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Mother, 49, ‘nervous’ awaiting biology GCSE result

A mother from Birmingham said she is “nervously” awaiting her GCSE biology grade, ahead of results day on Thursday, saying it would “make a long-term ambition come true”.

Zoe Lee, 49, a marketing and communications director at BMet College in Birmingham, is also a mature student who has completed her GCSE biology at the college.

The mother-of-one left school in 1990, saying she did not get a science GCSE but that “didn’t bother” her as she was “very much into the arts”.

As she got older, Ms Lee said she “wished” she had a GCSE in “at least one of the sciences”, which led her to do biology at the Sutton Coldfield College on the BMet campus.

She said her daughter Megan, 13, will be going into Year Nine in September and had to choose her GCSE subjects, so she thought about studying biology as well as helping her daughter.

Zoe Lee
Zoe Lee said she took a fast track course in the subject which started in January (Zoe Lee/PA)

Ms Lee told the PA news agency: “I’ve got those nerves, trying to replay the paper, have I done it.

“Obviously the extra layer for me is that now I’m working and if I don’t pass, oh my goodness, that’s embarrassing.

“But I’ve decided that if I don’t get the number that I want, that I will go back next year and do it again, because never give up, that’s what I say.”

Ms Lee said that she got a D in her biology GCSE when she first took it, saying that she hopes now to get a four, explaining “a four in new money is a C”.

Ms Lee said: “For me, this achievement will make a long-term ambition come true.

Zoe Lee
Zoe Lee said she is aiming for a grade four (Zoe Lee/PA)

“It was always with me that I haven’t got a science at GCSE, so it will just see that come to fruition.

“It will give me a real sense of achievement that I went back and I did it, so fingers crossed.

“It just got me thinking again about GCSEs, and also to be able to help her [Megan], because it’s been so long since I sat an exam,” she said.

“What is that pressure like, how has it changed, all of those things really, so I just thought, why not.

“From doing it, I’ve got exam tips for her, what to do and what to look out for, just to get me back into that mindset.”

Zoe Lee
Zoe Lee said studying for her GCSE exam has helped her daughter Megan (Zoe Lee/PA)

Ms Lee said she has a “renewed admiration” for students and people taking GCSEs, saying that she “felt for” them as it is “a lot to revise”.

“I only had a snapshot with one subject that I was studying,” she said.

“I really then felt for anyone taking their GCSEs where they’re taking like five or six exams, that’s a lot to revise in a short period of time.

“It gave me renewed admiration for those people, and our students as well who go through and take exams.”

She added: “The reality is that when you’re studying, it’s quite hard.”

Ms Lee said her job at BMet College is “full on”, and she was “hesitant” about giving her full commitment to the GCSE, but she took a fast track course which started in January and she completed her exams in June.

She said she “had to cram a lot” towards the end and her weekends were “wiped out for about a month”.

She said that “regardless” of her result on Thursday, taking time to study for the GCSE has been “so good” because she said she was with “completely different people”, it took her out of her day job, and she could “focus and learn something again”.