5 Revision Tips To Prepare For Mock Exam Success!

How to Prepare for a Mock Exam

There’s more to preparing for a mock exam than just revising questions and subjects.  There’s been plenty of research into how students respond to exam pressure and what they can do to contribute to effective study and preparation.  For most children, the 11+ exam will be their first time taking an important exam, and they must go into it with a positive attitude and confidence.  Studies show that students spend an average of 20-25% of their study time on subjects they find most challenging, but this isn’t always the best way to go about it. Revision is important, but breaking up challenging topics into manageable chunks and focusing on areas that build confidence and are easy to memorise can instil confidence.

Here are five tips for preparing for 11+ mock exams that you, your child and their tutor can all do to help them study and plan successfully.


**Understand the Exam Format**

Understanding the format of the mock exam is crucial for adequate preparation. Our mock exams consist of two papers, each with short sections lasting 10-30 minutes. Each paper is 45 minutes long and will feature non-verbal reasoning, verbal reasoning, English comprehension, and maths. The paper will include multiple-choice answers and space for working out, so understanding how to utilise the choices best will help you reach the correct answer quickly. To get more practice before the mock exam, try one of our GL Papers, which are formatted precisely as we expect the exam to be, and follow our mock exam format.

TIP – In the exam, students will be reminded when they have half their time left in each section and 30 seconds remaining so they can check through their answers and guess any questions missed.  Practice these cues with your child as they try any practice papers or studying material.  Studies show that students who engage in self-testing or retrieval practice recall 30-50% more information during exams than those who only review notes, so making revision realistic will help in more than one way.


**Create a Study Schedule**

A study schedule helps children effectively manage their time leading up to the mock exam. Breaking down study sessions into manageable chunks can prevent overwhelm and ensure comprehensive coverage of all relevant topics. Use your tutor for guidance here as they will understand which areas are better looked over in lessons and independently and will have tips and tricks for which areas to focus on the most.

The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests creating a study schedule that includes specific goals and timeframes and allows for regular breaks to avoid burnout.  S

etting specific and achievable goals in each study session will lead to a positive association with revision and is more likely to lead to exam success.  If you need another reason to set a revision schedule, then note that approximately 50% of students report experiencing a decrease in productivity and focus when studying for extended periods without breaks. So when setting a schedule, small manageable chunks of revision like flashcards, isolated questions or revising past papers are the most effective solutions!


**Practice Past Papers**

 Practising with past mock exam papers or sample questions is an excellent way for children to familiarise themselves with the exam format, question types, and difficulty level. It also helps identify areas where they may need additional practice.  Our mock exams are designed to do just that based on years of revisions and adjustments so that each year, they resemble the Trafford exam as closely as possible.  We quiz past students on what came up in each exam and compile an accurate list of questions and topics that reflect the likely areas to study that come up year after year.

You can purchase all of our revision and study materials from our website. If your child sits on one of our mocks, they’ll be able to take home the paper they sat on and review it with their tutor. Our papers feature a huge array of questions, word problems, and varying Verbal and Non-Verbal topics, so your child will get the best experience in understanding question phrasing and formats. Other good websites for past papers are Pi Academy or Exam Papers Plus.



**Get a Helping Hand**






Reviewing class notes, textbooks, and other materials covered in class reinforces learning and helps children consolidate their understanding of critical concepts. It’s essential to focus on areas that are particularly challenging or have yet to be fully grasped. We understand that only some parents have the confidence to explain solutions and topics to their children, so we offer an additional run-through class where one of our experienced tutors will guide groups through the best tricks for exam success in each GL Block exam.  This means when they try their next mock exam, they can put these tips to use and reap the fruits of their labour!

About 85% of students report feeling more confident about exams after attending review sessions conducted by their teachers and studies reommend emphasising the importance of active engagement with the content. For more tips and tricks for what will feature in the exam, see our Summer School Guide.

**Stay Healthy and Rested**

Even though this is a brain game, prioritising physical and mental well-being is crucial during exam preparation. Getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, staying hydrated, and engaging in regular physical activity can enhance cognitive function and reduce stress levels, even in children. Research suggests that students who exercise for at least 30 minutes before studying demonstrate a 15-20% improvement in cognitive function and focus. Studies suggest that students who get 7-9 hours of sleep per night perform 10-15% better on exams compared to those who sleep less. Other research shows that students who maintain a balanced diet rich in brain-boosting nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, demonstrate a 15-20% improvement in exam performance compared to those with poor dietary habits.

By incorporating these detailed strategies into their exam preparation routine, children can approach their first mock exam with confidence and increase their chances of success.  For more information and revision, consider subscribing to our newsletter, where we’ll post all our tips, tricks and information for the Trafford 11+ entrance exams.