Pupils at Beauchamp technology and community college are luckier than most.
This year the Leicester school has spent pound;10,000 on science equipment to meet the practical requirements of the new OCR biology A-level examination, which is taken by 180 students.
Among the apparatus purchased was glassware and pipettes. Toby Tufton, head of biology, believes the school is now well-resourced to deliver the curriculum.
Beauchamp, which has almost 2,000 pupils aged 14 to 18, has five biology, four chemistry and four physics labs, as well as two general science classrooms. All were refurbished when the school achieved technology status five years ago.
Each has up to 16 gas taps, powerpoints at desk height and IT sockets so teachers and pupils can use computers.
They are also equipped with state-of-the-art data projectors and smart-boards.
Mr Tufton, who has taught at the school for 10 years, said: "I have always taught here so I have little to compare it with. But I know when people come here they comment on how impressive the science labs are."