Mock Exams: The only obstacle between you and relaxing Christmas. With Mock Exams kicking off in the next couple weeks, I thought I’d give you an unfiltered and unbiased opinion about the utility of Mock Exams, from the perspective of an IB graduate. Perhaps a controversial opinion, but I think Mock Exams matter both a great deal and very little.
Mock Exams matter…
Because the setting will incredibly similar to your real exams; you’ll probably be seated in the same examination room, taking the old past papers, and following a similar schedule to the real exams. In this respect, Mock Exams are incredibly important as they allow you to attempt to establish a routine. I recommend that you see Mock Exams a trial run of the real thing and try to establish a coherent routine that you can then use in May. While you have little control over what happens in the examination room, you can attempt to control the circumstances around exams.
There was something extremely comforting knowing I had routine approaching May exams based on what I learned during Mock Exams. Specifically, I tried to establish a routine with regards to the following; eating, sleeping, exercise and how I would study for my exams. Specifically, I tried to reflect on the simple, every-day things that I could do to make the exam process easier; should I drink coffee before an exam? Should you study in the morning if I have an afternoon exam or try to relax? When I come home from a full day of exams, should I take a few hours to relax or study immediately?
Mock Exams are irrelevant..
In terms of predicting your actual IB grade. While some of you may be relying on your Mock Exams for predicted grades, I urge caution. For example, my prediction after Mock Exams was 30; I ended up getting 42 points. Most students forget that there is a tremendous amount of time between Mock Exams and the real exams. There is still time to improve. Likewise, however, if you don’t make use of the time between Mocks and the real exams, you might see your results turn on you unfavorably. Thus, mock exams are invaluable in terms of knowing how your real exams will operate practically. However, they are not always a fruitful indicator of the actual mark you’ll be getting in July.
Thus, when looking forward to mock exams, how should you best prepare?
You can best prepare for Mock Exams by scheduling some intense revision sessions where you try to review the key information in your subjects. Do not fret if you are unable to review all your topics! The most important thing is that you attempt to review some. For some key advice on how to timetable your time, look here.
Secondly, I would recommend that you take a ‘learner style’ test before Mock Exams. Learner Style tests are an easy way to see if you are studying in ways which play to your strengths. All you do is answer a few questions about how you tend to learn. Then you’ll get an answer about how you should study to get the best results. Knowing how you learn best will allow you to make your revision for Mock Exams more productive as you’ll begin to utilize your strengths. To take a learner style test, click here.
If you are looking for more revision techniques, click here to get a summary of my favorite ones. Additionally, Lanterna is always here to help you meet your IB goals! If you are finding a topic particularly difficult, we offer Online Private Tuition.
Good luck revising, I know you can do it!