As thousands of students gear up for university following a summer of revision and exams, one young woman thinks assessments can put undue stress on pupils and don’t necessarily determine someone’s true potential.
Eve Connor, who is currently taking a gap year after completing her A-levels, says she often had sleepless nights before exams and feels that the constant pressure to achieve isn’t healthy for others her age.
The 18-year-old has made a poster campaign with Fixers encouraging youngsters to speak up if they’re feeling anxious.
Eve, from Castlederg, County Tyrone, says: ‘I remember the night before my english exam I was so tired, but just couldn’t sleep because I was so worried and nervous.
‘I would wake up and just recite quotes that I had memorised because it was on my mind.
‘One day I just broke down emotionally in the car, it was overwhelming.’
While she does recognise exams are important, Eve feels there needs to be other ways to encourage learning.
‘They’re basically memory tests,' she says. 'If you are good at remembering stuff, then you’ll do well. But there are many people who don’t do well at exams, and it doesn’t mean they’re not smart or will amount to nothing.
‘School should be a home from home for young people, a place where they can learn - not somewhere that causes unnecessary stress.’
Eve, who hopes to study politics at university next year, plans to share her posters with local schools and youth centres.
Click below to view the poster.
She says: ‘I hope it shows others my age who might be suffering from exam stress that they’re not alone.
'Even if you fail an exam, it's not the end of the world.
‘I feel like people who are determined to do well in life, will always find a way; academia is not the only option.’
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.