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Northbridge IB Diploma Coordinator examines the true value to students of mock exams

Chris Krnic
Chris Krnic (5 posts) Deputy Head of Secondary and DP Coordinator View Profile

As the mock exams begin to come into our students' focus at Northbridge International School Cambodia, it is important to spend a moment and reflect on what this all means. 

Northbridge International School Cambodia - Exams

From my perspective the mock exams give an opportunity for the students to live through the exam experience. Having to arrive to the exam on time, be familiar with the paperwork requirements, sitting subject exams over two days, managing lunch or last minute revision, being able to move on from the last exam no matter how good or bad will all be new to our students. The value of learning and reflecting on these skills is more beneficial to their future success than the actual results they get at this stage. 

However, many students will see the mocks mainly in two ways. First, as a sinking moment of reality that the real exams are coming soon. Second, that the grades they receive will be their predicted grades. The sooner students connect to the reality of their exams the better.

The unmotivated need the exams to become more real and tangible to help them drive forward to success. Those who have a clear aim need the exams to help keep themselves on track, understand where they can easily make improvements. Those students who inflate the significance of the mock exams to being predicted grades are ill informed and certainly adding unnecessary pressure to themselves.

The unfortunate reality for all students is that the traditional roadmap for success in life is through an exam driven system. A good job is mapped backwards to needing a good degree and therefore good high school results.

But education is so much more than just exams. Success in our modern world is not built from the ability to ace an exam. Suppose for example you had someone who worked in your company with the following characteristics:

  • Being on time
  • Strong work ethic
  • Positive body language
  • Energy
  • Attitude
  • Passion
  • Willingness to learn

They would certainly be someone you would invest time and money in, someone with potential. None of those dispositions have anything to do with exam success.

Consider for a moment this quote:

Northbridge International School Cambodia - Einstein
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid Albert Einstein, scientist

The important question to ask is, what is your genius?