Mock exams help to focus students’ attention and effort. They help students to learn effective revision strategies, improve their subject knowledge and identify topics that need attention. The exams are a good opportunity to experience feeling under pressure in exam conditions, make mistakes and learn from them.
To prepare for mock exams, we’ve put together our top tips for success:
Plan a revision timetable.
This should be done by looking at the week ahead, include social activities and be specific, such the topics to be covered for each subject. For example, 2 hours of French, focusing on Family and Relationships. The timetable should be realistic. Most high achieving GCSE students revise 3 hours per day/5 days per week for January mock exams.
Put the timetable in a visible place and stick to it!
Condense your class notes.
A good tip: Everyday when you get home, use a notepad to write down what you have learnt in each lesson – what can you recall? If there is something you don’t understand, look it up in a textbook, do some research on BBC Bitesize and Seneca learning, or ask your teacher to explain it again.
Use a range of resources to aid revision.
Some of the most commonly used revision techniques are actually the least effective, such as highlighting passages and re-reading notes. They do not necessarily force students to think deeply or critically about the topic, which often leads them to switch to auto-pilot.
Make sure to complete past papers and exam questions to check your learning – nothing beats what you will face in the exam! Self assessment using a past paper mark scheme helps students to improve exam technique and learn the terminology expected at GCSE level.
Use exam board specifications as a checklist for your learning and CGP workbooks to practice questions on a specific topic. CGP support books have detailed notes on each topic, followed by questions to check your understanding. The answers are included.
Finally remember slow and steady will get you to the finishing line.
Students who perform best in exams tend to avoid cramming. They start revising for mock exams and keep the momentum building up until the real exams in June.
Best of luck!