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GCSE Mocks Next Week

(23 Posts)
mummybearlondon Wed 08-Nov-17 19:08:59

Last week, my DS was given his mock exam timetable which starts next week.
On Monday he has three mocks. The first is 1hr30m, the second is 1hr45m and the last one 45m. Day two he has two exams. Day three two exams. Day four one and day five one.
Week B on Monday one exam, day two two exams, day three two exams.
He was really stressed and to be honest when I saw it, I found it overwhelming. His already been worrying about GCSE’s.
Do you think it’s a bit too much to have three mocks in one day? Or is it a good thing?
He is also struggling with revising.
Also is it worth doing past exam papers to help with mocks?

DomesticAnarchist Wed 08-Nov-17 19:18:12

That sounds like an accurate representation of the actual GCSE timetable.

I expect his stress is more due to a lack of revision.

A mixture of revising content (mindmapping etc) and practicing exam questions is a good place to start.

He needs to come up with a long term strategy now to make sure he feels more organised for the next set of mocks (usually a set in the spring too)

Fffion Wed 08-Nov-17 19:32:37

It's not reflective of actual GCSEs when you have one or two exams a day over 3 - 4 weeks with quite a few days off plus a week of half-term.

However, it's not practical to replicate the exams to this extent. 6 or 7 days is reasonable.

What strikes me as odd here is that the exams are so early. Much better to have them in January, when there is time to revise properly, and more of the course will be covered.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 08-Nov-17 20:06:24

Many areas have 6th Form Colleges that you apply for in January so lots of schools do mocks now to be able predict the grades more accurately for 6th Form

Malbecfan Thu 09-Nov-17 10:47:17

Sorry Fffion but I disagree. Last year DD had 2 A level papers on the same day at the same time on 3 separate days. She always took the longer paper first but on one day sat a 2.5 hour paper, followed by a break of either 30 or 45 minutes in isolation then a 2 hour paper.

Our school has 3 mock GCSE exams on most days. As others have said, it's the only way to get through them without them going on for weeks. As long as they plan their revision carefully, they manage it.

Allthebestnamesareused Thu 09-Nov-17 12:56:35

Malbecfan is correct.

I am an invigilator and often have to supervise people where exams clash and they cannot be left alone between taking the first exam and the one that clashed so they cannot get any access to what is on the paper.

I am intrigued as to what they will do for my son as he has 3 scheduled for the same afternoon. (One with CIE, one with OCR and one with Edexcel) - the joys of teaching different boards for different exams.

The exams are all heavily subscribed subjects too (not subjects like Mandarin or Greek or Japanese where there may be a couple of kids only taking the subects) But a science, Geography and English so it is going to be interesting to see what they do given the number of pupils to accommodate.

Fffion Thu 09-Nov-17 20:49:54

Sorry, but three mocks a day over the course of a week is not anything like the real thing unless I've been transported to a parallel universe.

This is not a suggestion to drag the mocks out. That would be silly.

LIZS Thu 09-Nov-17 20:51:26

There may well be 3 papers on a day during the actual gcses. Back to back if there are clashes.

Fffion Thu 09-Nov-17 20:53:55

There might be, but not every day. Maybe once in an exam series if you have an unusual GCSE. Twice would be particularly unlucky. Best then you would have big gaps between other exams.

BackforGood Sun 12-Nov-17 23:44:32

Fffion is right in that it would be unlikely there will be sustained day after day after day of 3x exams, however there is the potential for there to be some days that run like this and it's better for the dc to be prepared for the intense days, and then relieved it isn't quite so bad in the Summer. Plus, of course from the schools' pov, the rest of life at school also has to be fitted in - these mocks are only for Yr11, the other pupils still need to be considered, and, having halls / gyms out of action for weeks on end isn't really fair on the rest of the community.

