As an End-Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO), we do everything we can to make sure that our Apprentices have every chance to succeed during their End-Point Assessment (EPA). In order to do this, we provide mock assessments for any Apprentice we can.
Mock assessments are, basically, simulations of a real assessment. They’re a great way for the Apprentice to prepare for their final tests.
Whether it’s a written test or a face-to-face interview, a mock assessment can be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful EPA.
Why we do mock assessments
There are two main reasons to do a mock assessment before an Apprentice’s EPA: preparation and acclimation.
A mock assessment can help an Apprentice prepare for their real assessment. It allows them to get a better idea of, among other things:
- the format of their assessment;
- the types of questions that will be asked;
- the experience of taking the test; and/or
- which sections of the assessment will take longer than others.
Mock assessments also help Apprentices acclimate to the test conditions.
Some Apprentices don’t do well during a sit-down test or an in-person observation. They may not express their knowledge as well in writing as they could in other mediums, or they may feel nervous about being watched during an observation.
When an Apprentice is properly prepared for an assessment, they will not be as frequently tripped up by nerves. As a result, their Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours will be given the best opportunity to shine through when the real assessment takes place.
When to do mock assessments
TQUK’s mock assessments can be taken at any time, but most of the mock assessments we’ve helped conduct take place before Gateway.
After all, the EPA stage of an apprenticeship can be busy and stressful. It’s best to choose a time during the Formative Study when the Apprentice is free to effectively consider the process of the mock assessment and is not too distracted by other work.
Here are two different types of mock assessments and how they might help your Apprentice.
TQUK, as an EPAO, is required to have a large bank of test questions at the ready for any apprenticeship that requires a Knowledge Test for the EPA. We use some of these questions in our mock Knowledge Tests.
In general, these tests take the form of a series of multiple-choice questions, with a stem and four possible answers. They will present a range of hypothetical situations that an Apprentice could encounter in their job role.
In answering, the Apprentice will need to choose the most appropriate response to the situation among the four options given, using their knowledge and judgement.
Questions in each mock Knowledge Test will be written at the same level of difficulty as the real assessment to give the Apprentice an accurate experience of the types of questions that will be asked.
Training Providers can access a mock Knowledge Test for their Apprentice through their Verve EPA account. A test paper and answer key can be downloaded so that the test can be marked in-house.
Doing a mock Knowledge Test will, among other things:
- help the Apprentice get a feel for the nature and difficulty of the questions; and
- help the Trainer identify which areas the Apprentice may need to improve on.
IMPORTANT: Questions created for mock Knowledge Tests are not used in any EPA activity.
Check out how we create our test questions for more information.
How we create a mock Professional Discussion is similar to how we create a mock Knowledge Test.
For each EPA that contains a Professional Discussion, TQUK creates mock Professional Discussion briefs to help Trainers conduct a great mock assessment.
A Professional Discussion is a structured discussion between the Apprentice and the End-Point Assessor. The End-Point Assessor poses a series of prepared questions to the Apprentice in order to assess their Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours, often followed by a more open-ended discussion. The prepared questions are written against the Apprenticeship Standard criteria.
Trainers interested in doing a mock Professional Discussion can submit a request to TQUK to receive the appropriate resources. These resources may include:
- a mock agenda, which will outline the general structure of the Discussion and provide space to detail any occupational competency and/or learning amplification that needs to be addressed during the Discussion;
- a mock feedback record; and
- a series of mock base questions that the Trainer can ask the Apprentice during the mock Discussion.
Doing this mock assessment will help the Apprentice get a sense of the format and give them a chance to consider what answers to provide for the real assessment.
It will also help the Trainer identify any areas for improvement, whether it be in the Apprentice’s Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours, or in their performance during the assessment (ie the Apprentice may have become anxious halfway through the Discussionand the Trainer could suggest that they research stress-coping strategies).
During our time as an EPAO, the Professional Discussion is often identified as the assessment activity that Apprentices find the most stressful. With a great mock assessment, your Apprentice will be more likely to knock the real assessment right out of the park.
Other mock assessments
The above are just two examples of mock assessments for your Apprentice that will better prepare them for their EPA. Training Providers can create mock assessments for almost any EPA component.
Get in touch with our team of EPA specialists to get the best guidance on conducting mock assessments.
See you around The Hive!