For many examinations — both online and paper-based — there are sample, practice or mock examinations that are meant to help you prepare for the real exams. Whichever name you call it, the purpose of the examinations are clear and that is why it surprising when some people still ask if they are useful. I will go straight to the answer and tell you, yes they are very helpful and I will tell you why.
Firstly, when we talk about mock exams, in this context, we are not referring to the general school exams but the “special” examinations like GMAT, GRA, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS and so on. In Nigeria, examinations such as WAEC, NECO and JAMB would be perfect examples. These exams are generally used for admission into schools or as proof of proficiency of a language.
For the purpose of this article, I will use an example of how JAMB mock exam is helpful to candidates who are writing JAMB UTME. Before I proceed, I should let you know that JAMB stands for Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, while UTME stands for Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. The UTME is the entrance examination for admission into Nigerian universities. JAMB is the body that has the constitutional duty to conduct UTME.
How Mock Exam Help in Preparing for Exams
- Mock examinations like that by JAMB helps candidates familiarise themselves with the examination. Mock exams present the rare opportunity for candidates to write an exam that is closest to what they will face in the real examination. These include knowing the format of the exam, the time set for completion and so on.
- Examinations like these also help candidates to acquaint themselves with the examination conditions. For examples, I have met candidates who cannot sit through a four-hour long test, therefore, they become restless after sitting through a couple of hours of test. Taking a practice test will help them realise what they signed up for and working towards an endurance level that would take them through such exams.
- Lastly, mock exams help candidates to know their standing (i.e. level of preparedness) and give them an idea of the task they have ahead. For example, if a candidates scores low in a mock exam, it is an indication that they might not do well in the real examination.
For candidates who want to write JAMB, they need to register for JAMB UTME, then register for the UTME mock exam before writing the final exam. This has helped many candidates achieve success in the exam.
In conclusion, even though I have used a relatively unfamiliar examination as an example, the reasons I gave in favour of mock exams are applicable to other exams such as GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, etc.
Wishing you the very best as you prepare for your forthcoming examinations.