Exams: A Homeschooler's Observations.


I haven't written on my beloved blog for a few weeks. This is mainly because I have been busy exploring new territory. Exams.
Exams are a very new thing for me and, being homeschooled, I've not had a chance to experience any until this year. I'm currently doing my GCSEs and I thought that sharing my thoughts and ideas may help some other people in my situation.
The number of schools accepting private candidates is rapidly decreasing. I currently have to go to a private school about 30 minutes away from where I live. It is the only one that happily accepts homeschoolers in my area. The exams at this school are set in their sports hall, a massive hall, separate from the main building. Although I have visited schools before, this was a very different and daunting occasion, completely unfamiliar to me. Therefore, I was unsure what to expect.

My first exam was chemistry, generally an unusual subject for Homeschoolers to learn, so there were only 4 private candidates including myself. Once the big doors opened, all the student flooded in and everyone knew what to do, this was slightly unnerving but I managed to find my name on a desk near the back and waited for something to happen. I appeared to be the only homeschooler who was doing the AQA board, which worried me at first because I was very scared of getting the wrong paper. Fortunately, it turned out to be the right one, which is just as well, but I still wonder what would happen if you did get the wrong one...
I don't really know what I was expecting when time started. There was a ripple of pages being turned and heads bowed in complete attention. In between answering the questions (which I was paying absolute detail to, I promise...) I observed the different people. I've been taught at home forever so learning with other students is completely foreign to me and it was very interesting to see what it is like to be surrounded by several people in your position. Some laid back in chairs, passing pens to-and-fro between their fingers, others huddled over their desks in concentration. Invigilators walked up and down slowly checking everything, everyone. I had imagined this environment to be much more official and daunting. However, I was very wrong. The desks were nicely spaced apart and all stress seemed to disappear. I would agree that I didn't do the very best I could have, but I had already expected that for my first exam. By the time it came round to my other subjects I felt a lot better about the situation and even learned to enjoy the experience (as much as you can). When I went arrived for my Physics exam, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few more homeschoolers waiting. It was very encouraging to meet and talk to people my age, in my position. Homeschoolers are not as common here in Britain as they are in countries such as the USA so it is harder to find other people taught at home, especially my age. Maths was the most exciting because there was loads more private candidates. This time the hall was a lot busier, creating a different atmosphere. Probably because most homeschoolers choose to do Maths as a subject. I think it was quite a good exam, I was relieved when it was over though because that marked the beginning of half-term (a week holiday in Britain) and a well deserved break. My exams continue next week and I feel much more prepared after these first exams and the experience so far.

Are any of you homeschooled, and have you done any exams? I'd love to hear your experiences​ :).

Abby x

1 comment

  1. LOL! This is the best! I was home schooled and I had exams at home, but my first exam at a community college (duel credits) was a little weird! My mom kept telling me, "DON'T FORGET TO WRITE YOUR NAME ON YOUR PAPER!"

    Heehee, I found that half the battle was not letting other people see I had no clue what was going on... ;)

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