As the end of 2022 approaches, the mock exam season is already underway, causing many students, parents, and carers to wonder: ‘How important are mock exams?’
The mock exam season usually falls between November and February (dependent on the school’s chosen timeframe), often adding an additional level of stress to the holiday period. Put simply mocks are a form of practice exam that enable students to see where they are at in terms of subject mastery at a given point in time and help direct their future revision.
Why are mock exams important?
Mock exams are useful as they enable students to grasp what they do and do not understand regarding a specific topic or subject. This enables them to discover what content they need to brush up on for the final exam, but also acknowledge where their strengths lie.
Mock exams are vital for students to understand and practise exam technique. Learning the correct information is of course important, but the technique of answering questions is crucial for boosting examination scores.
Examination markers for GCSE and A Level are taught to check for a series of keywords when marking most subject papers. It is therefore incredibly important to learn exam techniques, knowing exactly what the markers are looking for when reading over your answers. Past papers are a fantastic way to gauge the type of questions that are normally asked within an exam, whilst past paper mark schemes can aid with understanding the best structure of answers. Papers and mark schemes can be usually found directly on the relevant exam board’s website. AQA offers a comprehensive database of past papers that you may find useful as do other exam boards.
Mocks provide students with exam format and exam conditions, forcing them to work within a specified time frame to answer the questions. This will help their time management skills and increase their familiarity with how exams work.
Within mock exams, students learn to divide their time between questions effectively, and become familiar with the paper’s length and the type of questions that are regularly asked. Getting used to exam conditions will remove anxiety on the day as students will be accustomed to the real exam day structure and pressure.
Mock exams allow students to check if their current revision techniques are working well or need to be adjusted.
Everyone learns in different ways, making it important for students to understand if their current methods of learning are working and should be continued, or if another form of revision should be introduced.
Mock exams are simply a trial run for the real summer exams.
Don’t panic if your child doesn’t achieve the exact grades that they want.
There is still plenty of time to learn, reflect, and change revision and exam techniques.
Think of the mock exams as a helping hand for their summer exams and final grades.
Need a helping hand with your child’s revision?
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