For students who are preparing for big public exams this year, the New Year break may well have been overshadowed by the looming prospect of mock exams. Some students will be wondering how important these exams really are and whether they can scrimp on the revision now and go for broke for the real thing. Whilst this strategy may be tempting it is not advisable!
The GCSE, A Level and IB mocks are important for several reasons. Firstly, it is an opportunity to find out how you are performing at this stage in the process. Secondly, it means that you will have cracked a significant part of your revision ready for the real thing, so you should only need to top up nearer the time and, importantly, these results will be the ones that will go forward if anything untoward happens in the real thing in the summer.
Preparing for mock exams – our top 10 tips:
Tip 1 – Get Familiar
Be familiar with the syllabus and style of the exam – go into the exam board websites and download the specification and exam objectives.
Tip 2 – Get Organised
Be organised with your notes – this is the time to get all of your work in order so that you know where to find everything.
Tip 3 – Practice Past Questions
Have a list of past questions so you can see the ways that you may be asked to test your knowledge – that way you can tailor your revision in the context of exam questions.
Tip 4 – Summarise
Make summary notes from your original notes and do this by hand – research shows that writing things out is proven to aid memory.
Tip 5 – Use Colour
Use colours in your revision noes – this is known to support memory retention more effectively than just black and white – colourful mind maps are useful here or post it notes for the key points dotted around the house.
Tip 6 – Remember Your Environment
Revise in a quiet area without distractions, checking your playlist and changing your music does not count as revision.
Tip 7 – Check Your Timing
Do some timed questions in exam type conditions so you get used to getting across all the information under time pressure.
Tip 8 – Write Don’t Type!
Make sure you do lots of writing in preparation for long stints holding a pen in the exam room.
Tip 9 – Ask Questions
If there are parts of the subject you are still not clear about, then make a list of these to go through with a teacher whilst you still the time to really understand them.
Tip 10 – Benchmark
Use the mocks to give you familiarity with what you will be facing in the summer – these results will give you a benchmark of where you are now and what you need to do before the real thing and keep you motivated to achieve the best possible results when it really counts.