Mock exams are a bit of a strange thing. Nobody ever seems to know how seriously to take them, or why they exist. I always thought even the name ‘mock exams’ was a bad starting point. Mock, meaning fake, pretend, artificial – not words which would inspire most teenagers to knuckle down to some serious revision! They should really be called ‘preparation exams’ or ‘rehearsal exams’ – because that, after all, is precisely what they are: a very serious and very important part of the preparation process for the real deal. Would X-Factor finalists take to the stage without having rehearsed and rehearsed their numbers? Would any theatre open its doors without putting the cast through months and months of serious rehearsal?
Mock exams can provide valuable insights into the areas of a subject an individual is struggling with; where they need to focus their revision for the real exams. Mock exams will give a first look at the typical structure of the exam papers and the type of questions which may be expected.
They also, of course, allow you and your child to see how they react to the conditions and pressure of revision and exams. Simple preparation on the morning of a mock exam, reading the questions properly, providing all the relevant information on the exam paper, keeping an eye on the clock: it is all going to help alleviate some of the fear when it comes to the real event.
Although mock exam grades don’t usually count towards the final exam grade, they are a very, very useful ‘dress rehearsal’ and can give students an important benchmark of their current knowledge of a subject. Good mock results will certainly boost confidence and if all of that helps towards a better grade in the summer, then mocks should certainly not be taken lightly.