The Covid crisis first saw exams thrown into doubt, then cancelled, then replaced by teacher assessment, which was then supplemented by “tests” understandably described as “exams by another name”.
So pupils could be forgiven for feeling more than a little bit unfairly treated and certainly mucked about to a considerable degree.
Unfortunately, they are unlikely to be forgiven if they have failed to resist the temptation to – and there’s really no other way of putting this – cheat.
The non-exam exams – oh, all right then, “tests" – are apparently being based on papers originally prepared for last year’s Highers.
So it is fairly unsurprising to see comments on social media like this from a modern-day Dennis the Menace: “If anyone has sat any SQA exams please put stuff in the comments :) Help us all out.”
Following reports that details of at least some of the papers in question are indeed circulating on social media, the Scottish Qualifications Authority has now issued a warning to say that many schools are using different questions.
Perhaps it’s a cunning double bluff, perhaps it’s not, but hours of wasted study on the wrong questions, failed tests – no, sorry, we’re calling them “exams” – and being exposed as a cheat await those who succumb to temptation.
So pupils should stiffen their resolve, shoulder the heavy burden of coming of age in the time of Covid, and simply study as hard as they can.