The words most students dread: ‘You’re going to be doing a mock exam paper.’ The classroom fills with moans and groans and comments such as ‘not another one?’. I have found that a lot of students have a negative attitude towards mock exams, trust me I don’t love them either, but they really are so important. Here’s why..
Yes, ok, ‘mock exams don’t count towards my final grade’, but what if they did? In some circumstances, say you were ill and unable to take a real exam, your mock grade (along with other factors such as coursework and any other exam papers you did for that subject) could be used to give an estimate for your grade on that paper, therefore influencing your final grade. How do I know this? Well, it happened to me. On the day of my exam I turned up to take it, but after 20 minutes, the exams officer pulled me out because I was clearly unwell and struggling to concentrate (and also distracting everyone else). The first thoughts that went through my head were that I’d failed, and was going to get a U, but the exams officer and my head of year sat down and explained the process. Luckily, I had done alright in my mock exams and had a good coursework grade, so I didn’t fail my overall GCSE!
Mock exams and assessment are also important as they identify your weaknesses. When your teachers mark your papers, they will be able to see where you need extra support, and can tailor their lessons to suit the needs of the class, and set individual homework tasks that will actually be beneficial. It will also show if you are making the right progress, and that their intervention from previous assessments is working.
Another useful thing about mock exams is that they make you become used to the exam process. For example, your teacher could set you 2 English essays to do for homework,yet when you complete them at home you spend 2 hours on them yet in the exam you might need to answer 4 questions in that time. Mock exams also encourage you to revise, which is good because as you move through your course, you will still have that ongoing revision, which will enable you to do well in your final exams!
So basically what I’m trying to say is: Do try to do well in your mock exams. You will only get so many mocks before its too late and you’re sitting a real exam. But like I said, mock exams identify where you are, so not doing so well is ok, as long as you learn from that and improve on your mistakes, you’ll be fine!
Good Luck to anybody doing mock exams soon!