The Mock exams aim to introduce secondary school students to the various procedures and formalities that state examinations entail.
As a parent it can be difficult to know how to approach "The Mocks". Encouraging and supporting your children throughout their education is extremely important. It is also a huge pressure because finding a healthy balance can be challenging. If you support your child a bit too much you run the risk of putting them under too much pressure. On the flip side if you are too relaxed your child may adopt that same level of calm and that isn't always a good thing.
So what exactly are The Mocks and why do they even exist?
The Mocks are essentially a preparation tool for state examinations in Ireland. They are scheduled at your child's school and take place a couple of months before the official examinations occur. The format can vary from school to school however the primary goal is to provide a "mock up" scenario of the real examinations.
The Mock exams aim to introduce secondary school students to the various procedures and formalities that state examinations entail. The exam format, timings and topics will reflect the official exams in a bid to prepare students for what is to come.
There are a number of pro's and con's when it comes to The Mocks. It gives students a chance to experience an exam hall and take an exam under strict time limits which can be extremely valuable. It can also induce a "healthy" dose of nerves which can lead to students taking their studies more seriously. Some people, however, feel that they are a waste of time and resources because the time might be better spent covering material and topics for the actual exams. Others also feel that the results can be quite misleading and this can have a negative affect on a students' sense of confidence.
As a parent it is important to remember that The Mocks are not the be all and end all however they are designed to help prepare your children for important state exams. These exams will affect your child's options when it comes to college opportunities and careers. For this reason it is a good idea to encourage your child to take them seriously.
Having said that, study should always be encouraged so rather than an intense injection of pressure it might be a good idea to help your child make an overall study plan for the year to give them the best shot at achieving the results that will help them move in the career direction of their dreams.