NCI Blog

Junior and Leaving Cert Exam Tips and Tricks

Posted by Emma Henderson on 04 June 2014


Advice for Parents and Students

With the Leaving and Junior Cert exams in full swing over the next three weeks, the pressure is on for both students and their families. We’ve put together our top tips to help you sort out your exam strategy and maximise your marks!

1. Make sure everyone in the family knows the schedule of exams – one tip we’ve heard from Brian Mooney is to stick the timetable on the kitchen fridge. That way everyone knows the dates, places and times and there is less room for confusion.

2. Be prepared – make sure you know what you should be using in every paper before you go in. Pens? Pencils? Your calculator? The night before, prepare your ‘exam pack’, including a bottle of water, a snack, and anything else you will need for your exam.

3. Establish a good routine: regular study breaks, enough sleep and a bit of exercise all play their part. Time out to relax is also an important part of the schedule – yes, really mum!

4. Timing is everything: get there early and don’t leave till the end!

5. Prepare and plan your paper: Read through the paper fully before you start to write. Plan out how much time you will give to each question and answer the easier questions first. Try to stick to the allotted times no matter how tempting it is to run over when you’re in full flow.

6. Write down everything you know – it can’t hurt you and if you run out of time, your notes might gain you some all-important marks. Answer every relevant question because you won't get marks for a blank space.

7. It’s good to talk – students should be encouraged to talk through any concerns or worries they might have at this stressful time and, as well as chatting to family and friends, text services like may prove helpful.

8. Accept or offer help! If you’re sitting your exams and friends or family want to help you out – let them. Likewise, if someone you know is doing their Junior or Leaving Cert, try to mind them a little – keep the house as calm as possible, offer them a cuppa and do what you can to help them manage stress.

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Topics: Advice, Leaving Certificate