How do walking talking mocks help students grow in confidence in their exam techniques?
Walking talking mocks have gained popularity in schools in recent years. The idea behind them is that students perform the entire exam experience, including sitting in the exam hall in rows. Instead of working silently through the paper, the teachers lead the class through it. Together they underline command words and the teacher explains how to identify what the question is asking and provides advice on exam technique. Alongside more traditional revision techniques such as performing practice questions and making mind maps or revision cards, walking talking mocks take a deep dive into exam technique. They help learners to understand how to approach answering exam questions and support them to interpret the questions. This allows them to ensure that they are best able to showcase all the knowledge that they have understood from their content based revision. Teachers have reported that learners are more confident in their approach and are able to achieve more marks after taking part in walking talking mocks. At Pearson we wanted to take this concept and help teachers to deliver it in the classroom. The purpose was to create a series of videos that would be useful to teachers wanting to better understand how to interpret mark schemes, but also provide a teaching and learning tool that can be used as a starter, a plenary or homework activity. Our first two videos for GCSE Science are now ready. The presenter, Frankie, is a Credible Specialist for Pearson. This means that she has substantial experience of Science Education and in Frankie’s case, she is also an experienced Assistant Principal Examiner, so therefore has marked many exam questions. Frankie has done a great job of writing and presenting content that will really help students and teachers to better understand how to approach the exam questions. The first video focuses on Maths Skills
and the second on Practical Questions
. These can be used by teachers as a starter, where students can complete the questions at the start of a lesson. There are opportunities to stop the video in order to give time for the students to complete the question. Students can also mark their own responses and award themselves marks as Frankie takes them through the mark scheme. These videos are a great tool to help students and teachers understand what type of responses are needed in order to be awarded marks. They also highlight common errors that may cause students to lose marks. They can also be used as homework activities where students can complete and mark their own responses. They could then use the skills they have gained to practice answering other exam practice questions and consolidate the exam technique skills they have gained. You will find lots more information on the support we provide for Pearson Edexcel GCSE Sciences at our website
_____________________________About the author
Hannah Cheek has 15 years teaching experience in Secondary Science and in FE Colleges. She has also had roles as a Standards Verifier for BTEC Applied Science and Principle Examiner for NCC - Access to Higher Education.