Learning from Mock Exams


The snow before Christmas had a knock on effect for many exam students this year. Students sat mock exams later than normal without getting a chance to finish any more of the course work. Everyone has anxiously awaited results and feedback. At The Homework Club we believe evaluation is vital to success. The Mock results don’t have to set what you will get in June. Included are some of the top tips  we go through for our own students. The mocks are a test run! They test our endurance.

If you had a good mocks - you should be always be careful. Were you just lucky with the paper? are you likely to get the same questions in June? If yes, your on the road to success.

If you had a bad mocks - Don’t despair. Above all else stay confident. Always aim for the stars and you will reach success. Find your mistakes and learn from the experience. It's not the end of the world.

There are 8 main factors that effect exam performance

Subject Knowledge

Your Exam History

Exam Preparation

Exam Practice

Experience of the Subject

Writing Skills

Use of Time

Attitude and Approach


1st classes written on the table

Our new experiment .. whats happens if you let the students write directly on the tables?

This idea steams from coffee time at the Southampton Oceanography Centre while I was studying for my PhD. Physics nerds from the research section would gather around for morning coffee break and invariably talk about the latest scientific dilemmas. One morning someone brought a white board marker and wrote directly on the table.. a brilliant idea had begun.

The great advantage of this practise is that everyone is involved. If left for 5 minutes on their own students will always gravitate towards the white boards and the coloured markers, “we never get to write on them in school”. This shows how little its takes to excite a student!


Visual ways to read

For most students we learn to read by sounding out each letter and learning how these go together to form words. This is the Phonics method.

At The Homework Club we work with many students who can't ever learn to read by phonics. It might as well seem like rocket science. In fact with time and much effort they could learn about rockets long before they will ever develop an understanding for phonics. I know this because I've done it, learnt about rockets that is... In short due to the way dyslexics brain's work this is an impossible task.


Speed dating for maths

So we are getting to that time of the year with exam classes. There are only so many times you can do the same type of maths problem - we need to liven it up a bit! This lesson works for any level and any year but is very good for stressed out exam classes.

First you need to find some short questions, part (a)'s of the exam paper are ideal. Pick a topic you want the students to revise. Find enough questions to match the class in pairs - they should be similar questions.

Now pair everyone up - set the tables up so they are long and everyone is facing each other. Give each pair 1 to 2 minutes max. Of the pair one person explains the problem/how to solve it in their own words. The other is the "learner", encourage these to ask questions and even correct the "teacher". We learn best from others mistakes!

Use a stop watch - time is pressure! After the time is up make everyone get up and swap partners. "learners" should become "teachers" and visa-versa. Repeat the exercise at least 4 times.


Point of Blog

Our motto is that "we don't do normal". Everyone who comes to The Homework Club is different and is here for a different reason. It's not important if they are dyslexic, have reduced hearing or simply don't "get-it". This Blog is about creative teaching that suits everyone, all of the time! No one needs to be "special". The work is done in groups, so students avoid stigma and don't feel only they need help!






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