I'm interested in how other teachers decide when to enter their students for exams. Do you enter them only when they're 100% ready, or do you enter them when they've still some work to do but using your judgement will be ready in time?
I've always felt that an exam date gives them a "goal" to work towards, and the push that some of them need to really put in the work. If there's not a date set, then i've found the lack of target results in less work being done and preparation taking much longer.
A couple of mine who are due to sit their exams in a few weeks have got me feeling a bit concerned. I decided at the rate they had been progressing with exam preparation that they would be fine come exam time. They both understood what was still needing to be done. Now however, one of the adults has been off a lot, changed job resulting in less time to practise and has been on holiday - things i couldn't predict was going to happen. Progress seems to have leveled off and although she tells me she's practising scales, i don't think she is as she can't remember most of them. One of my other students still has to get all three pieces up to speed and i'm again concerned with her scales. My reminders to them of the exam date seem to phase neither of them.
If you wait until they are completely prepared for the exam and still have, say, two months to go then do you go over and over the same scales and pieces week in week out until the exam? Wouldn't they (and you) be fed up hearing them? Or do you move onto other pieces which may result in the exam work becoming rusty?
A fellow teacher friend asked me why i'd put them in when they weren't 100% ready which made me wonder if i'm wrong doing it this way. I've never had a single fail in 17 years of teaching, but could i be saving myself a lot of stress and pressure if i waited until everyone was ready with still months to go?
I'd be interested to hear how other teachers decide this please?