It had been a week of endless coffee and going to bed at dawn, and Alex still wasn’t ready for their exams to start. They needed more time to revise, more time to get ready. But their time was all up, and the maths test loomed.

Alex could feel their entire future pressing down as they entered the examination hall. Their university place, their internship, their own sense of worth; everything rested on this. Alex took a deep breath as they sat down, trying and failing to relax.

As the clock struck nine, Alex turned over the paper, and began.

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