Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Too smart..

Hey Sam,

I don't want to sound vain, but I'm really smart, smarter than my friends. A few weeks ago my friends started teasing me about it. Nothing major, just calling me "nerd" and "geek" and all that. Now it's got really out of hand. They are violent towards me, they beat me up because I got 100% in the Chemistry test, they slapped me when I came top in German, and they say really offensive stuff to me. I didn't know how to make it stop, so I decided to fail my next test on purpose. When I got 54% in Physics, they didn't beat me up. So I failed all my tests just to avoid being beaten up, I got 60% in History, 58% in Maths and 55% in RS. I feel really awful about failing my tests and my parents are really angry that I got such low grades.

I don't want to fail my tests on purpose, it just makes my techers angry and my family angry. I also want to become a doctor so I need good grades and I don't want to have to fail my GCSEs and A-levels on purpose. But failing is the only way to avoid being beaten up. What shall I do??? Help!

M xxx

Ask Sam


Hey M,

Thanks for your letter. It sounds like you are feeling really confused about what to do about your tests. I want you to know that it is OK to feel proud about the things that make you uniquely you. We are all good at different things and that is what makes everyone interesting and special. It is great to be smart and it’s a really lovely talent to have. The important thing is that no one should ever tease anyone else for being different to them.

It sounds as though you are being bullied by your friends because you’ve been getting better exam results than them. What these friends are doing to you is not acceptable and they should be stopped from being violent towards you and calling you names.

All schools have an anti-bullying policy and I’d ask you to think about reporting what these bullies are doing to a teacher or maybe the Head of Year, whoever you feel most comfortable with. It is up to the teachers to deal with the bullies using the anti- bullying policy, that is what the policy is there for.

It is important to do your best in any test. Whatever mark you get, it is OK if it is your best effort. No one can ask you to do any more than your best.

Your friends are wrong to make you risk your dream of being a doctor as it is your decision what you do, not theirs. If you continue to fail your tests deliberately, you might start to miss out on achieving what you want to. You deserve to be able to concentrate on doing your best and becoming what you choose to be. You could start by talking to the teachers or your family about the bullying and asking them to help.

You can always read the information about Bullying in the Explore pages, or look at what other people are saying about bullying on the messageboards. There is also charity called Kidscape who have some great advice on their site for children and young people who are being bullied.

You should feel very proud of yourself for your good grades. If you'd like to talk about this more you can speak to a ChildLine counsellor by calling 0800 1111 or by logging in for a 1-2-1 chat.

Take care,


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