Don’t mock mocks

September 2020

Michael Tucker has six good reasons why you should take your mocks seriously.

Rightly or wrongly, some students consider mock exams as being an unnecessary or unfair task; if they have to do the real exam, why do a practice one as well? The fact is, mock exams are an extremely valuable tool for all students at all levels. A mock exam gives you the opportunity to pull together all of your learning in to one test. While we will always provide you with at least one mock exam per unit, doing at least one awarding body (ICB or AAT) mock exam is vital, and here’s why…

They’re a great early warning system

Mock exams can be a real wake-up call to those, who up to now, have been progressing without too many issues. If the results of their mock indicate that they’re performing at a level below the required pass mark, then then still have plenty of time for further revision (and perhaps have a go at another mock) before the real thing.

Getting your eye in

While we can never fully emulate a formal exam, we will always try to make mock exams as realistic as possible. This helps you to practise your exam technique, including structuring your time appropriately (and managing your nerves). Furthermore, taking an awarding body mock will expose you to how the exam is likely to be written and formatted, giving you further confidence for the formal exam.

A good indicator

Once you have completed an awarding body mock exam you will have a clear understanding of where you sit in terms of a predicted grade. This, combined with the mock exams that we provide, will give you maximum exposure to the topics that you will be tested on.

Identify any weaknesses

Working within your own time constraints is very different than working toward a timed session! People very often perform very differently during revision settings as opposed to exam settings. Mock exams help you to spot any areas where you might struggle under timed conditions, giving you time to address these areas prior to the big day.

Do what works for you

Revision is a very personal thing. What works for you might not work (or be as effective) for anyone else. Some students do well by covering every available open space with Post-it Notes, others do well with flashcards, and others prefer to go over practice tasks/assessments repeatedly. Mock exams allow you to discover whether your revision techniques have worked on a practice run. If they have, fantastic, but if not, it gives you time to make adjustments prior to the real thing.

Building confidence

Many of the points above relate to students who might be struggling, but mocks are also highly beneficial to students who are doing well.

Completing mock exams mean that you gain valuable confirmation that your approach to your studies is working. Getting grades for your mock exams help to keep you on track to success. After all, your success is our success!

• Michael Tucker is Training Link’s head of operations