It’s that time of the year when pupils up and down the country are nervously awaiting to sit their mock GCSE exams or are waiting for their results to be released. While the grades you get from your mocks don’t have a direct impact on your final marks, they are a useful indication of what you should be aiming to achieve when those all-important exams roll around in the summer. But if you’re mock result haven’t met your expectations, what should you do?

The first thing to do is to not panic. Mock exams are designed to help you pinpoint any problem areas before you sit your actual exams and get you prepared for the exam environment. It’s normal for your confidence to take a bit of a hit if you feel you haven’t performed as well as you should but don’t let that get you down. You’ve been given an opportunity address the issues you’ve experienced and to put them right before exam season arrives.

If you want to build on your GCSE mock results over the next few months, we’ve got a few steps that you should be taking now.

  1. Think about how you felt in the exam – It’s completely normal to experience some nerves going into an exam. But too many can have a serious impact on your performance. If you feel that you have all the knowledge you need but exam stress got in the way, looking at ways to help you feel calmer, such as breathing exercises, can be a step in the right direction. Now that you’ve done it once, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect, easing your nerves a little too.
  2. Practice, practice, practice – Building on the last one, you really can’t get too much practice when it comes to exams. Not only will it mean you head into the exam feeling more prepared but it’ll have a positive impact on your confidence too. School Exams has a library of GCSE maths and English papers and learning resources to help make your exam practice simple.
  3. Review you mock paper – If you can, looking over your mock paper can unlock some invaluable insights. It can help you identify the key topics that you need to focus your revision on and pick up any marks that you might have missed out on because of your processes. Understanding how and why marks are awarded can help ensure that you pick up every mark available to you, pushing you towards that next grade.
  4. Speak with your teacher – Your teacher will know which areas of work you really need to build up, helping you to effectively use your revision time to maximise results. Your school and teacher are likely to be holding group revision sessions too, giving you the perfect opportunity to receive extra support on those areas that you’re concerned about.
  5. Create a study plan, and stick to it – Sticking to a study plan is hard and many pupils can end up ineffectively cramming the night before an exam. To get the best results create a plan that’s simple to follow over the months from now until your exam day. Break subjects down into smaller chunks so they seem more manageable and remember to give yourself a break too – it’ll help to refresh your mind and keep you motivated.