August is usually the month when 16 and 17-year-olds await their University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIEs) Ordinary and Advanced level results.
While it is a time of anticipation, it is also a period of much concern; the possible outcome of getting insufficient A’s and not being able to gain acceptance into good universities and schools is a lingering sword above many students’ heads.
Of course, there are those who have an indifferent behaviour as well. For those dedicated individuals who aim to get into reputed universities and A’ level schools, these results can make or break their future and dreams.
The competition is indeed extremely tough and the standards are set high, with some students getting A’s like they were being handed to them. Comparison becomes almost inevitable especially when students are competing against the likes of Ali Moeen Nawazish who gained 23 A’s in his A’ levels.
Needless to say, for many, it is an anxiety-ridden wait till the date of the results.
Students await their results anxiously, and many find it difficult to enjoy or relax during their vacations due to the stress of result day. The quality of their relaxation time is adversely affected, and that is rather unhealthy considering it is the only proper vacation children have before indulging back in the ruthless routine of their school.
Days leading up to the result can cause drastic changes in the attitudes of many young individuals; some begin praying more often, while others keep themselves occupied in different ways. Many children scoff at their peers who turn to religion only when results draw close, calling them hypocrites. Result day is definitely an intense affair, proving to be a nightmare-induced event. Many young individuals discuss having nightmares regarding result day, such as getting multiple C’s, being unable to finish an exam and even reaching late to an examination hall.
Many youngsters fear that their hard work will go down the drain if the examiner is in a particularly bad mood and decides to take it out on their papers. But what youngsters of Pakistan dread the most is nosey relatives who call them once a year – just to inquire about their results. For many, there are strict expectations they have to meet, whether it is because one of their cousins has set a bar too high, or because their parents have high hopes from them. There is a fear of letting loved ones down and feeling incapable as a result of insufficient A’s.
The competitive society we live in makes it tougher to separate one’s ability to succeed and get good grades, but one thing that is necessary for children to know is that their worth is not determined by their grades.
Let’s point out that I’m not saying that working hard is a waste. What is being implied is that one should work to their utmost capability, and if one has the comfort of the knowledge that he/she could not have done any better, then worrying about results is irrelevant. Surely the hard work will pay off in other ways.
What has made result day more tension-inducing is social media and the pressure to gain likes on Facebook. Youngsters feel the need to post their results, and if they do not get a satisfactory result, they feel left-out for not being able to post it. What’s more is that they fear other students will figure out that they did not attain good grades because they are otherwise active on social media.
Nevertheless, results do not have to be a rat race, and comparing yourself to others brings nothing but distress.
On that note, good luck to all CIE candidates for result day!
About the author: Iqra Abid Hasan is a student at LUMS who likes to write about social and cultural issues.