Prepare for mocks like the f inal exam

It is the start of second term, and thousands of students have already registered for Primary Six, Senior Three and Senior Six national exams. The clock is ticking very fast and both students and teachers are intensifying their efforts in order to be ready for the end of the year national evaluation exercise (examinations). This stage is so important because one cannot go to the next level without being tested by the national examinations body. But before the final exams, a lot of preparation is required. And there is no better time than second term. According to a survey by The Education Times, teachers, parents and students concur that mock exams (concours) will go a long way in boosting the confidence of the candidates making it is easy to excel in the final exams.
Pupils writing notes in class. It is important to finish the syllabus early to allow time for revision and exams  /Jean de la Croix Tabaro
Pupils writing notes in class. It is important to finish the syllabus early to allow time for revision and exams /Jean de la Croix Tabaro

It is the start of second term, and thousands of students have already registered for Primary Six, Senior Three and Senior Six national exams.

The clock is ticking very fast and both students and teachers are intensifying their efforts in order to be ready for the end of the year national evaluation exercise (examinations). This stage is so important because one cannot go to the next level without being tested by the national examinations body.

But before the final exams, a lot of preparation is required. And there is no better time than second term. According to a survey by The Education Times, teachers, parents and students concur that mock exams (concours) will go a long way in boosting the confidence of the candidates making it is easy to excel in the final exams. 

How to prepare

There is no doubt that all schools organize mocks with a format of the national examinations for their candidates in       second term but the implementation is what differs. 

Venuste Nduwayezu, the director of Groupe Scolaire Kacyiru II, said:  “We have been doing these tests every Friday for the last three years and we have observed that students approach the national exams with more confidence. This has improved our school performance.”

Last year, Groupe Scolaire Kacyiru II with Twelve Year Basic Education (12YBE) located in Kacyiru sector, Gasabo district, had 78 students in Primary Six and 73 in Senior Three. Their students passed in divisions I, II and III, with the best 16 pupils and 32 students qualifying for boarding school.

But as they say, ‘success is never enough’. That is why Nduwayezu says they are even looking at bigger things this year. Their objective, he says, is to have at least 80 per cent of their students in upper divisions (I, II) during the national exams. 

“We are working so hard as a team to get there, and hopefully, we shall make it,” said Gustave Mutabazi, a Senior Six English teacher at Kacyiru II.

He says students sat for one mock English exam last term that was in the format of the national exam.  Mutabazi said the exam had four sections entailing text and grammar, poetry, drama and summary.

  “My students sat the sixteen page English exam which has exactly the same format and content of the national exam. Indeed, when students sit the national exam, they are not intimidated because they do not take it as a strange thing,” Mutabazi said, adding that two more mock exams are expected for every subject this term.

Jean Pierre Hafashimana, a Senior Three student from GS Kacyiru II, was all praises for mock exams.

He said: “They prepare for us to face even the hardest exam. Mocks challenge us to read deeper and to help us review our preogress. I don’t think the national exam would be difficult for me.” 

Theogene Habimana from GS Gitagata, a 12YBE in Musenyi sector, Bugesera district, is also looking forward to his mocks.

 “I want to excel in Mathematics, my favourite subject. With mock exams, I will make my dream come true,” Habimana said.

Not just for the national exam

Although it’s generally believed that mock exams go a long way in helping learners pass the national exam, Martine Umubyeyi, the Principal of La Colombière Primary School in Gasabo district, Kigali, even takes it further.

“Some schools just prepare questions and answers so that their students excel in the national exams, but for us we have a different philosophy,” Umubyeyi noted.

He said since their intention is to equip learners with knowledge that will help them in their lifetime, the school conducts regular audits to find out where the students are lacking and then involve the best teachers in the country to prepare mocks. Umubyeyi says because of that exercise, their former students perform better when they go to other schools. 

Last year, La Colombière Primary School had 106 candidates and they all passed in division One and Two. 

Besides every school’s private arrangement, districts and sectors set an exam at least once every year to demystify the national exams. For instance Judith Uzamukunda, the District Education Officer of Ngoma district, Eastern Province, said they are currently preparing an exam that will be done by all students in July. 

Supplementary time 

However, this arrangement would not work if candidates were not given supplementary time to study. In La Colombiere, the students take only half of their holidays and use the rest of the other half to try and complete the syllabus so that they have enough time for extra exams. 

The first Minister of Education after the Genocide against the Tutsi, Pierre Celestin Rwigema, now a member of parliament of the East African Legislative Assembly, said mock exams are important because they test not only the teachers’ performance, but also the students capacity and helps in adjustment.

What do you think about mock exams?

Aimable Bakundakwita, a teacher 

At my school, we have been preparing mock exams since 2002. We give the students two exams per term and they are a bit different from the usual. They are not based on a few topics but rather the whole syllabus to resemble the national exams. This has reduced the stress students used to face in the past especially during exam time. 

***********************************************

Aimée Fiacre Ngabonziza, Senior Six student

Last term we sat the mock exam for physics. It was a good opportunity to review our progress over the last three years. We realised we had forgotten what we had studied in the previous years. Now that we have updated our memories, the national exam will be easy. 

*************************************************

Benjamin Rubyutsa, a teacher and a parent 

These exams remind me of farming principles; one clears the field before digging and planting seeds. Mock exams help our children prepare to face the ‘big’ exam. I know this because my son who is now in Senior Five went through the same process while in Senior Three and the fruits were good. He told me that when he saw the final exams, there was nothing special. 

****************************************************

Diane Mukamana, S.6 student

We will not be panicking at the last minute since we have revised almost everything from Senior 4 to Senior 6 while preparing for mock exams. The remaining task is for our teachers to complete the remaining part of the syllabus.

**********************************************

Gustave Mutabazi, S.6 student

Mocks are very important for us because they help us read everything. Since they look like the national exam, they help us feel more confident. In Primary Six, I did not perform so well in the national exams because I ignored mocks. In Senior Three I took mock exams more seriously and performance was good. My target now is to pass in upper division.

 

Have Your SayLeave a comment