13th January 2023
How to prepare your students for the upcoming MOCK exams
It’s January and GCSE and A-Level MOCK exams are upcoming for many students. If they haven’t already started their exams yet, they will be preparing for them.
The MOCK exams’ purpose is to prepare students for their final exams and allow them to get a feel for what they will have to face in the summer. MOCK exams don’t contribute to the final grade, so if your students don’t do as well as you hoped, reassure them, make sure that they don’t panic and offer them additional help for the real exams. These exams obviously do contribute to students’ target grades and can help teachers decide whether they need to do a higher or lower-level paper depending on the subject.
Now that the effects of the pandemic have slowed down, exams will be going back to normal this summer. In the last three years, there have been changes and additional help given to students due to the catastrophe the pandemic caused. In 2020, exams were not taken and students received their results based on predicted grades, classroom assessments and mock results. In 2021, exams were taken again but they were shortened and made simpler for students as they were given extra information, some students even had to take their exams at home or in a classroom instead of an exam hall. Taking exams at home was gone by 2022 and students went back to the exam halls, they were given additional information though. But for the upcoming 2023 exams, there is no longer additional information and there are little to no worries that the exams won’t go ahead.
How can I help them prepare?
As a teacher, there are many ways you can prepare your students for their MOCK exams. Supplying students with blank and filled past papers is one of the most effective revision strategies. With the blank papers, students can be tested with exam-style questions and have the option to practice under exam conditions or take their time to continue practising topics they’re unsure about. Whereas having filled past papers will show them where to pick up the high-level marks and where they may have lost marks.
Another great way to help students revise is with topic summaries, splitting up the big topics into subtopics and narrowing them down to the key points. From here, students will be able to create mindmaps, revision cards or notes to suit their revision ideas best.
Giving your students both verbal and written feedback is an excellent way for them to understand what they need to work on, although this may seem obvious, giving individual feedback can help students go the extra mile and understand where they need to improve. Verbal feedback could include 1 on 1 sessions briefing them and making a plan for what they need to work on. Written feedback could be leaving comments on their work. A great way to do this is by highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, then students can do extra revision in the areas that they’re struggling in.
Along with feedback, revision plans or timetables can help students to understand how much time they need to spend on each area. Some students may be better at creating their own revision plans though, as they can’t always focus on one subject. GCSE students usually take nine subjects each, with multiple topics per lesson, so it can be extremely an overwhelming and stressful period.
As we stated, the exam period can be very stressful so as a teacher it is important to offer support both emotionally and when it comes to work. Hosting additional classes and extra curriculum can be a brilliant way to help students understand the subjects better and de-stress.
Whether your students have already taken their exams or they are approaching exam season, we wish them the best of luck with their results for both their mocks and the official exams starting in June.
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