Mock Exams: Your Ultimate Guide to GCSE and A-Level (2023)



mock GCSE exams

Yes, these are exams taken before GCSE exams.They cover the same topics as the real GCSE examsand offer students an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the format, timing and style of exam questions.

They are usually held inYear 11 in December or January, several months before the actual GCSE exams, which are given in May or June.

But these aren't the first mock exams you can take to prepare for your GCSEs. There is a first round of mock GSCE exams at the end of Year 10, around June/July.

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One level mock exams

As if mock GCSE exams weren't enough! You will face mock A-level exams before taking the real A-level exams.

Like GCSEs, you will have two rounds of mock A-level exams. Generally, the first takes place atsummer month of the year 12. There may be an optional mock exam around Christmas that year.

The second round, the Year 13 Mock Exam, is the most important A Level Mock Exam.Held around Christmas, either before or after winter break. These are the final assessments before the actual A-Levels. With these mock exams, you know which subjects to repeat and if your time management is working. Taking them seriously can lead to better results in real exams.

Dates may vary from school to school, so ask your teachers for specific test dates at your school, both mock and real.

Mock Exam Schedule

For a better overview, here is a table of mock exam dates for GCSEs and A-Levels. There are no specific dates for the exams in 2023 as each school can choose when they want to hold them.

year 10Summer, usually June or July
year 11Usually in December
year 12Summer, June or July
year 13December or January

Are mock exams important?

Yes, mock exams are important - I can't stress that enough. Even if they don't count toward your final grade, mock exams provide invaluable learning. Here's why:

  • Recognize your strengths.Mock exams highlight subjects you are already strong in. Use this to your advantage - you won't have to spend as much time repeating these areas. However, don't ignore them completely. check them regularly!
  • Recognize your weaknesses too.Mock exams can also help you identify topics you need to work on – but don't despair. This is positive! Since these are not real exams, you now know which topics need more attention and further revision. It is the perfect tool to optimize your exam preparation.
  • Useful for teachers.By looking at your results, your teachers can determine which topics are challenging for the class. In the months leading up to the actual exam, they can offer more support on these topics.
  • Test your learning strategy. We hope you have a study plan for all your exams. It's the perfect time to test its effectiveness. Based on the results of the mock exam, you can determine if your strategy is good or if you need to adjust it and come up with a more effective exam preparation.
  • Mock exams predict marks. Even though mock test scores don't count toward final grades, they give you insight into your current performance. For Year 13 students in particular, predicted notes can be useful when applying to colleges or universities, as they can give you an idea of ​​your chances of being accepted.
  • Simulation of real exams. This means you get a realistic experience of real exams without actually taking them. This definitely helps in getting used to the exam format and time constraints and helps in the competitiontest anxiety.
  • During the exam, you learn how to manage your time. Time turners don't exist (I think?), so you can't go back in time to do better on the real exam. But you can take mock exams. They help you practice time management skills, which will help you stay on track during the actual exam.
  • Raise your confidence.It sounds strange, but mock exams can boost your confidence. Understanding time management, the volume and format of questions, and the concentration required can help calm nerves before the actual exams.
  • Valuable feedback. The entire virtual exam experience provides comprehensive feedback on topics, time management, confidence and more. All this feedback helps you improve your study plan and make the most of your remaining preparation time.

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Taking the test: 7 steps to success

Mock exams are a great opportunity to practice your skills and get a feel for the real thing. By following these steps, you can get the most out of your mock exams and improve your chances of passing the real thing.x

  • Step 1: Mark the mock exam dates in your calendar.Our brains and our short memories remember things best when they are written down. They're not made for things like fantasy journals! Mark the dates in your phone or physical calendar and don't forget the actual exam dates. This may seem basic, but it is necessary, trust me! When every little thing can stress you out, this preparation trick will help you stay on track and remember your exams.
  • Step 2: Familiarize yourself with the subjects you need to repeat.Make a list of all the topics that could be covered in the exam. You can find this information in your syllabus or by talking to your teacher.
  • Step 3: Create a study plan.Now that you have a list of topics, use it to create a realistic study plan. Decide how much time you should spend studying each topic. Be realistic about your time commitment and don't try to cram too much information into too little time. For more tips, check this outarticle. TheStudySmarter appit also offers functions to help you create a plan.

