For most A Level students TV, music and Facebook are probably the biggest distractions when it comes to revision.
So spare a thought for Faisa Hassan, who had to help care for her younger siblings while working part-time to supplement her family's income - as well as contending with the grief of losing her grandmother just a few weeks before her exams began.
Despite the added pressure and responsibilities, the Cranford Community College student managed to secure two As and a B to earn a place reading psychology at University College London - making her the first member of her family to attend university.
"My mum's a single parent and as the oldest of seven siblings the responsibility's always fallen on me to look after my younger sisters and brothers," said the 18-year-old, of Heston.
"As well as focusing on my schoolwork, I had to collect them from the childminder after school, make sure they were OK at home and ensure they were keeping up with their homework."
She also worked part-time as a sales assistant at Mothercare, and when her grandmother died with Faisa's exams looming, she had to take time off school to look after her mother and grieving relatives visiting the family home.
"There was a week or two when I didn't even look at my school books," she said.
"I felt guilty but I knew I had to help my mum, and when I got back to school I could go hardcore with my revision."
Faisa, who hopes to become a forensic psychologist, added that she was thrilled to be the first person in the family to attend university and hopes her siblings - aged between two and 17 - can follow in her footsteps.
She was not the only student from Cranford Community College who overcame adversity to excel in her A Levels.
Farah Fadhluddin arrived in the UK from Yemen aged eight not speaking a word of English, but incredibly secured a place at a top university studying English literature.