I messed up my mocks… what do I do?
Were your mock results not quite what you hoped for? Or, worse, you've been completely knocked for six and don't know what to do next?
Bad mock results can be disheartening, and it’s important to know why you didn’t get the marks you wanted so you can improve next time.
If you didn’t bother to revise much, now’s the time to be honest with yourself and prepare better in future.
You’re not alone. Lots of students have mock results they’re less than pleased with, and pull it back for the main results – don’t forget they’re the exams that count.
So what should you do now?
Firstly, don't panicThis is exactly what mocks are for: a trial run before you face the real thing in the spring:
So what do you do if you suffered a mocks disaster? Mock exams – five steps to improve for the real thing...
1. Don't dwell
Shake it off, focus on what's ahead of you, and start making changes today.
Kick off your revision with our special advice section for exam season
Watch now: How to calm exam nerves
2. Don't ignore the problem
This could be your study habits or how you split your attention across your subjects – see how A* students revised for their exams. If you remain in denial and do nothing different, the same thing is likely to happen when you come to the real thing.
3. Speak to your teachers
Ask questions where you don't understand something – don't just say you 'get it'. Do take up offers of after-school revision classes or regular catch-ups for extra guidance.
4. Where did you go wrong exactly?
- time management: did you set aside enough time for different sections of the exam (particularly those worth the most marks)? If not, learn to keep an eye on the clock and identify the sections where you can get the most marks.
- misreading the question: the pressure of an exam situation can do funny things to you, and misreading a question is a common one, even if it seems really silly. In the real thing, don't pick up your pen until you've read the question two or three times. Underline key words and prompts so they stand out.
- not showing calculations: a common one in maths exams especially, where your final result isn't always what the examiner is looking at. If your method is sound, you can still pick up marks.
- not providing evidence: correct sourcing is important in subjects such as history or psychology, where there are lots of dates, names and case studies to remember. Making wild claims or arguments isn't enough; you have to show evidence to back up everything you say.
5. Your revision timetable
Breaking down everything you need to study into chunks will make everything much less overwhelming. Draw up a revision timetable you can realistically stick to, factoring in extra time for those areas that need more attention, and to go through past papers.