Mock Exams: Your Ultimate Guide to GCSE and A-Level (1)

  • Step 4: Rest.A logical study plan should includepause. They are critical to your success, as a rested body and mind retain information much more effectively. Taking breaks will also help you avoid burnout.
  • Step 5: Get enough sleep and eat healthy.It's not just the study.sleep, nutrition and consistency are just as important. Pay attention to yourssleep hygieneand make sure you get enough sleep. Try to maintain aA balanced dietwith plenty of vegetables, fruit, carbs and protein to feed your brain all the good stuff.Cohesionit is also a key element of success. Try to study something every day, instead of cramming in long weekend sessions.
  • Step 6: Don't sacrifice your weekends.For your own happiness and well-being, remember to maintain a social life and take breaks on the weekends. Don't spend entire weekends in long, exhausting and ineffective study sessions. If you must study, limit it to about 8 – 12 hours of study over the weekend and leave the rest of the time to enjoy it with family and friends.
  • Step 7: Find a balance.It is important to find a balance between school, studies, hobbies, family and friends. This will help you stay healthy, sane and productive.

Prepare for mock exams with StudySmarter

Study Smarter is the next best study app to help you prepare for mock and real exams. still with me Let's explore why.

The StudySmarter app is completely free

Voted the #1 study app, StudySmarter is free to use on almost all your devices. It contains thousands of explanations on different topics, you can view or create flashcards, study plan, take mock exams and much more. Get it now foriOSIAndroiddevice or simply log in viaonline platform.

Mock Exams: Your Ultimate Guide to GCSE and A-Level (2)

Mock Exams: Your Ultimate Guide to GCSE and A-Level (3)

Practice for exams with StudySmarter AI

StudySmarter offers mock exams to help you prepare for real exams with the latest feature –StudySmarter AI. Want a personalized internship? StudySmarter AI has you covered! Plus, they'll provide feedback on your answers! Try it today, it's fantastic!

Explanations of all the topics covered in your mocks

The app contains thousandsexplanationsin all your subjects, be it maths, physics, biology, history, politics or English literature.

Flash cards

Have you ever tried to correct your exams using flashcards?Flash cardsis an excellent, simple and effective way of maintaining a significant amount of knowledge. That's why we love them. You can easily create your own or ask StudySmarter AI for help.

Bonus: each of our original explanations comes with ready-made cards!


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Personalized curriculum

STUDY PLANCreate is my favorite mode because I'm a big fan of to-do lists and plans. The stats tab is very useful and shows you an overview of your sets, cards and study hours. You can set goals like how many hours you want to study, how many days and more.

And with that said: I wish you the best of luck and good luck in all your exams!


How to prepare for GCSE mock exams? ›

To prepare for mock exams, follow my six tips to GCSE success:
  1. Plan a revision timetable. ...
  2. Use a range of resources to aid revision. ...
  3. Spend time going over your class notes. ...
  4. Use specific revision aids for your subject, make sure you know the exam board and get books that support the board you are using.
Mar 9, 2023

Are mock exams harder than real GCSEs? ›

They might set exams they think are the same level as official exams, but actually turn out to be much harder. You may find mock exams harder for some subjects, and the same level for others. It is difficult to predict what your real exam will look like – and to predict how hard mock exams are too!

What happens if you cheat in mocks? ›

If you are found to have cheated in your mock exams, or have broken the exam regulations in any other way, it will be dealt with internally by the school. However, it is important for you to understand that during your real exams, the school MUST report any instances of wrongdoing to the awarding body.

How do I prepare for an A-level mock exam? ›

How to Prepare for Your A-Level Mock Exams
  1. Make a Revision Timetable and Stick to It!
  2. Don't Be Afraid to Try Out New Revision Strategies.
  3. Complete Past Papers Under Timed Conditions and Learn From Them.
  4. Check Mark Schemes and Examiner Reports.
  5. Take the Mocks Seriously, But Not Too Seriously.
  6. Take Time to Relax.
Jan 8, 2019

How to revise for GCSE mocks in 1 week? ›

How to prepare for exams in a week
  1. Cut out the fat from your revision. You can't expect to revise all the desirable topics. ...
  2. Study with summaries. ...
  3. Whip up some flashcards. ...
  4. Familiarise yourself with past papers. ...
  5. Clear your head. ...
  6. Revise with essay plans. ...
  7. Look at mark schemes. ...
  8. The night before the exam – should I revise or sleep?

