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: 


honeymery's picture
honeymery 5 January, 2015 - 19:06

frankly speaking I love cheating because it is enjoyable and full of Adrenaline .
of course I hardly ever need to cheat but I always give cheat to my friend Specially at math and physics exams . any way I love cheating and I think real student has to cheat :) :*

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famz97's picture
famz97 13 December, 2014 - 14:19

I Like This Story! I also Think Terry is cheat initially but it's just my prejudice and She didn't . I am sorry if My English is Terrible..

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LoveEnglish7's picture
LoveEnglish7 24 November, 2014 - 10:09

Sometimes yes,sometimes no but I always feel stressed in math test so because of it I got bad mark.

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Anna_Amy's picture
Anna_Amy 21 September, 2014 - 19:41

Awww really interesting story i really enjoyed reading it ,,!!!
during exams i don't get stressed because i prefer before well and huh!! interesting thing is that My Fav subject is Physics <3

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ChocolateMilk's picture
ChocolateMilk 1 September, 2014 - 16:21

I'm not good at Maths and Chemistry so I always feel terrible when I have a Math exam or a Chemistry exam :x But I'm good at Literature and Biology :x

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DemiDirection's picture
DemiDirection 6 July, 2014 - 23:46

specially in maths ,i always wanna have excellent marks so i feel stressed but i don't hate it

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mamina122's picture
mamina122 27 May, 2014 - 15:23

I always feel stressed in only one subject which is physic . Besides our physic teacher is very strict which doesn't help me to do well in the exam

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gulzar's picture
gulzar 8 March, 2014 - 19:20

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

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sohi8990's picture
sohi8990 5 June, 2015 - 06:12

i am agree with you miss Gulzar and i think cheat is very bad act in our life and we must be successful without it. we must be pass all exam with try and struggle.

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Kittylove's picture
Kittylove 19 February, 2014 - 20:23

I don't get stressed but sometimes when my friends get low marks I feel some strange as thinking that they won't be friends with me if I get higher marks

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pro100Vasja's picture
pro100Vasja 14 February, 2014 - 20:47

I don't feel stress while I'm passing exam, because I understand that it may be destroying me. When I pass exam I concentrate on the test, not on the stress.I have not many time to think about my stress at the exam)

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 15 February, 2014 - 01:37

Hi Fatime143. Everyone feels stressed sometimes but there are things you can do which help to deal with it. Have a look at this blog for some tips. Like pro100Vasja pointed out in the next comment, stress can affect people very badly so try to stay calm and relaxed - it'll be good for you and your exam results!
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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