How can I help my child if they bombed in their mocks?


Mock exams… they have long been a fixture of the Year 11 calendar. But now more so than ever. Since the GCSE reforms of a few years ago put paid to coursework, most GCSE results now rest on performance in two final terminal examinations per subject at the end of Year 11. Because of this, most schools now calendar at least two sets of mock exams into their school year.

But what can you do if your child has bombed in their mocks?

Well, the first (and most important) piece of advice is… don’t panic.

Worry… stress… panic… it’s contagious. If you’re feeling it, all you will do will be to transfer it over to your child. That is a recipe for disaster. But it’s one that is easily averted.

What are mock exams for?

Okay, so the rules might have changed temporarily due to covid – as schools began to use mock results to determine Centre Assessed Grades (CAGs). But as things – by and large – get back to normal, let’s look at what the mocks were for, back in the day.

In short, the mocks were a dress rehearsal – an opportunity to make mistakes (if you had to make them) without them really mattering. It was a snapshot to see where you were at right, there and then.

And in that respect, that’s what the mock still are.

They are also an opportunity for students to have a taste of the whole exam experience and what it feels like to potentially have one exam in the morning and another in the afternoon – as they may face during exam season. You can’t really recreate that feeling (no matter how many assessments a student completes) in the classroom. It needs to be done on exam desks in the sports hall – with the big clock looming at them from the front – to capture what the experience is really like.

Finally, it’s worth remembering that the mocks are as much for the teacher as they are for the student. The results lay bare just where students are at right now – and how far off where they need to be they really are.

For the class teacher, mocks inform future teaching. For the school leadership team, mocks inform where future interventions are needed.

What is the best type of intervention?

There are exceptions to every rule, of course. But – generally speaking – the problem with many interventions or ‘catch-up’ sessions in schools are that they essentially just give students more of the same – more of the thing that hasn’t got students to where they should be so far. In short, they can be doomed to fail from the outset.

What many students need, especially after they have bombed in the mocks, is something different – a different approach, a different way of doing things.

That’s why a private tutor can be the ideal solution if your child has had disappointing results in their mocks. A tutor will view the situation with a fresh pair of eyes and be able to provide a different path forward, while still supporting everything that is going on in the classroom. Crucially, a private tutor can give a student 100% of their time in every single lesson. That’s something that is simply impossible for a class teacher.

Get in touch with the TutorRight team today to find out more about how we can help your child.

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