Friends or exams? Which are more important?

Mo was waiting outside her class. She was feeling sick. She always felt sick in exam week. She had two exams that day. Physics was first and she hated physics, it was her worst subject. But this was the last day of exams! Terry looked back at her from the front of the line, then looked away quickly. Mo thought she looked guilty. She didn’t have a problem with physics. She didn’t have a problem with anything! 

“Hi, Mo, it’s your favourite exam today” said Nima as she arrived. Terry looked back again. “What’s wrong with her?” said Nima. “I thought you were friends.”  “Yes, so did I,” said Mo, “but she hasn’t spoken to me for two weeks.” She promised to help me revise for the physics exam, but then she ignored all my calls and texts. And when I rang her house, her mum told me she was busy. She doesn’t remember who her friends are!” said Mo angrily. “Are you listening Maureen Quinn?” Mr Reed was talking to the class and the other students were going into the exam room. Mo gave Nima a worried look and followed them.

Mo couldn’t answer question number five, it was too difficult. She looked up and saw Terry sitting in the next row. Mo was surprised. Terry was holding her phone under the table and she was reading from it. Mo didn’t know what to think. Is that how Terry always got good grades? She felt really angry at Terry but didn’t know what to do. She thought about telling the teacher, but what would everyone else think of her? It wasn’t fair! Mo never cheated and she failed lots of exams. Terry had already put her phone away when Mo looked up again. She looked back at Mo and smiled sadly. “Stop writing and put your pens down” said Mr Reed as he started to collect the exam papers. Oh no, Mo hadn’t answered two of the questions. She was going to fail again!

Mo wanted to talk to Terry at lunch time, but she couldn’t find her in the dining hall. The next exam was history. That was Mo’s favourite subject but she didn’t feel good. She was angry with Terry. Nima went home for lunch every day, so she couldn’t talk to her either. Mo went to the library to study. She didn’t know what to do about Terry. She thought about telling a teacher, but everyone would hate her if she did that. “It wasn’t fair!” she thought. “Terry was getting good grades by cheating all that time. And I thought we were friends!” Just then, Mr Reed walked past her table. “Mr Reed...”

Mo was sitting behind Terry again in the history exam that afternoon, but Terry didn’t take her phone out. Maybe she didn’t need to cheat at history. Mo was feeling bad again, but she had no problems with the exam. Why did she tell Mr Reed? But it was too late now. He wanted her to look at him and nod if she saw that Terry had her phone in the exam. She was on the last question, when she saw that Terry had her phone under the table. Without thinking, Mo looked up and nodded to Mr Reed. Terry was looking at her phone and didn’t hear him as he walked silently up to her table. He didn’t say anything. Terry looked, surprised. He picked up her exam paper and pointed to the door, to tell Terry to go outside. Terry started crying as she walked to the door. Everyone was staring at her and Mo felt really sorry now.

She was leaving school, when she heard footsteps behind her. It was Terry. “Mo, wait!” she called. “I want to talk to you.” Mo could see Terry had been crying, her face was pale and her eyes were red. Mo couldn’t speak. “Listen, I’m really sorry I didn’t answer your calls, but we’re having a terrible time. My dad had a heart attack and he’s in hospital. He had a big operation today and I was very worried. I know it was stupid, but I was reading texts from my mum to see how it was going, but Mr Reed caught me. He thought I was cheating. But he believes me now.  I’m sorry I didn’t tell you what was happening. I know you’re a good friend. Will you forgive me?”

Brendan Dunne


Do you feel stressed when you have exams?

Language level: 


KLEA B's picture
KLEA B 15 August, 2013 - 13:03

Sometimes or should i say usually specially when they are difficult but thank god i don't bite my fingernails or eat or anything else. I pass the stress by telling myself that i had study hard during all day and i will get the maximal mark

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Ilgın's picture
Ilgın 12 July, 2013 - 20:37

One night before the exam I feel like I don't know anything. But during the exam I feel so relax:) But this story is so sad I felt so miserable when I read...

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nadoucha's picture
nadoucha 7 July, 2013 - 18:36

I don't feel stressed in all the subjects but only in maths , I feel worry, disquiet, nervous and also troubled because it's the most difficult exam and a petty fault can distroy your labor :( , although I always have good marks

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sailor moon's picture
sailor moon 27 June, 2013 - 15:46

well, sometimes i`m too stressed before the exams, especially when i have exams on my difficult subjects. but when i have exams on my easy subjects i feel very good like: language, math ecc....:)
I feel SUPER good when my teacher give me the answer of the exam ( and it is always 10 ).

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hayaalhams's picture
hayaalhams 19 June, 2013 - 08:54

mmmm ... some times .. when i have an exam in my favourite subjects mmm i feel good .. but when i have an exam in the subjects whic i hate such as history i feel bad

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Hiihoi's picture
Hiihoi 1 June, 2013 - 12:56

Yes I do! And my hands begin to tremble... But when I read the first question it will go better.

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hongphuc_916's picture
hongphuc_916 24 May, 2013 - 05:19

Oh, as long as the papers of test handed to me, I stop worrying because I know that I will fail. Ha ha ha! (just for laugh)

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lami narita's picture
lami narita 22 May, 2013 - 12:11

sometimes i feel stressed i think it is normal because this is an exam but when i meet my friends i forget every thing and i feel good but it deosn't works every time with me

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alfred's picture
alfred 20 May, 2013 - 13:20

it is a good moral lesson to notice that you have to study not waiting some one to cheating you

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Nada♥♥'s picture
Nada♥♥ 5 May, 2013 - 13:31

If it's a difficult subject, a bit.
But in general I feel stressed when I get my texts! ;)

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vanianio's picture
vanianio 27 April, 2013 - 04:17

I couldn't cheat anymore when I Got the serious teacher ! haha. but maybe It's so easy to cheating when my teacher is not the serious person hahaaha. But, They usually to be the serious person when they kept their class while those class was having an exam

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Natalija's picture
Natalija 24 April, 2013 - 14:55

I think that we all are stressed when we have exams, because we're under such pressure at school, but we have to overcome it, to study a lot, and to be self confident enough to not have any doubts about our knowledge. I think that the reason why students feel like this is that their success depends on their grades, because when you're applying for some university or whatever, they'll require you to have excellent marks, and if you don't, you perhaps won't enter the university you'd like to. So, I understand it completely, but we should relax and to go ahead:). One is the life!

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