How do you get all 9s in GCSE mocks? ›

Top tips for GCSE success
  1. Make resources early. ...
  2. Revise for end-of-topic tests. ...
  3. Approach mocks properly. ...
  4. Experiment with revision techniques. ...
  5. Plan your time. ...
  6. Explain the information. ...
  7. Look at past papers.
Feb 7, 2020

How long should I revise for GCSE mocks? ›

Rather than revising one subject for seven hours in one day, it's better to do one hour of revision for seven days. This is because the time in between allows you to forget and re-learn the information, which cements it in your long-term memory.

What happens if you fail mocks? ›

The main use of mock exams is to show you and your teachers what grade you are currently working at, and how you perform in exam conditions. If you fail, don't worry – your teachers will help you identify the main issues in your performance and what you can do to improve.

How many mock tests are enough? ›

A practice of 10 to 12 mock tests per week will make their preparation thorough.

Do people cheat on the mocks? ›

“Also, some students cheat on their mocks. For both reasons, mocks have very little validity.” Despite being an @AQAMaths exam marker, when marking as a teacher I mark more harshly; students take note of their incorrect work more than their correct work. Also, some students cheat on their mocks.

How many students cheat on tests? ›

One of the most thorough studies, carried out by Dr. Donald McCabe, reveals that about 95% of polled students (both undergraduates and graduates) admitted to having cheated in some form.

Do mocks even matter? ›

Mocks are an excellent opportunity to identify the areas you may need to work on before the exams proper. You may be thinking 'I already know what I'm struggling with - I don't need exams to show me' but you'd be surprised how frequently students fail to successfully self-diagnose without the help of exams.

What is the 2 3 5 7 revision method? ›

Revise a topic, then revisit it the next day, after three days, and after seven days. This is thought to be the perfect amount of time to help your brain remember information.

How do I score better in mocks? ›

How to Increase Mock Score?
  1. Analyze to death: Do not analyze percentile trends or some such artificial nonsense. ...
  2. Attempt the Un-attempted ones: ...
  3. Review the Correct Attempts: ...
  4. Try out different strategies: ...
  5. Start giving 1 mock a week: ...
  6. The Takeaways:

When should you start revising for mock exams? ›

Planning is the key to effective revision. Reports from WhatUni agree that four to five weeks (around a month before your first exam) is the minimum time you should set yourself to revise. So if your first exam is in the middle of May, you might want to start revising during or just after the Easter holidays.

Is 4 days enough to study for an exam? ›

Ideally, studying should start at least five days in advance of the exam to allow students an ample amount of time to go over course concepts and materials, and reach out to their instructor or peers if they find they have any questions.

How long does it take to correct mocks? ›

Why use our Mock Exam Correction Service? The average turn-around time for the return of corrected scripts is three weeks.

How long should a GCSE student revise for a day? ›

According to The Student Room, students revise 15 to 20 hours per week for their exams, which might sound a lot until you break it down. You've probably worked it out for yourself, but the recommended time equates to three to five hours of revision per day with weekends off!

How rare is it to get a 9 in GCSE? ›

Percentage of GCSE entries in England in 2022, by grade level
CharacteristicPercentage of entries
6 more rows
Sep 23, 2022

How many 9s do you need for Oxford? ›

GCSEs are seen as evidence of work ethic - and you need a really strong one of those to cope with studying at Oxford or Cambridge. Our guesstimate is that the average successful applicant has around eight 8/9 grade GCSEs under their belt.

How rare is it to get all 9s in GCSE? ›

how did it go? It's also important to remember that it doesn't matter if you don't end up getting all 9s. 8s-6s are still great grades (and even if you just pass that's fine since that's all most employers will ask for anyway at GCSE Level). Only the top 5% will get all 9s.

How late is too late to revise for GCSE? ›

It is never to late to start doing the work. But, it's much better to start doing the work today than it would be to put it off until tomorrow, next week or the day before your exams start.

How much does it cost to revise for GCSEs? ›

Instead, aim for 30–45-minute sessions with short breaks in between and ideally no more than 4 hours of study time per day. This way, you'll have more productive bursts of revision, rather than trying to cram multiple subjects for hours on end and potentially create more stress for yourself.

Is 1 month enough to revise for GCSE mocks? ›

The absolute minimum time you should start revising for your GCSE's is a month away. This is because you need time to safely learn all of the facts and figures for your exams, and you can't fit all of that information in your brain in a month!

