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Mocks of mocks!

So it seems the best way to prepare students for their exams are ‘mocks’ and I emphasise the plural. Although many teachers see the impact of over testing it appears with the new curriculum reforms up and running it’s their main weapon against the problem of adequate exam preparation. Whether the new subject specifications really are tougher or the focus on application of knowledge over regurgitation is causing the most headache, it seems students are struggling with the changes. However, should they really be taking the fall for a system that up until a couple of years ago thrived on ‘teaching to the test’?

There’s no doubt schools seem to be turning up the heat by squeezing additional support sessions out of their teachers and are communicating the need to revise harder and earlier more than ever. I have always wondered what the idea of ‘working harder’ really means to a student (as I hear them spill out this line every week). For some it may be true, a few additional minutes/hours at their desks could make a valuable difference. I worry that at best most are going through the motions and often zoning out completely or praying for their next WhatsApp message to appear.