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

Total votes: 383
Language level: 


Do you feel stressed when you have exams?


empty's picture
empty 24 June, 2019 - 09:33

I study very well , so I don't need to cheat . And if there's a question that I can't answer , this is my fault and I should have read that part of book better or more . I think students that never study well , Do not deserve a good mark !

1 user has voted.
taokhonghat's picture
taokhonghat 1 February, 2019 - 15:02

I very hate people who cheat at exam because I think it's not fair with others who doesn't cheat!

0 users have voted.
Elsa007's picture
Elsa007 18 January, 2018 - 12:57

I agree with saying "Your silence will place your conduct in an unfavorable light".... ;)
Anyway, what a shame that Terry, Mo and the teacher were just focusing on their self-righteous conduct without seeing the whole picture...! :0

4 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 19 January, 2018 - 08:39

I’m afraid that Mo is just a nut.
Do you not want to make a friend w/ Mo?
I know a friend just like Mo.
I often tell her to focus on her way, otherwise she is easily distracted by the wrong idea, as you know, she’s a loose nut. I want to give up her as hopeless, but unbelievably, she is always saved by her good friend who’s very calm, kind and clever! Jealous! I see them a perfect friends in our school! They help with each other and are generating synergy in spite of her lonesome soul. I hope they are happy!

0 users have voted.
Skiing's picture
Skiing 30 December, 2017 - 08:52

When I have an exam I am always very stressed and nervous because I think that I've not studied enough : my face turns red, I sweat and my heart beats a lot. I think that this is not good because in this way I get a lower grade.

13 users have voted.
mavis2002's picture
mavis2002 15 December, 2017 - 12:13

In our country is really normal to have stress when exams get start.
It's so bad I think it's really hurts me .....
I don't know what can I do so I cry a lot and my friends come and make me to smile.
And know in my country we are near our final exams and I'm really stressed because this year will change my life completely...
Pray for me......

15 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 15 December, 2017 - 14:51

Hi mavis 2002, I know it must be a stressful time at the moment. Good luck with everything and keep going :)

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

13 users have voted.
Seliii's picture
Seliii 5 January, 2017 - 11:18

Dear readers,
My point of view is that Mo in the Story act really right. I believe it isn't correct to cheat in exams. Because every other Student has the same time to learn the learning matter and so you should tell the teacher when someone is cheating. Sometimes there are bad situations in live like the heart attack of Terry's father, which destroy the living situation. But that is a seldom case. You should speak to your teacher and explain them your situation. I believe every teacher will understand that. So I think you will get the chance that your teacher considers you on another day.
Normally I get stressed when I have an exam at school, but it depends on the subject. But stress is not going to bring you anything good. So stop worrying and do your best!
Thank you for reading

67 users have voted.
vanvienhuynh's picture
vanvienhuynh 20 October, 2016 - 16:04

Yes, I do because i always fell tired when review many lesson in one short time. But I won't cheat in my exams.

58 users have voted.
hienvn's picture
hienvn 26 June, 2016 - 09:26

I don't feel stressed when I have exams. I think exams aren't big problems. We have exams almost every week. I told myself to be as most confident as I can. If we get stressed, we won't do our exams well.

78 users have voted.
lia2004's picture
lia2004 11 June, 2016 - 15:12

I always feel very stressed when I have exams. I am nervous all the time. ))))))))))))))

80 users have voted.
butterfly_333's picture
butterfly_333 31 May, 2016 - 19:14

Normally I don´t get stressed when I have an exam. Except I didn´t learn anything.
I also dont like it if other people are cheating and the same good marks like other people who studied really hard. I think the should stop and do the best they can.
It is also a very good story.

74 users have voted.
barbiedoll10's picture
barbiedoll10 10 April, 2016 - 12:01

I used to get stressed when I had exams in the primary school. But since I moved to high school, I realised that stress is not going to bring you anything good. So stop worrying and do your best :)
P.S. Nice story :)

71 users have voted.
gianggiang's picture
gianggiang 5 March, 2016 - 06:57

One thing for sure that a teacher can't teach all subjects ( well ), so a student can't learn all subjects ( well). My reasoning seems to be logical, doesn't it ?
Besides, have you ever wonder if teachers cheated in exam once or twice when they were students ?! No, they never do that ?! ]

68 users have voted.
shamim's picture
shamim 27 December, 2015 - 17:30

I don't feel stressed during exams.
I remember, last year I had physics exam and I couldn't study good for that exam, I wrote important formula in a paper and took that to exam hall by myself! when I wanted to use that paper I felt stressed :-) and my face was pale! I couldn't use that but I passed my exam.

67 users have voted.
SwanQueen's picture
SwanQueen 14 December, 2015 - 10:36

well I really don't. I revise well for it and if I don't understand something I just ignore it and I don't stop at it it's just a mark !

76 users have voted.
sfnnss's picture
sfnnss 4 December, 2015 - 13:32

Actually, I don't feel stress when I got my exam. I feel stressed when I saw my friends were cheating! Is not fair and I hate it.

64 users have voted.
Ken's picture
Ken 4 December, 2015 - 23:11

The same thought. People cheat under the cloak or behind the scene (are these phrases right?). That's unfair!

68 users have voted.
junzi0phan's picture
junzi0phan 3 November, 2015 - 12:32

I also often use cell phone cheating to pass my tests , until now nobody discover . I know cheating is horrible but I don't do that it is hard for me to pass the test .

71 users have voted.