I write as the proud possessor of 14 points at A-level and mother of a daughter (who isn't that much brighter than me) who has a spectacular 28. I was at a respectable academic public school and so was she. I gained a university place and so did she, but there the resemblance ends.
I was taught by whiskered spinsters, and she by highly professional inhabitants of the legal competitive world. Mock exams, predicted grades, exam technique, league tables, parental demands on the school, cut-throat competition for university places, graduate unemployment - all unheard of in my day. And as for working hard, the culture is completely transformed. We revised a little in the summer term, my daughter and her friends have been labouring without ceasing since before Christmas. It is no wonder standards are rising, the critics should be ashamed of themselves, and the successful candidates very proud.
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