Exam Results

13 08 2012

It is that time of year when thousands of children are spending a torturous summer waiting for the results of their GCSE or A-Level exams.

For a number of reasons I was always going to be fairly nervous about the 2012 results. I have taught two sets of exam students this year, my gorgeous Yr-9 LAMDA students and an equally fabulous GCSE class and I am anxious to find out how they got on, but it is also my first ever year of taking students through to the exam stage.

However I have the added pressure of waiting for results of my own. Back in the summer 2011 my Head of Department decided, in her infinite wisdom, that it would be a great idea to put me through my LAMDA Gold Medal exam. The premise was that it would enable me to empathise with my students, give me firsthand experience of the process which would in turn help me to plan my future delivery of this course, and it also had the added bonus of providing me with good evidence for my annual performance review demonstrating  my commitment to my ongoing professional development. It seemed a long way off at the time and I would have lots of time to prepare so I agreed.

However the time went very quickly and in the weeks leading up to the exam I actually felt physically sick. It was an acting exam in which I had to perform 3 monologues from different periods of theatre history and then be interviewed at degree level about my characterisation, knowledge of the social, political and historical context of the extracts and how I engaged with the work of a theatre practitioner during the rehearsal process. This is enough to make anyone nervous but as it has been over 10 years since I last took an exam I felt a little out of practice and as the first candidate to be examined I would have nobody else’s experience to draw upon.

I was also the centre co-ordinator and had to spend a lot of 1:1 time with the examiner including some very awkward lunch breaks during the three days he visited my school as well as making sure my students were in the right place at the right time in costume and not losing the plot due to their own nerves. The great thing was how this enabled me to build rapport and empathise with my students as it was one of those rare occassions when the expression “I know exactly what you’re going through” rang true.

Following my exam I had hoped that the examiner might take pity on me as a member of staff and give me some indication of how I had scored but he was the consummate professional. When the only thing we had in common was LAMDA it was difficult to find topics of conversation.

The results are due to be released within the next week and will be posted to me at my school, but as I leave for Mexico early on Thursday morning it may be a while still before I find out if I passed.

So like thousands of 16-18 years olds across the country I wait with baited breath and I just have to hope that I did enough on the day…




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