Mock Examination Schedule and preparation
18 December 2015
I am writing to inform you that your child will be taking mock IGCSE examinations beginning on the 13th January 2016. The examination period will last for approximately one week and the schedule is attached to the end of this document. Your child will have received a copy of the schedule and it will also be available on the school website. Your child will have exams for all the IGCSE subjects that s/he will be sitting in May/June 2016.
As you may be aware mock exams are very important preparation for the IGCSE examinations that s/he will take in May/June 2016. The process of sitting these exams will give your child an idea of the demands of the exam papers and the importance of thorough revision and preparation. The formal mocks will be comprised of IGCSE exam papers taken by previous cohorts and are therefore good indicators of what the students can expect in May/June 2016. These mock IGCSE examinations will give a very good indication of your child’s current grades and what s/he needs to do to address any areas of weakness, as the subject content will be (almost) complete.
I would like to emphasise that your child should have already started the revision process and the amount should increase as we get closer to the exam dates. S/he should already have all the necessary revision books and resources to support their revision.
The results that your child achieves in these exams will be taken into account when generating their end of year grade for their summer term report, as well as enabling teachers to more accurately predict IGCSE grades for 2016. It is therefore vital that your child fully prepares for these examinations. You can also support your child by ensuring that s/he sets aside time every night to revise, attend after school clubs etc. S/he should draw up a revision timetable and follow it in the run up to the exams. Study and revision techniques can be found in this document. It is also important to ensure that your child brings the correct equipment for each exam; 2 black pens, sharp pencil, ruler, eraser plus a calculator and protractor for Maths and Science papers.
Students need to remember that:
- Full school uniform must be worn at all times and entry to an exam may be refused if they are in incorrect uniform;
- When not involved in an exam, students will be in normal lessons;
- Students will receive an individual examination timetable, which details the time and location of each exam. This must be kept safe as replacements will not be provided if lost.
Please note that the Year 11 Parents Evening will take place on the 1st February 2016 from 3:30pm after the mock IGCSE examination period.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail me using the address below;
Mr S. Willoughby
Exams put extra pressure on even the calmest of students. But, with a little preparation and a well-planned revision timetable, you can achieve the grades you deserve.
TWO MONTHS BEFORE YOUR EXAMS:
Now is the time to think seriously about your revision timetable. You should:
- check the most up-to-date syllabus for every subject
- find out about the exam (for example, are questions multiple choice or essay-based?)
- prepare a revision timetable.
SOME REVISION TIPS:
Try to schedule revision for your most productive times during the day. For example, if you feel fresh and alert in the morning, make sure you do most of your studying early. You should also try to:
- prioritise exams that make up a large percentage of a subject’s grade
- take regular breaks to refresh your mind
- use a variety of study tools to revise – including books, audio guides and online video summaries
- highlight important points in your study notes
- ask family and friends to quiz you on each subject
- sit past papers so you get a feel for the questions and timings
- make time for relaxation with family and friends.
A MONTH BEFORE YOUR EXAMS:
Your exams co-ordinator should provide you with a Statement of Entry. Your Statement of Entry will tell you exactly when your exams are being held so you can make appropriate travel arrangements. You must remember to bring this form with you on exam day.
In the meantime, continue with your own revision timetable – but remember to schedule breaks so you don’t get too tired.
EXAM QUICK TIPS – ON THE DAY
So, you have revised and prepared for the big day. Don’t worry if you feel a little nervous – that’s only natural. Follow a few more simple tips to stay relaxed and get the best possible exam results.
- Try to: stay calm and take deep, even breaths
- read the exam paper completely before you start
- plan your time
- move on to the next question if you get stuck
- read the questions carefully and make sure you answer each one properly
- sip fresh water throughout the exam
- check each answer, particularly if you finish early.
For essay questions, remember to structure your answers with a beginning, middle and end. The beginning introduces the essay, the middle explores the topic in more detail and should make up around 75 per cent of the overall word count, and the end concludes or summarises your essay.
10 SURPRISING WAYS TO BEAT EXAM STRESS
1. Listen to Classical Music
Listening to music can create a positive and productive environment by elevating your mood and encouraging you to study more effectively and for longer. Classical music is recommended as the best type of music to boost your brain power but ambient music can work too. Check out the playlists on Spotify to easily find what works for you.
2. Take a Quick Walk
Many students feel as if they should spend their entire time before exams with their books open and their pen poised for action. However, research has proven that exercising such as taking a walk can boost your memory and brain power.
The image below shows the results of a study conducted by Dr. Chuck Hillman of the University of Illinois. It clearly demonstrates the effect exercise can have on your brain’s activity. Imagine how this could improve your exam performance!
3. Plan your Study Routine
This may not be a big surprise but what is shocking is the amount of students who discount the benefits of creating a personal study plan. With some initial effort, you can become more productive and motivated each day you approach your study by understanding your learning progress. If you’re using our learning platform, the Go Conqr calendar tool will help you align your goals with your day-to-day study, get started here.
4. Play with Bubble Wrap & Puppies
Where do puppies come into exam stress? Lots of universities have installed ‘puppy rooms’ where students can come to relieve stress and anxiety. Pets have also been found to help you focus while studying but we wouldn’t recommend dropping into the library with your pet hamster! Popping bubble wrap is another stress reliever you can save for home study.
5. Try to Get Enough Sleep
For some people, this is something that’s always put on the long finger especially if you are trying to get the most out of college life. The benefits of a proper night’s sleep can never be underestimated. Most importantly, sleep helps your brain to assimilate new knowledge into your long-term memory so that you can recall it when it comes to test day. Anyone who has tried to concentrate with half a night’s sleep can also testify to improved focus with better sleep.
6. Use Mobile Apps
There are tons of mobile apps designed to improve your quality of life. Whether you want to get better organised, improve your mental arithmetic or work on your English language skills, there’s an app for that. We’ve even launched our own mobile apps for iOS and Android so you can make the most of your time no matter where you are. Downloading the app will give you access to over 2 million learning resources from around the world. Get the app for free here:
7. Give Your Mind Space
Meditation is one of the most effective ways to take a break and see your stress from a different perspective. Practicing meditation is another way to maintain focus while improving both mental and physical health to reduce pre-exam stress.
8. Eating Dark Chocolate
Believe it or not this is 100% true. Eating dark chocolate which is over 70% cocoa fights the stress hormone cortisol and has an overall relaxing effect on the body. Plus chocolate releases endorphins which act as a natural stress fighter.
9. Let it All Out
Sometimes you just need to talk to someone, other times you need to shout it from the rooftop or scream from the top of your lungs. Figure out what you’re feeling and then let it out. Speaking to a family member or friend can highlight the bigger picture for you and empower you to rise above the exam stress.
10. Break Free from Distractions
I bet you don’t even realise the number of times you check Facebook, Instagram or whatever your vice is? When you add it all up together, it amounts to a significant waste of time. It can be hard to detach from your life outside of studying but keeping the end goal and timeframe in mind will ease the process. We recommend the Self-control website blocker.
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