Today is A-level results day. Thousands of young people all over country get to suffer the ignominy of either failing or being told by the newspapers that the exams are getting easier and that they're all much more stupid than anybody of an older generation. Don't listen to them.
For the rest of us, we sit and watch with a wistful mix of empathy and relief that whatever grades we managed to scrape together don't really matter any more. Wrong! You may have passed through university, you have been part of the big wide workforce for many years now but today is the day those A-levels matter once again. Today is the day we discover just how much of an A-level geek you really are.
All it takes is a quick, painless couple of sums - assuming you're geeky enough to understand mathematics. All you need to do is add up your grades according to the point system below
A = 5 points
B = 4 points
C = 3 points
D = 2 points
E = 1 points
N = -1 points
U = -5 points
But before you get too carried away, some subjects are more geeky than others and so offer bonus points. Any points received from grades in any of the following subjects can be multiplied by two:
Design & Technology
Information & Communication Technology
And if you happened to have grades in the following uber-geek subjects then you can multiply the points from those grades by three:
Multiplication of negative scores for Ns and Us must also take place as those with such results were clearly off elsewhere outside playing sports and sticking two fingers up at both their inner geek and the geek community as a whole. Shame on you.
Pay attention at the back. If you took A-levels in Maths, Chemistry and Art and got BUA respectively then your score would be:
(4 x maths multiplier) + (-5 x Chemistry multiplier) + 5 = (4x2) + (-5x2) + 5 = 8 - 5 + 5 = 8
Sporto (8 points or less)
Pathetic. Frankly, it's amazing you managed to work through the calculation, let alone turn the computer on in the first place. Yes, that's what this funny thing with the letters on is. If you wish to explore this strange new world you've just discovered, people refer to it as "the internet" or, if they're slightly backwards, "the web" - they could always be being ironic but that's probably a little advanced right now - then good on you. If it's all a bit scary and you want the nightmare to end, then just walk away from this machine, pretend it never happened and go and read Closer magazine or make real life friends or whatever you people do to pass the time.
Demi-geek (9-13 points)
You didn't make many geeky choices in the early part of your life but there's still hope for you yet. You know how to get involved in a subject and develop a few niche interests but it's probably just a hobby for you. You clearly understand the internet and use it every day but social networking and e-mails aside, you probably put the laptop down once you get home. Doubtless you can hold your own in a few techhyish conversations but the minute it gets as deep as RAM or beyond, your eyes glaze over. It's not too late though. You are here. You are reading this. Have a go at a few of our meatier articles and see how you get on.
Certified Geek (14-25 points)
Congratulations! You made it. You might not know too much of the techier arts but you'd have no problems getting stuck in if need be. Regardless of your career choices since your fateful day in August, if we locked you in a shed with a set of instructions and enough biscuits to last you the week, you'd have managed to build your own website by the time we let you out - that, or we've got some explaining to do and body to dispose of. At least it would mean more tucker for the next person.
Geek Lord (26-35 points)
Dance there, wherever you may be, you are the lord of the geeks said he. Chances are that your dance would be very bad and arrhythmical having spent all those years staring at a screen rather than working your muscles but you can't have everything. The geek is clearly strong with you and there's an excellent chance it runs in the family. There has to be a tech-minded mother or father somewhere in the background showing off their latest toys to you as a young child or encouraging the listening of Radio 4. If they weren't proud of you the day you got your A-level results, they certainly would be now.
Uber Geek (36 points +)
You work for Apple, right? Google? Microsoft? No? Well, then you've got to be studying for one of those post-graduate qualifications that no one's ever heard of and you've probably got a soldering iron in your hands right now as you read this on a computer you built yourself. Actually, more likely is that you're not even here. You've got bot you created reading this for you. Well, when you do finally assimilate the information in some kind of binary order which obviously makes much more sense to you, then congratulations. We bow to your unbridled geekiness. Long may it produce new gadgets for us to buy.