With mock exam season now upon us for most students, it’s easy for students to either get stressed out or not put in enough effort. Even though mock exams don’t count towards your final grade, the better you do, the more likely it’ll be that you’ll excel in your final exams too. Whether you’re studying for your GCSEs, A Levels or university exams, follow these tips to help you ace your mock tests.
Before the Exam
Organise Your Revision Notes
Start organising your revision notes and collating the material you need before you start your revision timetable. This will make studying for your mock exams much easier as you’ll already have everything you need. Do this by condensing subjects into manageable, digestible notes with clear headings and specific, short and relevant quotations, words or phrases. Ask your teachers for old practice papers in advance and take any text books from the library before your revision sessions. The more organised you are the more time you can spend getting ready to ace those mock tests!
Students usually get stressed before exams which can have a negative effect on their performance. Remember, mock tests are not your final exams and are designed to help you prepare for the real thing. Avoid getting stressed, and instead put efforts into studying as often as you can. If you find yourself getting worked up or feeling overwhelmed, go for a relaxing walk outside or read a good book for half an hour to take your mind off it all. Alternatively, if there’s a particular topic worrying you, it’s a good idea to talk to your teacher or family member and come up with an action plan. Whether this is getting extra revision material or hiring a private tutor- there’s always a solution. You can only do your best! For more information on Tutor Doctor’s tutoring programmes click here.
Prepare a Proper Revision Schedule
Even though you’re only studying for mock exams, preparing and sticking to a proper revision schedule is crucial. It’s not only fantastic practice for when your real exams come around, but also means you actually spend time studying, which should help you achieve the results you want in your mocks. Start by breaking your revision sessions into segments and schedule in 5-minute breaks every hour as this will make sure your levels of concentration stay high. It’s also a great idea to switch topics throughout the day so you don’t get bored with one subject.
Complete Past Papers
Even if you spend a long time going over your revision notes, a problem many students face is running out of time during the exam. If you have access to past papers, try and do them under timed exam conditions a few weeks before your mock tests. This way you know the type of questions you’ll be asked and roughly how much time you can allocate to each section. Practice is key!
Look at the Marking Criteria
Alongside practice tests and sticking to a study schedule, a great tip for acing your mock exams is looking at the marking criteria for each paper. Usually you can find these online or ask your teacher for a copy of the grading specifications. These will tell you exactly what the exam board is looking for in an answer and what you have to include to achieve specific grades. Arming yourself with this information can be very useful and make you aware of things like writing too much or too little, as well as the importance of linking your answers directly back to the question.
During the Exam
Stay Calm and Take your Time
During your mock exams staying calm and taking plenty of time to read all of the questions carefully is crucial. Not only will being calm and collected help you achieve the best results, it means your mind is clear to focus on the task in hand. Don’t forget to start answering the exam questions you feel most confident with first, then spend more time on the ones you find trickier at the end. If you have time leftover, don’t sit there and stare at the walls- spend it reading over your answers. This is the ideal opportunity to spot any spelling errors, or add in extra information.
After the Exam
Don’t Panic and Learn from your Mistakes
After your exams you can neither turn back time nor change what you wrote. Rather than worrying about your answers, use your mock exams for their intended purpose- to learn and spot the areas you can improve on. In other words- don’t panic! Your mock tests are just a useful exam practice designed to help students learn from mistakes, focus on their weak points, and help improve exam technique and final grades. Once you have your exam papers back, take the time to go through the comments with your teachers and ask them about the specific areas you can improve on. Once you have this information, you can start to put together an action plan in time for your real exams.