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Archbishop Tenison's

Church of England High School

Archbishop Tenison's CE High School
Selborne Road

Chapter 8 - The Oxford Exams

Mr. Henderson had a strict policy with regard to external examinations. For many years previously, students had been required to hand over their examination question papers after writing each exam. The questions were then used by succeeding classes as test papers, to condition them for their own ordeals later. In this way, we were able to recognize the style of questions that we could expect and, in some cases, questions that came very close to those we had studied. Therefore, when the final trial arrived in December of 1942, we were about as prepared as we could possibly be to convince the examiners of our ability. Nevertheless, all was fear and trembling as the time approached. A great deal of intensive studying, revision and general burning of midnight oil occurred. By ten days or so before exam time, I decided that further cramming would be counterproductive. Best to get part of it right than mess up the whole lot. So, against all good advice I relaxed at the Regent and similar disreputable places.

Came time for the showdown and we took our places in the front room of Craigmore Hall. The papers were handed out and the clock started. A few days later it was all over. We paid our fees for telegrams that would inform us of our results; we left ruled, self-addressed postcards, complete with orange-coloured twopenny stamps, to be filled in by next year's class, giving details of all participants' achievements; and we left sufficient postage for full statistical details to be forwarded on 'Craigmore Hall' embossed letterheads. And with that we headed off to make our fortunes in the world.

© Archbishop Tenison's CE High School