When should you not use mocks? ›

Only use a mock (or test double) “when testing things that cross the dependency inversion boundaries of the system” (per Bob Martin). If I truly need a test double, I go to the highest level in the class hierarchy diagram above that will get the job done. In other words, don't use a mock if a spy will do.

Are mock exams accurate? ›

In general, mock exams can be a good indicator of real exam results, and are much more important now that coursework is no longer counted towards final grades. But it's important to note that there is a lot of learning and revising to do between their mocks and sitting real exams.

Is mocking tests bad? ›

Inaccurate mocks causing false-negatives

The confidence you have gained through this test is false confidence. In this case, using a mock to test the code is actually worse than not testing the code at all, because if you hadn't tested the code, at least you wouldn't have any false confidence in it.

Can I give 2 mocks in a day? ›

3) Do not take 2 mock CATs in a day in order to increase your mock test count. It is meaningless to take mock CATs when you are tired. And you are definitely kidding yourself if you have taken a mock CAT, analyzed it and are not tired at the end of it. Mocks have the capability to make or break a year's CAT attempt.

Is a mock test graded? ›

The test results do not affect your actual grade however lots of emphasis and value are associated with the test.

How important is mock test? ›

Regular practice of mock tests makes one aware of one's strengths and weaknesses, the time one takes to solve the question, and mistakes committed. One can easily document the mistakes and abstain from repeating them. It also helps to keep a track of our performance and improve day by day.

How do you get through mocks? ›

Top 10 Ways to Make the Most of your Mocks
  1. Revise. ...
  2. Evaluate your revision. ...
  3. Time it right. ...
  4. Get to know the questions. ...
  5. Learn what they're actually asking. ...
  6. Study the feedback. ...
  7. Study the mark scheme. ...
  8. Redo.

Is cheating on a test a form of lying? ›

Cheating includes, but is not limited to: lying; copying from another's test or examination; discussion at any time of questions or answers on an examination or test, unless such discussion is specifically authorized by the instructor; taking or receiving copies of an exam without the permission of the instructor; ...

Is it worth it to cheat on an exam? ›

Cheating on exams is lazy.

Success takes hard work, persistence, dedication, diligence, and willingness to sacrifice. Cheating and trying to find the easy way out just doesn't help you learn and develop these traits. If you persist in laziness (and cheating), you will continue to find it hard to attain your goals.

How many Americans cheat on tests? ›

This work demonstrated that 64 percent of students admitted to cheating on a test, 58 percent admitted to plagiarism and 95 percent said they participated in some form of cheating, whether it was on a test, plagiarism or copying homework.

Do universities care about cheating? ›

Most high schools will also put any cheating allegations on a student's record. Colleges will be able to see this and may not want to take a chance on a student that was caught cheating in high school. They may think that they will just continue to cheat their way through college.

What is the punishment for cheating in high school? ›

Cheating on tests and copying on school papers can lead to serious repercussions, from failing grades or suspensions to college rejections and loss of scholarships.

How do GCSE mocks work? ›

GCSE Mock Exams

They cover the same topics as the actual GCSE exams and offer students a chance to familiarise themselves with the exam format, timing, and style of questions. Typically, they take place in Year 11 in December or January, a few months before the actual GCSE exams, which are taken in May or June.

Do mocks use past papers? ›

Mock exams are often conducted using past papers, but you should also be able to get more papers from your school or the exam board to help you revise. This shows you the kinds of questions that are likely to come up and helps you to feel more prepared when exam day comes.

Are fakes better than mocks? ›

When choosing a test double, we need to consider what we want to test and how we want to test it. Fakes are generally used to improve performance by avoiding external calls. Mocks are used to verify the behavior of our code. Stubs are used to provide data that our code needs to run.

What are the three R's of revision? ›

The 3 R's of Revision: Review, Reread, React/Reshape.

How to do revision with ADHD? ›

Avoid distractions

Alternatively, try the pomodoro technique. The pomodoro method helps to break your revision session down into manageable chunks. For example, if you have 2 hours to revise, break this into four 25-minute sessions with 5-minute breaks between each session.

What is the 123 method of studying? ›

The most common use of 3-2-1 I've seen is in response to a reading or lesson–usually 3 things you learned, 2 things that made you curious or confused, and 1 most important thing you learned or should do with what you've learned.

