can’t be on his back all his life! 😉

  24. I can ply imagine how stressed you are – I have all this to come! I’m sure he’ll do fine lovely xx

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