Over to you: Lara Henderson on this year’s exam results

Well, this year definitely didn’t go the way you originally planned. From exam fiascos, months out of school to cancelled summer holiday plans, what happened to 2020? Young Scots share their 2020 on pause.

Lara Henderson,

17, Fife 

Why do I feel cheated by 2020 exam results? Well, to answer that, we’ve got to start from when lockdown was established. I remember sitting in my least favourite subject, maths, watching Swinney’s announcement on the board. 

When he said that exams weren’t going ahead, I could hear some of my classmates crying while others were cheering. I just felt heavy anxiety for what was to become of my Highers, my worry prominent as I text my mum something along the lines of: “My exams are cancelled. It’s over, I’m never going to get into university.” 

It really felt like the end for me as my prelims went terribly due to them taking place straight after the Christmas holidays, like what was I supposed to do? Study through Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year? I needed a break from the constant stress of having 5 Highers and 1 Nat 5. 

It just seemed unlikely I’d get the results I worked tirelessly for and that depressed me. During lockdown, all I could do was think about my results. I’d check the SQA news updates constantly, contact my teachers through email and send coursework evidence in the fear they didn’t have enough proof for a good grade. 

When results day came, I was massively relieved of that stress I had been enduring. I did better than I thought, my parents and sister were very proud, encasing me in hugs of excitement. However, I was slightly disappointed over one result. 

In Higher English, I received all A’s in the coursework until my prelim where I got a B. I had hoped my teacher put me forward for an A as the SQA were changing grades to estimates, but no, I was stuck with my B. I’m not complaining as I’m quite happy with my B; it’s a good grade!

But, I still feel cheated by 2020 exam results. All in all, I’m glad things turned out like they did, however I feel that people in my position should be allowed to have more control over their fate, to make their own path. 

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