How do you pass GCSE mocks? ›

To prepare for mock exams, follow my six tips to GCSE success:
  1. Plan a revision timetable. ...
  2. Use a range of resources to aid revision. ...
  3. Spend time going over your class notes. ...
  4. Use specific revision aids for your subject, make sure you know the exam board and get books that support the board you are using.
Mar 9, 2023

Are mocks harder than the real exam A level? ›

They might set exams they think are the same level as official exams, but actually turn out to be much harder. You may find mock exams harder for some subjects, and the same level for others. It is difficult to predict what your real exam will look like – and to predict how hard mock exams are too!

Why am I scoring low in mocks? ›

So, if you are scoring low in mocks, either your accuracy is not up to the mark or your attempts are lower. If your accuracy is low, then reduce the number of attempts! Go for only those questions in which you have full confidence.

How long does it take to revise for GCSE? ›

GCSE students (year 10 or 11) = 1.5 hours per subject per week. E.g. if they're studying 10 subjects this will be 15 hours per week. A Level students (years 12 and 13) = 4-6 hours per subject per week. E.g. if they're studying 3 subjects in year 12, this might be 12 hours per week.

Is it too late to start revising for GCSEs? ›

It's never too early to start thinking about revision, and the earlier you begin, the more time you'll have to make sure you're as prepared as possible for your GCSEs.

When should I start studying for GCSE? ›

It normally takes around six months to prepare to pass your GCSEs, so it's a good idea to start the process at the beginning of Year 11. However, everyone is different and some people may need to spend more time studying than others.

When should I start studying for GCSE mocks? ›

You should begin revision at least six months in advance of your GCSE exams. The amount of time spent revising as well as the revision focus and dedication should increase at the three-month mark, then again at the one month mark and two-week mark.

What to expect in GCSE mocks? ›

Mocks are just a dress rehearsal.

You can try out different revision techniques to see which work best for you. – You can see which bits you know pretty well already, and which you need to revise. – You can find knowledge gaps. You won't have covered everything yet, so don't panic about them!

What is the best way to study for GCSE exams? ›

How to revise for GCSEs
  1. Start early. Getting an early start on your revision is always a good thing. ...
  2. Make a revision timetable. Creating a revision timetable should be your first step. ...
  3. Set mini goals. ...
  4. Mix it up. ...
  5. Revise with others. ...
  6. Practice papers. ...
  7. Take breaks. ...
  8. Move around.
Apr 28, 2023

How many hours should I revise for GCSE mocks? ›

Rather than revising one subject for seven hours in one day, it's better to do one hour of revision for seven days. This is because the time in between allows you to forget and re-learn the information, which cements it in your long-term memory.

Is 3 months enough to revise for GCSE? ›

Start planning 2-3 months before your exams so you can give yourself, at the very least, 5-6 weeks of solid study time. The more time you give yourself to your plan, the more you can easily break down the work and take it in manageable chunks.

How many mocks do you do for GCSE? ›

Ofqual has warned against schools over-assessing their students to gather evidence in the event that exams do not go ahead in future.

Who marks mock GCSE papers? ›

Students take mock exams on screen in their chosen subject, and these are marked by Pearson Edexcel examiners; results are then made available online via the Pearson Revise platform with marks for each question to help identify gaps in knowledge and an overall indicative grade*. What subjects are available for GCSE?

Do mock exams affect your grade? ›

They don't count towards your final grade and yet schools repeatedly impress upon students the importance of taking them (almost) as seriously as any other exam.

How hard is it to get a GCSE? ›

What's the Main Challenge of GCSE Exams? Students tend to find GCSE qualifications difficult, but why? For the GCSE exams around 9 subjects are studied, some take less, but there are students who take up to 12. The biggest challenge for students is to balance the workload they will face when taking their GCSEs.

What is the easiest GCSE to take? ›

GCSE Geography

The subject also includes creating and examining models as a part of the learning process. The pass rate for GCSE Geography in 2022 was 72.7%. This indicates that the subject is relatively easy and has a higher success rate than some other easier GCSEs.

Is 2 months enough to revise for mocks? ›

Two months is plenty of time. Are these for your GCSEs? Make a plan, prioritise your weaker subjects and spend a decent amount of time revising each day (also remember you've got the long Easter break coming up where you can a lot of work) and you'll be fine.


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