Dubai school heads put emphasis on revision as students gear up for board, mock exams

Institutions put priority on learning skills, and managing stress and anxiety



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Nandini Sircar

Published: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 9:15 PM

Last updated: Tue 10 Jan 2023, 11:14 PM

Head teachers emphasize varied revision strategies as students sit for mock and pre-board exams across Dubai schools

School principals across different curricula are emphasizing developing habits and routines, and using a variety of revision resources and techniques as students are either taking or gearing up for their mock and pre boards exams.

In some British curriculum schools, the second mock examination will commence in the weeks beginning late February.

Lewis Hammill, Deputy Head of Secondary, GEMS FirstPoint School – The Villa, says, “Invest in examination technique. Retrieve and repeat. Ask for help. Strike the right balance – eat well, sleep well and exercise. Build in time for your hobbies and interests. Our second mock examination series is scheduled to run in the weeks beginning 20 and 27 February 2023. It is imperative that we schedule formal assessment windows early in the school calendar. The earlier and more frequently that students experience these conditions, the more confident they feel when performing in them. Examinations bring increased pressure, stress and anxiety for students – these series give an opportunity to practice the preparatory, supportive and coping mechanisms that we have provided students.”

Head teachers aver mock examination series are rigorously planned processes that require high levels of collaboration from a range of stakeholders. “Heads of year tailor their pastoral programme to support their students. They prioritise organisation, preparation, learning skills and managing stress and anxiety,” he added.

Schools also run the mock examination results day after the process to reflect on individual and cohort strengths and areas for improvement.

“Our operations team physically prepares the examination locations, ensuring the school is following health and safety protocols. Parents provide support to their children at home. They also attend parent workshops and communicate directly with staff members when needed. Finally, the examination boards provide assessment preparation sessions to staff, students and parents,” says Hammill.

Principals underline the mock examination and pre boards exams (in Indian curriculum schools) allow teachers the opportunity to provide high-quality feedback to students, derived specifically from examination conditions.

They opine this is integral to effective teaching, as teachers then use this data to analyse how well students have learned topics and performed skills.

Rashmi Nandkeolyar, Principal and Director of DPS Dubai said, “The pre-board exams began on January 3 for Grade 12 and on 9 January for Grade 10. A thorough revision plan is chalked out to prepare students to do their best. The school ensures that the winter break is effectively utilized in formulating this plan. To kick start the preparation, teachers share past sample papers, complex questions and relevant study material with the students. Students take feedback from teachers after solving the papers. The teachers support students to mitigate any gaps. We believe this paves the path to have a stress-free examination.”

Apart from extending academic help, school counsellors are also available to students round the clock to help them feel confident and anxiety-free.

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Muhammad Ali Kottakkulam, Principal, Gulf Indian High School, Dubai, opined, “Special classes are arranged to give remedial lessons and guide students based on the sample question papers which CBSE has shared with all schools. Moreover, teachers are engaging students in sessions focused on stress and time management.”

Some Dubai schools have also offered online classes during the winter break for students sitting for the critical exams.

Deepika Thapar Singh, CEO – Principal at Credence High School says, “The pre-board exams have commenced. Our students of Grades 10 and 12 have completed our first pre-board exam in December 2022 and they are now writing pre-board 2. Virtual extra classes were also held during the winter break to revise important topics and to give them some examination tips. Teachers are accessible at all times to our students to solve their queries and to clear any doubts as the student revise their portions.”


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