Leaving Cert 8th – 28th June
Junior Cert 8th – 20th June
First state exam for most of the current leaving cert students, as they did not do junior cert in 2020. And first junior cert exam since 2019.
Have a positive/realistic approach
Students have had to put in a big effort in preparing for the exams over the past two years, which have been stressful for many students, because of covid 19. However, Minister Foley has said that there will be ‘greater choice’ in the questions and less content in what had to be studied, as the minister wanted the exams to be as fair as possible for the students.
Night before exam
- Have all the material you need.
- Do not study new material (avoid cramming).
- Use relaxation methods that you are familiar with.
- Do at least 30 minutes exercise, e.g., walking, cycling. Exercise is a great way to deal with stress. However, remember stress is a normal reaction to a challenging situation which one could say are the state exams. It is how you cope with stress that is important, and not allowing stress to become distress.
- Be mindful of the amount of time spent on social media.
- Arrive in good time, and have all the materials you require.
- Know your timetable.
- Choose and read questions carefully.
- Ensure one answers the obligatory questions.
- Make out in advance a rough draft of the main points to be included in the answers.
- Maintain time management strategy.
- Allow space at the end of your answers to Include and further information before handing up your paper.
- Read through your answers before handing up paper.
- Do not leave exam hall before time is up.
- After the exams, avoid spending too much time going back over the papers, especially when one may have another exam in the afternoon.
If changing from higher to ordinary level papers, be aware of how that may affect entry requirements for college courses. It is not advisable to change on the day of the exam, as one needs to be prepared for the different levels.
Time management for exams is very important.
Be aware of the marking scheme and the amount of time required to answer various questions.
See details on www.examinations.ie for marking schemes and expected responses.
Practice writing essential information in the required time.
Plan your revision in a realistic way.
Be organised, keep focused on exam style questions and the type of answers expected.
Have a revision timetable.
Check information available on chief examiners reports, which give analysis of the standard of answering. (See www.examinations.ie).
Stress & Tension
Know the best way to control stress and tension, before, during and after the exams. A certain amount of stress is normal when undertaking exams, it is only if the stress becomes distress that it can become a problem. If one feels very stressed, I believe it helps to say the word stop, saying each letter slowly to yourself. Use breathing techniques, drink water or chew a sweet. If the stress continues, it may be necessary to leave the exam hall for a few minutes. You can do this by raising your hand and indicating to the exam superintendent that you wish to leave.
- Keep to usual routine.
- Try to be around to support the exam student.
- Have a calm atmosphere in the home.
- Remind other members of the family, that the exam student may be under extra pressure at this time.
- Be mindful of what they eat, encourage a balanced diet.
- Ensure they drink plenty of water.
- Suggest they take physical exercise.
- Be available to listen to any concerns they may have.
- Check that they are having sufficient rest/sleep.
- Remind them that, irrespective of exam performance and results, they can rely on your support and love.
- Let them know you want them to do their best, they do not have to be the best.
If stressed, do not feel isolated. Seek help from school, guidance counsellors, home or many agencies such as …
Mental Health Ireland Aware Helpline – 1800 80 4848
Samaritans – 116123
Choices after leaving cert
The CAO website now carries links for post leaving cert courses and apprenticeship programmes.
- Be aware of CAO course changes (Check CAO website) – cao.ie
- Ensure course selections are researched fully.
- 10 choices at level 8 (honours degree programmes)
- 10 choices at level 7 (ordinary degree programmes)
- 6 (certificate programmes)
- Students can still make changes to CAO course choices up to 1st July (With the exception of restricted courses).
Check accommodation availability and costs if you are going to be living away from home.
Students should consider making online application for FETAC (post leaving cert courses) as soon as possible.
SUSI grant application can still be made up to 7th July
Check website www.apprenticeships.ie to see full list of apprenticeships now available. Further information available from Cork Training Centre, Bishopstown, (021) 485 6200.
Check UCAS for UK applications www.ucas.com
Check EUNICAS for mainland European application www.eunicas.com
Date for leaving cert results not available yet. CAO round one offers available a few days after leaving cert results.
Good luck and best wishes to all.