Current Date:July 24, 2024
What is mock exams

What is the Mock Exam? Key Facts and Tips for Success Across UK Exam Boards

Your child must be getting prepared for their 11-plus exams and you must have heard of mock exams. If you don’t know what is the mock exam then soon you will come across it because this step is very important for your child to secure a place in their desired grammar school in the UK. 

Let’s get started and understand every little detail about mock exams and the exam boards in the UK. 

Here you find the meaning, purpose, benefits and tips for your child’s success in these exams. 

What is the Meaning of Mock Exam?

What is the meaning of mock exam? In simple words, mock exams are practise tests that students take before their actual 11 plus exams. These exams mimic the format, timing, and style of the real exams. They provide students with a rehearsal that helps them in preparing effectively. Most of the grammar schools use these practise exams to give the students a taste of the real thing. It reduces anxiety and highlights the areas where your child needs to work more. 

Mock Exam Prep

Why Are Mock Exams Important?

It is essential for students to understand what are mock exams and why they are important because they can significantly improve the performance of the student. 

Here are the key factors why they are important: 

  • Students get a realistic experience where mock exams follow the real exam conditions to help the students get used to the pressure and time limits. 
  • Students will be able to pinpoint the ares of improvement and can give more time to those topics. 
  • When students are familiar with the exam structure they get to reduce their anxiety and boost their confidence. 
  • Students can seek help from teachers and tutors after taking mock exams. The feedback of teachers or tutors can be really helpful because it can help the students improve their academic skills. 

Types of Mock Exams Across UK Exam Boards

The UK has many exam boards and each of them has its own approach to the mock exams. Students can prepare well by understanding how these boards operate. 

Here are the few top exam boards that grammar schools usually use: 

GL Assessment

GL Assessment is one of the leading providers of exams for grammar school admissions. Their mock exams are specifically designed to test a wide range of abilities and skills of the students. 

  • Verbal Reasoning: These mock exams help students to get prepared for the questions that test their understanding and reasoning using words and language.
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning: These tests mainly focus on shapes and patterns which help the students in developing their logical thinking skills.
  • Mathematics and English: GL Assessment mock exams in these subjects make sure that students are well-prepared for the main components of the entrance exams.

Sutton (SET)

Sutton Grammar School uses mock exams to prepare students for their own selective entrance tests.

  • Complete Coverage: The mock exams cover a range of subjects including verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, mathematics, and English.
  • Realistic Conditions: These mock exams replicate the actual exam conditions, helping students get accustomed to the testing environment.
  • Feedback and Review: Students receive detailed feedback so they can improve themselves after the mock exams

Tiffin Exam 

The Tiffin School’s mock exams are a little tough and their sole purpose is to prepare the students thoroughly for their entrance exams. 

  • Focused Practise: Tiffin’s mock exams focus on the two subjects that are English and maths. 
  • Time Management: These exams help the students to practise managing their time effectively during the test.
  • Detailed Analysis: Post-exam reviews provide students with a clear understanding of their performance and areas that need improvement.

Tips for Success in Mock Exams

Preparing for the mock exams can be daunting, but students can make the most of these practise tests with the right strategies and help. 

Here are some tips for success:

Start Early

  • Begin Revision Early: Don’t wait until the last minute. Start your revision well in advance.
  • Create a Study Schedule: Plan your study time, including breaks, to make sure that you cover all topics.

Understand the Exam Format

  • Get used to the Format: Know the structure of the mock exam and the types of questions that will be asked.
  • Practise Past Papers: Use past mock exams to get used to the format and timing.

Focus on Weak Areas

  • Identify Weaknesses: Use your mock exam results to identify areas where you need improvement.
  • Seek Help: Don’t hesitate to ask teachers for help in areas you find challenging.

Practise Time Management

  • Time Yourself: During your mock exams, practise managing your time to make sure that you can complete all questions.
  • Use Timed Practise Tests: Regularly take timed practise tests to improve your speed and efficiency.

Stay Healthy

  • Get Enough Sleep: Make sure that you get plenty of rest before your mock exams.
  • Eat Well: A balanced diet can help you keep your mind sharp.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink a lot of water so you can stay focused and alert.

Common Pitfalls in Mock Exams

Knowing what is the mock exam and its importance is only part of the equation. Avoiding common pitfalls can make a significant difference in performance.

