Less than a month into the A-level exam season, pupils are already coming up with excuses for poor performance. Any low marks to be delivered on August 18 when results are announced are surely down to wobbly desks, open windows and abyss-like orchestra pits.
A-level students posting messages on The Student Room website ranted that rickety school furniture was putting their hopes of exam success in jeopardy.
Markus505, who is studying for five AS-levels, complained: "They're too small, the legs are at uneven lengths and they have holes in them, meaning when you write over them it screws up your handwriting."
Zhivago, who had just had her biology triple science GCSE, said: "The top of my table was not properly attached to the legs. It ******* my concentration, and after 20 minutes fannying about I was moved, by which point it was too late... Concentration out of the window, along with my A*."
But at least it was only Zhivago's concentration that flew out of the window. Starry-eyed said: "Yesterday was my last exam but I was next to the window. It was windy and cold and I nearly fell out the window trying to close it."
But teachers too were blamed.
Henryt said: "The teacher opened the mechanised shutters in the main hall but they malfunctioned halfway and got jammed, and for about 10 minutes all you could hear was the crunching sound of the shutters getting stuck."
Wobbly desks remained the abiding problem. Fr Browne said: "I got a wobbly desk today. I had my pencil case under it, but after five minutes the pen under it broke and I went face-first into the wood - had everyone around me in giggles."
But students whose desks wobbled during their exams should spare a thought for poor Noofruit: "Our desks are all about 300 years old. Some of them don't even have legs.
"Also, we have our exams in the hall and the people unlucky enough to be at the front - usually me - are practically falling into the orchestra pit.
Drop a pen, and it's gone forever."