Suggested Guidelines for Leaving Cert Exam 2021

Suggested Guidelines for Leaving Cert Exam 2021

Have a positive and realistic approach.

Be positive about the information that has been studied. Students have put in a big effort in preparing for the exams over the past two years, particularly because of covid-19. Research shows that 25% to 35% of students under perform in exams because they do not react in a positive way.

Night before exam.

Have all the material you need. Do not study new material at this stage (avoid cramming). Use relaxation methods that you are familiar with and try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise. Simply walking or cycling or any exercise is a great way to deal with stress. And remember to be mindful of the amount of time spent on social media.

Exam day.

– Arrive in good time, and have all the materials you require.
– Know your timetable.
– Choose and read the questions carefully.
– Ensure one answers any obligatory questions.
– Make out in advance a rough draft of the main points to be included in answers.
– Maintain a time management strategy.
– Read through your answers before handing up paper after the exams
– Avoid spending too much time going back over the papers after the exam, especially when one may have another exam in the afternoon.
– Do not leave exam hall before time is up.

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. Practice writing essential information in the required time.

Plan your revision in a realistic way.

Be organised, keep focused to exam style questions and the type of answers expected, and have a revision timetable. Check information available on chief examiners reports, which give analysis of the standard of answering. See

Know the best way to control stress or 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 individually and 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.

If stressed, do not feel isolated – seek help from school, guidance counsellors, home or many agencies such as:
Mental Health Ireland –
Aware Helpline – Tel: 1800 80 4848
Samaritans – Tel: 116123


– Keep to the usual routine as much as possible, but 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, and 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 they are having sufficient rest and sleep.
– Remind them that, irrespective of exam performance and results, they can rely on your support and love.

Choices after leaving cert.

Important reminders:
Be aware of any CAO course changes. Check CAO website –
Ensure course selections are researched fully.
10 choices at level 8.
10 choices at level 6/7.

Students can still make changes to CAO course choices up to the 1st of July. (With the exception of restricted courses).

Students should consider making online application for FETAC (post leaving cert courses).

SUSI grant application can still be made up to the 8th of July 2021.

Check the website to see a full list of apprenticeships now available.

Check UCAS for UK applications –

Check EUNICAS for mainland European application –

Leaving Cert Results are expected to be available on Friday the 3rd of Sept 2021.

CAO round one offers will then be available a few days later.

Good luck and best wishes to all students.
Roisin Kelleher
Guidance Counsellor

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