Following on from our discussion last week about the importance of mock exams in 11+ preparation, this week we are taking a look at the effectiveness of online mock papers, and how they might compare to a real 11 plus exam.
Practice Makes Perfect
For most children 11 plus mock exams are a crucial part of the final build up of the 11 plus preparation process because they provide the experience of sitting tests with a peer group, and expose students to real exam conditions.
The vast majority of children will benefit from sitting mock exams as most children have little formal experience sitting an exam in timed conditions. Hence, even our own Year 5 students will typically sit in the region of 10-12 mock exams in the weeks leading up to their real exams. Giving children exposure to exam conditions will also reduce nerves and anxiety before the real exam and it provides an invaluable opportunity for you as a parent to gauge your child’s performance against their peer group.
Although online mock exams may lack the benefit of replicating all of the physical experiences of the test on the day, they can still be incredibly useful due to their accessibility. In recent months, online mock exams have been a necessity due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, with lockdown limitations easing, there may still be parents who continue to opt for online exams over physical ones due to the ability to access them when it is most convenient for them and their children.
Any practice is better than none. For many parents, access to physical mock exam sites may be limited, due to geographical distance or timetable clashes. With the mock exam system designed by Eleven Plus Exams, year 5 students are able to sit a practice paper at any time, anywhere in the country.
Exam conditions can and should be replicated at home to make the most of an online mock paper. All revision materials and preparation notes (including calculators and dictionaries) should be removed from desks to prevent an easy lookup to an answer, blank paper and writing materials should be available, for students to make rough notes and show their workings out.
A child will benefit the most from an online mock exam that replicates accurate exam timings. Our own online mock exams are designed with this in mind: students are provided with a countdown timer, which shows how much time they have left on each paper or section of a paper. Students cannot submit their answers early and so gain valuable experience in utilising all of their given time in an exam setting.
For parents concerned that their children are not entirely ready for an in-person mock exam, an online mock exam can be a great stepping stone in building a student’s confidence with timed exam conditions, outside the pressurised experience of an exam room.
Students may score better in an environment they are more familiar and thus more comfortable with. This is important to keep in mind when assessing their scores: higher scores may help to boost a student’s overall confidence and this may help their performance later on when they sit an in person exam, but it may be just as likely that students grow complacent in their performances at home and are shocked by a sudden dip in scores when they attend their first physical exam. Preparation and setting appropriate expectations is key!
Of course, one of the more valuable parts of taking an online mock exam is the immediacy of feedback and results. With online technology, students can assess exactly how long they spent on particular questions and refine their exam technique accordingly. With every one of Eleven Plus Exam’s online mock exams, students are provided with explanations to each of their incorrect answers and an in depth feedback report and analysis of areas for improvement, in order to target weakness and help students efficiently boost their performances.
Eleven Plus Exams Mocks
We have worked to streamline the mock exam process for parents, by providing all of the above for every mock exam we run, both physically and online.
To find out more about our own in-house and digital mocks, you can visit our dedicated mock exam website: mocks.elevenplusexams.co.uk