The simple answer is - yes, and now more than ever! Practice and preparation are key when it comes to passing exams, and mock exams are one of the best ways a student can prepare for the real thing.
In this blog, we look at the many reasons why mock exams are important for both students and teachers, as well as how COVID-19 has increased the importance of them in 2022.
5 Reasons Why Mock Exams Have Always Been Important:
1. They give students a good idea of what the real exam will be like
Mock exams are a great opportunity for students to get a feel for what taking the real exams will be like. They experience everything from what it feels to be in the exam hall, the breadth of content covered, the difficulty of questions, stress levels and time management.
For a lot of students, time management is one of the main challenges they experience during exams. Either they come up against a question that is difficult to understand or calculations take longer than they expected. This is where mock exams excel as completing a mock exam under the same conditions as the exam, they know what to expect and are able to perfect their time management.
2. They allow students to realise what they do and don’t know
Mocks are an excellent opportunity for students to identify the gaps in their knowledge and highlight the areas they need to work on before the real exam.
3. They act as a ‘wake up call’ to students
Mock exams help students realise how much they need to revise to do well, and can often give pupils a nudge towards organisation and preparation. We like to think of mocks as a 'wakeup call', particularly for the brighter students who have been coasting with little revision preparation.
4. They help teachers understand what students need more help with
As well as helping students prepare for the real thing, mock exams also help teachers identify which areas of study need more attention. By looking at mock results, teachers can see which topics their students do and don't understand well to prepare the lesson content for the next few months until the exam.
5. They help teachers decide on predicted grades
Finally, mock results give teachers a good indication of the grades each student will get in the real thing and this is used for predicting their grades. Predicted grades are then used for deciding if students will be offered a place at sixth form institutions or Universities. Mock results can therefore mean the difference between a student getting accepted or rejected by their dream college or University.
The Increased Importance Of Mock Exams Since COVID-19
In the current COVID-19 situation, mocks have taken on even greater importance. This is because we do not know if, like the previous two years, GCSE & A-Level grades will be decided by teachers in what is known as the TAG (Teacher Assessed Grade) process.
If TAGs are used again, teachers need to make predictions based on the evidence they have. The most relevant being mock exams, followed by other assessed work, classwork and homework. This means that it is important that students do as well as they possibly can in their mocks so teachers can see what they are capable of and make suitably high predictions.
I remember in 2020 being confident that a particular student was capable of getting grade 7 or 8 in the real GCSE exam, but because he had been coasting and done little revision to prepare for the mocks, I couldn’t allocate him higher than a grade 5 (due to the government-led system at that time).
How We Can Help
Due to the increased importance of mock exams, we strongly advise that students try to approach this year as if every assignment and mock exam counts. One of the best ways students can get the most out of these assessments is to hire a reliable tutor. Learn the many benefits of hiring a tutor for mock exams here.
At GCSE Masterclass, we use only the very best teachers. All our staff are fully qualified, experienced teachers who have a proven track record of high quality teaching and excellent results within their GCSE classes.
Contact us to find out more about how we can quickly improve your child’s confidence, grades and future.