Skip to main content

Mock Exams for Pupil Premium Students – This week I was shocked to hear that a school of year 10’s are struggling & underprepared for their upcoming GCSE exams. Leading to anxiety & a lack of confidence around the upcoming exam period.

Actually the truth is this happens every year so I’m not shocked at all. This year though the feeling I had was different, & I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I was reminded of what happened in 2020.

Unfortunately this group of Year 10 students were unable to properly sit their Year 6 exams in 2020 due to Covid. So are really only experiencing this sort of process for the first time. Leaving them struggling & underprepared. My main focus is supporting Pupil Premium students to help close the Attainment Gap and it concerns me that an issue like this could lead to it widening. 

Most schools try and prepare their students by having them perform Mock Exams. Yes this can help however from speaking to teachers and in my personal experience most of the time Year 10 exams are seen as less significant. Basically leading to a potential lack of care & effort from students. 

Recently however I visited a school in Cardiff that’s taking a unique approach to preparing its Year 10 students for their upcoming GCSEs. I love the fact this school are changing the usual end-of-year tests. So rather than treating them like mock exams the school are instead increasing the focus & importance by treating them like they’re the full blown GCSE’s !! 

The teachers in particular are taking it seriously with the standards and expectations placed on the students being high in the lead up to help build the right culture towards the Mock’s. The students are even required to collect their results in a certificate like results day. 

A lot of schools likely feel as though they’re treating Year 10 exams seriously however I’ve noticed a clear difference with this school. 

Why? From my understanding by simulating the real GCSE experience a year early, the school aims to:

  • Reduce Exam Anxiety: We all know many students experience stress & anxiety leading them to underperform on the big day. Familiarity with the format and structure of the exams can hopefully significantly lessen student stress and nerves ultimately improving performance.
  • Identify Knowledge Gaps: By experiencing the whole process areas where students may need additional support or focused revision can be identified and worked on ready for the real GCSEs.
  • Boost Confidence: Nailing this years exam’s could help to build confidence and a sense of readyness.  The more empowered and confident the students are the more likely they are to excel in their actual GCSEs.

This proactive approach caught my eye as turning them into full blown mock GCSEs could elevate their importance, encouraging students to take them seriously and invest the necessary time and focus needed to get them ready for the real thing.

For Pupil Premium students the extra chance to experience a real exam atmosphere and environment could help them stay focused for the next 12 months and avoid the drop off and lack of engagement we often see around years 10 into 11 in these students. 

Mock Exams for Pupil Premium Students

Shout out to this Cardiff school for its innovative approach in not only trying to increase academic achievement, but also increasing student well-being by minimizing exam anxiety. 

We all know many students are struggling with similar issues and that the Attainment Gap is growing. Even if it doesn’t work I think it show’s great initiative and care from the school on supporting all their students alongside the Pupil Premium students. Students need help and things like this could potentially improve a number of areas and even help to close the ever growing Attainment Gap.

What are your thoughts on the way this school is supporting its Year 10 students? Have you seen any innovative approaches to exam prep in your experience? Do you feel like this could assist your Pupil Premium students over their final school years? I’d love to hear your thoughts below ! 

Want to impact your students & close the Pupil Premium Attainment Gap in your school? 

Cameron and his team at Dreams2Reality deliver the Power Program to 10,000’s of students each year. A Pupil Premium specific program measuring and showing real impact on the Attainment Gap. From 3 Day to 15 Day Programs we can build a bespoke Power Program that works for your students & budget. 

Here’s 3 Ways we can help you: 

  1. Get my Dreams2 Reality Newsletter weekly in your inbox where I provide practical advice for Schools, Principals & Teachers from my daily experience inspiring change in Teenagers & Pupil Premium Students across UK Schools. Mission = Close the Attainment Gap
  • Enquire about the Dreams2Reality team closing the Attainment Gap in your school through our national recognised Pupil Premium Power Program
  • Ask me a question by emailing me directly at – I read and personally reply to all of my emails and would love to hear from anyone I can help or learn from 

Mock Exams for Pupil Premium Students

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.