Making the most of Mock exams


When the last lesson is finished and the last TMA based on the lessons marked, and with any issues followed up, it is time to start revision and contemplating the mock exams. The mock exam papers are the last TMAs that you will do and are an excellent opportunity to prepare you for the real exams.

Unless you are very short of time, it is a good idea to do a good chunk of revision before attempting the mock exam papers. It is best to allow some time after completing the papers to go over any areas where you have had difficulties. Ask your tutor for advice on when you should sit the mock.

When the day comes, try to make it as ‘exam-like’ as possible. This might make you feel a little nervous but that is a good thing because it will prepare you for how you will feel when you do the real exam. Check what equipment you can take to your exam. You will find it listed on the front of a real exam paper that you can download from your exam board’s website.  Your course folder will also give you some useful advice. Have everything ready before you begin – and you’ll need spares for your exam, so if possible have spares for the mock too. Try to make sure that you are not disturbed for the duration of your exam. Have a clock or stopwatch that you can see easily. Put away your textbook, notes and course folder.

Most exams have an allowance of about 1 minute for each mark awarded. Check to see how your marks work for the time allowed for your paper. Remember to leave some time, say ten minutes, at the end for checking over your answers. The time allowance for each question includes the time for reading and thinking so you don’t need to feel that you must be writing from the first to the last minute of the exam. Start your stopwatch or note down the time, and you can start.

Post your finished paper to your tutor and continue with your revision until the marked work returns to you. You will find that it takes you as long to go through the marked work with the suggested answers as it did to do the exam in the first place! The time you spend going through the mock is as important as doing the mock itself. It is the most productive way to improve your knowledge and exam technique.

Make a note of everything you want do discuss with your tutor when you have your call to go through the mock. Follow up any topics you need to revise a little more. Now you are ready for the real thing.