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: 


arunmishra91's picture
arunmishra91 20 March, 2013 - 07:18

have patience .... because it always pays .... exams are the good to know who is your friend .... not only who helps you during the exams in cheating but those who helps you to gain the clear idea about the subjects ... i love exams ...

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Beauty2705's picture
Beauty2705 1 March, 2013 - 05:23

what a sad story....really sad! :(
I too get stressed during exams...sometimes I get a headache....especially during maths exam. English as always is my favourite subject and I always get good marks in it. History and civics is also a little hard.

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rina's picture
rina 28 February, 2013 - 15:29

I am really streesed when I have exams especially in MATH and PHYSIC.At the other hand exams are pretty important so I keep working hard in every subject.
GOOD LUCK for all students that have exams this week.

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etleva hoxha's picture
etleva hoxha 10 February, 2013 - 20:49

yeah...when i have learn sometimes but when i dont learn yes ... :(( and for that who are more important friend or exams i think that both of them because exams are things that decide our life and friend are those that help us to pass our life beautiful sow for me both.. :)

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ingrida's picture
ingrida 7 February, 2013 - 20:23

sometimes i feels a little bit problem before exam.but still I know that I learn and get a good grade

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tota syria's picture
tota syria 31 January, 2013 - 21:13

when i was at school i was feel stressed when i have an exam but no at university i dont

if u find any mistake tell me

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gayter0203's picture
gayter0203 26 December, 2012 - 14:05

Exams are really cool. I love exam days. I'm least tensed and listen to my favorite sprightly music before exams..

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Sizar Torres's picture
Sizar Torres 18 October, 2012 - 20:17

Hi 20sep_fm!
many thanks for your nice made me feel that I'm still loyal to my close friend! :D

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Sizar Torres's picture
Sizar Torres 12 October, 2012 - 17:20

What a sad story!
Well I've never cheated except 2 times in my life, just once, and that was maybe 10 years ago, I've never cheated since then cause I think that is unfair to get good marks by cheating, if I cheat and get good marks, it means I'm deceiving myself not my friends or teachers..and thanks GOD till this day my marks were very good.
I love my friends but I never allows them to cheat with me, they can try like me, once I helped my closest friend but then I regretted for that. I do not like cheating, many times I forgot the answers in exams and I could ask for help from my friends but I didn't do that , that is unfair..if one wants to help friends , he /she can help them in many other ways not in cheating.

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20sep_fm's picture
20sep_fm 18 October, 2012 - 05:27

HI Sizar,

Good comment from you.
It reminds me when I was angry to my friend, Elena who didn't help me in giving answer physic's exam. I could answer 4 from 5 question. But after exam finished, my friend explained me as you wrote if one wants to help friends , he /she can help them in many other ways not in cheating.
And it's not pride getting perfect score with cheating.

Since that, we are very closed. And each time I faced exam, I always answered by myself.

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