How to make sure you are ready for your Mocks

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You're now already halfway through the school year with Christmas exams behind you but the dreaded Mocks/Pres looming ahead of you. They don't have to be so daunting though. If you follow the right steps and prepare yourself, there's nothing to say you won't do brilliantly, and set yourself up for even better results then when the real deal comes around in June. I've put together some advice for how you should be approaching the next few weeks.

Use your Christmas exam results to your advantage

Whether you did well or not in them, doesn't really matter in the long run. They won't count towards your final grades in the state exams and I can tell you for sure that you won't even remember them in a few months time. Instead, just use the results as feedback and a guideline for what you need to do now.

You didn't do so well in Irish? No big deal. You know now that that's a weaker subject of yours and that you now need to start putting in more effort, maybe adding in an extra half hour of study each evening in order to improve for the next set of tests. You did great in English? Brilliant, well done. Use that result as a motivator and form of encouragement for what you can acheive and what you're capable of. But always keep in mind that you need to keep practising/studying a subject for your competency to stay high. If you get a high mark and then think, "Oh well I don't need to study this anymore now", you're setting yourself up for disaster and disappointment. Repetition and perseverance is everything.

If you don't already have a study plan, make one now

One of the keys to success in exams is organisation and preparation. Having a study plan will ensure that you're organised and that you're giving the right amount of time and attention to the subjects that need it. It also lets you follow a plan instead of sitting around the house thinking "hmm what will I study now?" and wasting 20 minutes trying to decide what subject you'll do and another 10 on your phone because you got distracted.
If you have a study plan, you can get stuck right into the study and waste no time, because you've laid out exactly what you must do and how long you have to do it. You can download and print off a study plan here.

Practising past exam questions is more important now than ever

The mocks, for most of you, will be the first time having to complete a full paper laid out exactly as it would be for the Junior or Leaving Cert, and having to do it within the allowed time frame. There won't be any questions on this paper that your teacher made easier for you, tailored for your class or gave you hints on, it'll just be a typical example of a paper that could very likely come up in June when you have to sit the actual Junior/Leaving Cert, so it's important to get used to answering exam questions, the way they will appear in your paper.
Luckily, you have Studyclix to help you with that. :) 
Keep practising past exam questions topic by topic or else practise out doing full papers by downloading and printing them off from the subject page. PLUS+ users will have free access to all this, and for those of you still on a BASIC account, have a look here to see why else you should get PLUS+ to help you prepare for exams.

Remember that time is moving fast and before long, the exams will be all over

And I don't mean that in a scary way. Time moves fast, especially after Christmas and even faster after the mocks. You shouldn't be stressed or worried about the fact that there are only a few months left to study, but rather motivated to get more done and in a more efficient way! If you feel your study method isn't working, maybe you should check out this blog on how to study effecively. Alternatively you could try mixing up/experimenting with new study methods, like mindmaps, flashcards, watching videos, etc. 
Another thing about the time to remember is that this is all almost finished! Before you know it, the mocks will be over, then the Junior/Leaving Cert will be over, then it'll be the summer, and you'll get your social life back again and these exams will be the furthest thing from your mind. Everyone gets through them and so will you.

Think of the mocks as a positive and helpful thing

As annoying and pointless as you might think they are, the mocks can be really helpful for you. They give you experience in carrying out state exams in the official time frame and with official material. They also prepare you for the Junior/Leaving Cert and give you confidence in doing them, as you already know that you've done it once before, and therefore can go through it again. You can really learn from these exams, so even if you don't do well because, let's say, you ran out of time, you'll know now that your timing is something you need to improve on and you probably won't make the same mistakes for the next exams that actually matter!
So it's time to stop moaning about having to do these "stupid mocks" and start looking at it from a positive angle! They really will benefit you, and if you prepare properly, you can do really really well and give yourself loads of confidence for your next set of big exams!

We wish you the best of luck for the exams and feel free to drop us a message if you have any question or worries. :)

Eimear and the Studyclix Team

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