We have now finalised the dates for our 7+, 8+ and 11+ Mock Exams for 2016. This article will highlight the benefits of our mocks and how they will help your child. Click here to reserve your child’s place now.
The word ‘exam’ – whether preceded by the word ‘mock’ or not – can instill fear in both children and parents. Most people do not like to be tested in a formal environment and therefore do not like taking exams – although there are always exceptions! So whilst it is unlikely your child will actively want to take an exam, there are things that you can do to make the whole experience more successful, manageable and bearable. More than anything, mock exams are a great way to learn, consolidate knowledge and refine exam technique before the real thing.
The advantages of taking our mocks include:
- Getting used to a formal exam environment – this will help calm nerves, take away fear of the unknown and give your child a sense of what to expect on the day. This could be your child’s first formal exam, so providing an experience that will be as close as possible to the real thing will generate familiarity and reassurance.
- Getting used to timed conditions – this will help your child plan their time, manage pressure and know what they need to do in a certain timeframe. Answering a question proficiently, putting in all the relevant information and knowing how to pick up the most marks is a skill and takes practice.
- Being in a room with other children they don’t know – this teaches your child to focus, to experience a sense of independence and self-sufficiency and to understand that they must not allow others to distract them. They need to learn how to behave and conduct themselves in this environment, which will be different to a collaborative classroom.
- Seeing other children in the same position – this can be reassuring, so they know they will not be doing it alone.
- Providing an opportunity to learn from mistakes. Mock exam results will show up areas of both strength and weakness in knowledge and exam technique, allowing you to focus on what needs to be improved upon in those crucial final months leading up to the real exam.
- A good result in a mock exam can boost confidence and show a child how much they have improved and grown since they began the process.
When Should I Enrol My Child for MockExams?
The time at which you enter your children for a mock exam is crucial. Too far in advance can be de-motivating, as you do not want your child to take an exam paper which covers topics that they have not yet learnt. Equally, if you enter them at too late a stage, they won’t have enough time to learn from mistakes and implement improvement strategies.
We recommend embarking on mocks from October up until the Christmas holidays. For some children, sitting a mock exam just before they take the real thing can also be beneficial, as it focuses them and gets them into exam mode – particularly in January, after the holiday break. But the personality of your child – and how they manage stress – will dictate whether this is a good idea or not. Some children (just like adults) need time out before something potentially stressful, whilst other needs to be psyched up. Consider athletes – they all take different approaches.
How Many Mock Exams Should My Child Do?
Again, this will depend on your child, the quality of the mock exam and the report you receive at the end, but we believe taking a series (minimum two) is the most helpful. With all our mock exams, you will receive a detailed feedback reports on every element of your child’s performance, including how they behave and respond to the exam environment. This feedback is invaluable. By taking a couple of mocks, you can gauge progress and see what needs to be worked on. This allows you to be very focused and targeted in the final run up. You should see improvement, which is reassuring for you and empowering for your child.
However, too many can be overkill and could cause burnout. It’s always about balance and what your child needs.
What We Have Learnt From Our Mock Exams
We have been running 7+, 8+ and 11+ mocks for a number of years now and hundreds of children have benefitted from them. We have built up a reliable set of statistics which give us a good indication of where a child needs to be at a given point and whether he or she stands a good chance of getting called back for interview based on their exam performance. Whilst there are no guarantees, we know that those scoring a certain percentage in our mocks stand a very good chance of success at various schools including Westminster Under, Colet Court, King’s Wimbledon, Dulwich College, City, Bute House, Sussex House, Wetherby, Latymer, Highgate, Habs, Forest, Bancroft’s, St. Paul’s Girls, and North London Collegiate, to name just a few.
This means we can provide you with expert feedback and insight based on experience, which you can use to hone your child’s exam skills and boost their confidence. We are open and honest in our feedback. If we feel that your child would benefit from waiting and preparing for a later exam when they are more academically mature, we will advise on an alternative course and tell you the things that you can be doing to help them get there – when the time is right.