Mock Exams in DP, what are they?
During the past few weeks surely you’ve been hearing at home the word “mocks”. What are the mock exams, and why are they important?
The Mock Exams (also known at Alegra as mocks) are part of the academic preparation of the students during their 2 years in the Diploma Program. These exams do not determine the final grade of the students, and this might make you believe they aren’t important. However, the dedication and perseverance in the study of the pupils, are just a hint of the value and importance of the mocks as a fundamental part of their academic journey at Alegra.
Mocks are a key tool for teachers and students to value their readiness for the official final exams of the IB program, required for the awarding of the Diploma.
What’s the purpose of the mock exams in DP?
The main purpose of the mocks is to prepare the students in all available ways for the official May exams, with the same format as the real exams that the students must approve to get their Diploma.
Mocks simulate the final exams in logistic and practical aspects, complying with all the IB standards required: from the setting up of the classroom, how students enter and leave the exam room, the reading of the official instructions, and even the material that they must bring depending of the subject of the exams.
The instructions are very precise and specific; questions require in-depth answers, based on reflection, and a showcase of different abilities, the average length of a mock exam is 4hrs. Students receive feedback on the main points they need to improve with enough time during the school year so they can practice and revisit concepts.
All of this helps reduce stress and worries, because students are enabled to understand the whole process, without any surprises left for the day of the finals.
Students see the mocks as an opportunity to prepare without getting left behind in their study rhythm in all subjects. It is impossible to attend the mocks with only one or two weeks of preparation, the only result of that would be exhaustion, nothing else. Without unnecessary tensions the mock exams represent an ideal moment for students to test themselves without thinking in the final grades, allowing them to discover their own areas of improvement.
What are they preparing for?
To obtain the IB Diploma the students must complete a minimum of 6 final exams. The exams must include: a foreign language, a social science, experimental science, literature, and mathematics; the sixth exam may be Art or a second foreign language, or a science of the student’s choice. At least half of the exams must be taken at a higher level.
The IB helps students become true lifelong learners with an international mentality, open to knowledge, self-improvement, and service to their community. To evaluate that the students have reached this standard the exams are designed to measure their basic skills: memory, understanding of concepts, and the use of problem resolution skills. The exams also test the ability of a student to create a coherent argument, think outside the box to solve challenging problems and analyze and share information.