tiggytape Mon 13-Nov-17 08:57:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Mon 13-Nov-17 09:00:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

karriecreamer Mon 13-Nov-17 09:22:07

Surely they've done "end of year tests" in earlier years? My son has had a crammed week of end of year tests every year, with typically 3/4 tests per day (each 1-2 hours), to get them all done within a week so as not to take up too much normal teaching time. I thought it was pretty normal. He's just got his mock timetable and it's all crammed in, but he thought nothing about it.

charlmum60 Mon 13-Nov-17 09:35:38

I've recently corresponded with my DD's school about her mock timetable (Jan), she had 3 exams in one day - two science and history which given her hyper-mobility was a nightmare (she wont have three exams on one day in May/June - already have seen timetable). Schools have to be efficient with mock timetables but I also think there needs to be some balance if possible.

tiggytape Mon 13-Nov-17 10:43:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlmum60 Mon 13-Nov-17 11:21:06

Tiggytape - My daughter takes rest breaks - we had considered typing for History but she feels that in order to have done this properly she should have been typing from the beginning of Yr 10 but she was only diagnosed towards the end of Yr 10 and it was only the Yr end exam last year that flagged up a real problem with History ...we were going to try typing but it just didnt materialise with the school at the end of last year. (she writes too slowly - Hypermobility so we are addressing in other ways).

I flagged up in my post that she WILL NOT have three exams in one day in the main exams in May June - I have her timetable already and in terms of the mocks the three on one day were - 1 x 2.5hr, 1 x 1hr and 1 x 1.5 hours so yes bang on 5 hours - but my real issue was that History was one of those exams, which is a subject we are currently working with too try and speed her up/cut out fluffiness. The mock is really important to see whether we have managed to address the slow writing. If she was going into this exam having done 3.5 hours already it would demoralise her because her hands/fingers would be tired before she started. We know one of the May/June History exams falls on the same day has English Language which isnt great but at least by having two exams in the mocks that are similar we can try and adjust how she handles the questions if there is still an issue.... its not such an issue with revision its factoring in tired hands.

tiggytape Mon 13-Nov-17 11:29:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Mon 13-Nov-17 11:39:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlmum60 Mon 13-Nov-17 11:42:15

Tiggytape - we are fortunate that she has already sat one set of Mocks in May/June last year hence she's been through the process...they do seat the children with SN at the front ...These exams are what really highlighted the History problem - the rest breaks didnt seem to help with History because it was more a case of writing quickly which she cant do- so we have to work at cutting fluffiness out. There were a few teething problems with teachers getting mixed up which children had rest breaks and which children had extra time etc and one teacher was too slow in reacting to the hands up request...hopefully it will be slicker in January. She was having issues with pains in legs during last years Mocks but these seem to be getting better so we will see how things go ..

I feel quite responsible in some ways because her pencil grip has been poor since reception and it wasn't until she had other Hypermobility problems and she flagged up that problems keeping up with copying questions that we realised what the issue was ...we could have probably done more had we got a much earlier diagnosis. She's done really well considering...

tiggytape Mon 13-Nov-17 12:00:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlmum60 Mon 13-Nov-17 12:40:56

Great advice Tiggytape thank you...jotting down a few headings might help ...she is currently working through 5 years of past papers (provided by the school) ...she did one last night and took about 1.5 hours we shall see how it is marked. School have also spent sometime teaching them to note differences in questions - stating that a big downfall is not reading or answering the question correctly (questions are similar but require different answers( - which will probably be the danger with DD because she is under time pressure....

Looking back I think I would have liked the school to have given DD handouts in classes rather than her having to try and copy questions lots of text of a board - I dont think she could be taking in what she was writing because she was probably too worried on not finishing it off. In maths she has missed every other question (similar questions) which has worked out well.

tiggytape Mon 13-Nov-17 12:51:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

charlmum60 Mon 13-Nov-17 14:04:47

That's another great idea - they use Ipads throughout the school (they all have their own - so no problem is taking a photo with the Ipad)

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