Treat them like the real thing
Sure, the grades you get in your Year 12 mock exams won’t count towards your final A-level grade. And if your school or college still offers them, neither do AS results since the new linear system phased out the old modular one.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put the effort in when it comes to revising for them and sitting them.
After all, Year 12 mocks have the potential to impact your future, whether that’s your performance in your A-level exams in Year 13 or your life at university.
Why are they so important? Here are five key reasons:
1. Universities base their decisions on predicted grades
Most teachers use Year 12 mock exam performance to predict your final grades to a greater or lesser extent. Strong predicted grades will give universities an idea of how good a candidate you are. Some universities give unconditional offers based on predicted grades.
lou2471 says: “My school based my UCAS (predicted) grades on mocks, but with a lot of wiggle room to move them up because they realised that people didn't try as much as they would for the real thing.”
So while there’s no need to stress about Year 12 mocks, it’s a good idea to take them seriously and do your best. Your future self will thank you!
2. They make revising in Year 13 a whole lot easier
There’s no question: A-levels are a big step up from GCSEs. Preparing properly for your Year 12 mock exams means you’ll be learning and memorising the course content more gradually and going over it more times. This will take the pressure off when it comes to your final exams in Year 13.
TSU - Mod has some useful advice on how to study for your A-levels: “I have done quite a bit of research on A-levels and these are some of the tips I’ve picked up on the way.
"Rule of 8:
"8 hours of sleep
8 hours of school work
8 hours of doing whatever you want
Keeping this consistent will definitely ensure that you understand everything in the syllabus providing that you use school work time effectively.
"My school have also recommend that for every hour spent in lesson you do an extra hour of that subject in your own time. We only get three hours of lesson time per subject per week so it is vital that double up on this work load to stay ahead of the game.
"Don’t do too much, if you over work yourself you’re going to lose interest in studying at some point and might drive yourself crazy.”
And Amefish recommends going over things multiple times: “Once you've finished a topic in A2, do some questions for that to check your knowledge. A few weeks later, do some more exam questions on the topic you finished to see if you're still remembering the content.”
Here's our guide to how not to make a mockery of your mocks.
3. They give you self-belief
Give it your best shot, and your Year 12 mock exam results will show you that you can do this. That little boost of confidence will make all your hard work worth it.
furryface12 offers this positive-thinking advice: “Your school wants you to get into a good uni, so whilst they need to be realistic they do want to help you do that as well! Do as well as you can in them, that's all anyone can ask.”
And remember, if you do worse than you expected, you are not doomed as you can still learn from them.
4. They show you where you need to improve
If you treat them like a practice run or dress rehearsal, Year 12 mock exams will highlight where you need to do more work and make for effort when the real thing comes around. Without this benchmark you’d be going in blind, so make the most of it.
As goldilocks12 says, “treat them like proper exams in sense of revision and effort but please don’t panic because they are just a practice.”
5. They teach you about exam technique
When it comes to doing papers in exam conditions, there aren't infinite opportunities to practise. Year 12 mocks are one of a handful of chances to perfect your exam technique. This includes planning your time, reading the paper properly and applying your knowledge to new, unseen questions.
DrawTheLine says Year 12 mocks are “such good practice for the real thing” while crocodile_ears says they are there “to make sure you're keeping up with the content, and to help you get used to exam conditions again.”
Join the current Year 12 thread to talk to other students about college and sixth form.
How are you preparing for your Year 12 exams?
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Head to the VOXI site to see how its plans can help you stay connected this exam season from £10 a month or go to our revision hub for more help with your exams.