Lack of Preparation

  • Don’t Underestimate the Mocks: Treat mock exams as seriously as the real ones. They are a priceless tool for your exam preparation.
  • Avoid Cramming: Last-minute studying can be stressful and less effective so stick to your study schedule.

Ignoring Feedback

  • Take Feedback Seriously: Use the feedback from your mock exams to guide your revision.
  • Work on Weak Areas: Focus on improving areas where you performed poorly.


  • Stay Humble: Even if you do well in your mock exams, continue to work hard because the 11 plus exams might be more challenging.
  • Keep Revising: Regular revision is key to retaining information and performing well.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Mock Exams

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the educational landscape, including how mock exams are conducted. Understanding these changes can help students to adjust accordingly.

Increased Importance

  • Grades Based on Mocks: During the pandemic, some final grades were based on mock exam results due to cancelled exams.
  • Serious Preparation: Students need to take mock exams seriously as they may impact their final exam performance. 

Online Mock Exams

  • Adapting to Online Exams: Some mock exams have moved online which requires students to adapt to a different format.
  • Technical Preparation: Ensure you have a reliable internet connection and are comfortable with the online exam platform.

Mock Exam During Covid

Mock Exams for Different Stages

Understanding what is the mock exam and its role at different stages of education can help students prepare more effectively.

GCSE Mock Exams

  • Early Preparation: GCSE: mock exams typically take place in Year 11, but some schools also conduct them in Year 10.
  • Multiple Rounds: Students may face multiple rounds of mock exams, helping them track their progress over time.

A-Level Mock Exams

  • Two Rounds of Mocks: A-level students usually have mock exams in Year 12 and Year 13.
  • Focus on Improvement: These practise tests help students identify weaknesses and improve before the final exams.

How to Make the Most of Your Mock Exams

Making the most of your mock exams involves a strategic approach. Here’s how to maximise the benefits of these practise tests:

Treat Mocks Like the Real Thing

  • Simulate Exam Conditions: Take your mock exams in a quiet, timed environment to mimic real exam conditions.
  • Follow Exam Rules: Stick to the rules and guidelines of the exam to get an accurate experience.

Review Your Results Thoroughly

  • Analyse Your Performance: Look at your mock exam results in detail to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Create a Revision Plan: Use your analysis to create a targeted revision plan focusing on areas that need improvement.

Use Resources Wisely

  • Past Papers: Practise with mock exams and real exam past papers to get familiar with question styles.
  • Study Guides: Use study guides and textbooks to reinforce your understanding of key topics.

Stay Positive and Motivated

  • Keep a Positive Attitude: Stay positive and believe in your ability to improve.
  • Set Goals: Set realistic goals for your revision and celebrate your progress.

The Psychological Benefits of Mock Exams

Beyond academic preparation, mock exams offer several psychological benefits:

Reducing Anxiety

  • Familiarity: Knowing what is the mock exam and what to expect can reduce anxiety.
  • Building Confidence: Performing well in mock exams can boost your confidence in the real thing.

Building Resilience

  • Managing the Pressure: Mock exams teach you how to handle the pressure of real exams.
  • Learning from Your Mistakes: Making mistakes in mock exams is a valuable learning experience, helping you avoid them in the final exams.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mock Exams

What is the meaning of mock exam?

  • A mock exam is a practise test. It’s meant to give you a feel for the real exam and help you find out what you need to work on before taking the actual test. This way, you can see where you might be struggling and have time to improve those areas.

Why are mock exams important?

  • Mock exams provide a realistic experience which helps you identify your weaknesses, boost your confidence and offer you valuable feedback for your improvement.

Is it okay to fail a mock exam?

  • Dont worry. A mock exam is like a practise test by which you can test your academic ability and improve yourself according to its results. 

Can mock exams predict final grades?

  • Mock exams don’t always predict final grades. But, they can offer you valuable insights into your current performance and areas for improvement.


It’s crucial for every student to understand what is the mock exam. It is actually the proven way to excel in your studies. These practise exams provide the students with a realistic review of the final exams and help them to identify their areas of improvement, how to manage their time and how to reduce their stress. Students should take mock exams seriously and use them as a tool for preparation. They can enhance their performance and achieve their academic goals. 

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats​

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye

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