Every 16-year-old in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has to take GCSE exams. They're like SATs, but you can take them in subjects like Religious Studies and Citizenship. The results come out on the Thursday before the Reading and Leeds festivals, which means the two have become go-to destinations for teenagers celebrating their achievements with warm beers and suspect pills or drowning their sorrows with warm beer and suspect pills.
How will this year's Reading line-up cope with recent GCSE exam questions? Let's fucking find out.
Noisey: Give one reason why workers join a trade union (Citizenship)
Foxes: Why workers join a trade union? No, you're gonna get me, you're gonna get me so bad with this. Do another one.
Explain briefly what is meant by the term 'age of consent' (Religious Studies)
Age of consent? Explain briefly? When it's not rape, right? Isn't it? No? Oh that's not right, age of consent is willing, no it's not willing. Wait I've gone insane.
OK let's break it down. Consent is...
No consent is when you're...
Is when you...
No, I know what that is!
So age of consent...
Actually no. [Picks up dictaphone] Delete...delete!
It's the legal age you can give consent.
It's when it's legally right isn't it?
16 in the UK, right?
Right. "Music leads people to God." Discuss. (Religious Studies)
Music leads people to God? I don't know, can you help me with them? I've gone blank. I think...oh my God what's happening my mind is gone.
It's like you're panicking in the exam. Let's skip to another one. Men and women are meant to have different roles, do you agree? (Religious Studies)
Do you mean that women are meant to stay at home and cook and men are meant to provide the wood?
I didn't say that, you did. "Provide the wood", shall I put a winky face next to that?
NO WINKY FACE.
Suffering makes people stronger, do you agree? (Religious Studies)
Like if I break my arm I don't feel stronger, I feel like I've broken my arm.
Name a political party in Wales (Citizenship)
Um Labour is in Wales but that's really boring.
No that's good. It's kind of a trick question.
No I wanna get a good one... Plaid Cymru.
Wahey! A+ for you. "Married couples should never divorce." Discuss. (Religious Studies)
I think you've just got to get it over and done with really quick because the worst part is...
No! Like when you get engaged and you wait a year to plan it I don't understand who would do that. Then you have a year to sit and go "Oh God what have I done?" I'd get engaged and then just go and get married somewhere random the next day.
And then it's over with?
And then after a year you get divorced because it happens doesn't it. I think that life isn't meant for one person, we're here to be whores. No I'm kidding
Do you have an age you want to get married by?
I feel like that's a thing that girls have that boys don't.
And babies. Apparently girls get to a certain age where they start freaking out and stocking the fridge with like beer.
Stocking the fridge with beer? What are you talking about?
Like baby time where the girl is like "right we need a baby", but they don't say it, they just stock the fridge with beer and get them really pissed. Some people actually do that and get a random guy and then never tell them.
I got told that the other day, I don't do that.
I should hope not.
No! I'm 25, I don't want a baby yet. I actually haven't thought about babies at all.
Babies are great.
Do you feel broody?
Yeah when I see a cute baby. Not in a "I want to be its dad" way, more like "I wanna make a youtube video of it."
It's quite good as an attraction isn't it. I think it can attract friends, girlfriends..
Everyone wants to see a baby.
But then they leave you and you're alone with the baby.
Yeah which isn't as fun.
Yeah, cos I don't think I'd want to be alone with a baby.
That's a terrible thing to say.
I'm so sorry, this is the worst interview ever. You've basically ruined my career. I love you mum!
FALL OUT BOY
Noisey: "Suffering makes you stronger", do you agree? (Religious Studies)
Pete: The internet has made it so that suffering makes people weaker. They don't have a good grasp of what suffering really is. I mean, yesterday I tweeted I was gonna be gone till November. I just meant that I wasn't going to see my own bed till November, at the end of our tour. Then everyone started tweeting back "I'm crying right now! why are you leaving the band!"
It's a Wyclef Jean reference taken to a national emergency."People cannot know God through TV". Discuss. (Religious Studies)
There's no God, so you'll never know God through anything. But I think people do – a lot of people like think that the Kardashians are God. They definitely worship them.
A lot of people probably worship you.
Probably. Hopefully we're all headed to the same place, whatever that may be.
Name one political party in Wales. (Citizenship)
Um... the Welsh Conservative...
Yes! I was pretty close!
"Married couples should never divorce". Discuss. (Religious Studies)
As a person who's been married but got divorced, I feel like you shouldn't have to commit to being unhappy for the rest of your life. I don't know if some people are even meant to get married. I have friends who live together and are super committed to each other, but aren't married. And in America more than half the states think that gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married. So that's kinda a bummer.
Bad vibes. OK. Do you agree that the voting age should remain at 18? (Citizenship)
I don't know about worldwide, but in the US, in the two most recent presidential elections it was definitely the youth vote that made the difference, and it seemed like they were the people that were super informed. But I don't think it would work if people got drafted into the army again, and the voting age was still 18. If people had to go to war, but couldn't choose elected officials then it wouldn't work at all.
It's pretty scary that you can go to war before you can vote. But that's kind of a downer to end on. How about "Children are a gift not a right". Discuss. (Religious Studies)
I agree. I think that children are a gift... I'd like to give you a gift right now Andy
I'm sure I can spin that into a really great headline about inter-band romance.
ESTE FROM HAIM
Noisey: So these are all questions from this years GCSE exams in Religious Studies and Citizenship.
Este: OK if it's about Judaism I should be fine.
"Men and women are meant to have different roles". Discuss. (Religious Studies)
Girls rule, boys drool.
Explain briefly what is meant by the term "age of consent". (Religious Studies)
Age of consent? I could go so dirty on this one... I mean in America, there has to be grass on the field to play ball, right?
Are you just leaving it there?
I don't know, 18 is pretty much the rule across the world, I'd say.
"Claiming our rights is more important than accepting our responsibilities". Discuss. (Citizenship)
That's the rules I rule by.
What right is most important for you to claim?
To say whatever the fuck I want to.
Name one political party in Wales. (Citizenship)
Oh fuck off Sam.
Phoenix got four and they're French.
Can I just say the left and the right?
It's easier than you think
Can you give me a hint?
They're the same as the ones in England
Um... the... can we just talk about America?
We've got the Republicans and the Democrats and the Green Party - and the Jews.
The Jews don't have a party, do they?
We totally should.
LONDON GRAMMAR (on the phone from Leeds Festival)
Noisey: Men and women are meant to have different roles. Discuss. (Religious Studies GCSE, 2011)
Hannah Reid: Wait, I don’t understand, what are we supposed to do? I think that there are some biological differences so I guess it’s slightly true. I think women do have a slightly more nurturing urge, that’s from what I’ve observed.
What would you say one different role is?
Dan Rothman: Giving birth!
Hannah: I don’t think girls cry more than boys.
Dan: I don’t think that’s a role, that’s more of a thing.
Hannah: But people always expect the girl to be the more emotional one in the situation. From my experience, that's not true.
In my experience, boys are quite wimpy.
Dan: Jewish men mostly. [It was alright that Dan said that because both me and him are Jewish and that had been previously discussed - Free Pass Ed]
Suffering makes people stronger, do you agree? (Religious Studies GCSE, 2011)
Hannah: (checks phone) Ummm.
Dan: Are you searching for the answer?
Dot Major: I think in some ways yes and some no. There are some people who put on a front to make themselves appear stronger.
Hannah: It can make you more self-reflective and that’s always a good thing.
Dan: It’s that choice that you make. It can define you and destroy you. I know I sound like a ska band.
Explain briefly what is meant by the term age of consent? (Religious Studies, 2012)
Dan: I’d go straight to drinking or sex. I presume you mean sex though? Is it 16? It’s 16 or is it 18?
People are trying to lower it to 13, is that bad?
Dot: I mean Edgar Allan Poe was married to his 13-year-old cousin.
Dan: I’m pretty sure thirteen is a bit wrong and especially if it’s your cousin.
Yeah, it’s a double whoopsie.
THOMAS AND CHRISTIAN FROM PHOENIX
Noisey: What is meant by poverty? (Religious Studies)
Thomas: Well, there are different kinds of poverty. Materialistic poverty, poverty of the soul.
What's poverty of the soul?
Just shallowness. Its the worst kind, the one you should be the most scared of. We called our album Bankrupt, but its not financial poverty that I'm most scared by.
"Suffering makes people stronger." Do you agree? (Religious Studies)
Yes and no. It's a debate. I suppose it does, but then if you're a Star Wars fan like me, you know it can lead to anger.
Are we talking about George Lucas and his constant re-edits here?
No, you know what I'm talking about! Like the Jedi, a Yoda philosophical approach.
Being in a band is one of the few careers where every time a bad thing happens you at least know you'll get a decent song out of it.
Yeah, especially on tour, its very palpable. Every failure leads to a whole stream of things. It's like playing monopoly, you think you can make it and then you lose everything.
"Music leads people to God". Do you agree?
Thomas: The main difference between French and English people is that to us music is God. We believe in some kind of creative spirit, not your bearded guy. Music is God, painting is God. I don't think we can have any other answer.
Christian: You know how some African tribes have these rituals where they go into a trance? Being on stage sometimes, depending on how good the crowd is, and how good the food was at catering – sometimes you can get in that trance. A pie can put you in a trance - you can talk straight to the Gods with a chicken and leek pie.
Name one political party in Wales. (Citizenship)
Thomas: The socialists, of course
The Labour party.
That's two, you're already doing better than most of the English bands.
And then the Conservatives, but they're going to lose I hope.
Very good. So that was quite good fun, wasn't it?
It's nice to talk about things with meaning in such a context. There's way too much chit chat happening right now.