Easter revision courses can pay dividends
Published 24/03/2010 | 05:00
Easter falls quite early this year, and most schools get their Easter holidays this coming Friday, March 26.
This upcoming holiday period will provide exam candidates with an opportunity to revise their work.
Parents sometimes ask: "Is it worthwhile enrolling students in Easter revision courses?"
Whatever about doing a revision course, it is certainly worth their while doing some revision over the Easter holidays.
Some studies show, however, that Easter revision courses can be an effective way of improving exam grades. A good revision course can provide a structured environment in which students can consolidate their learning. It can be beneficial to get a new perspective on a subject from a different teacher, giving the student a fresh start, and renewing their enthusiasm for a subject.
Of course, it is not possible for all students to attend revision courses. They may not have the time or the money. But any student may develop a good revision plan that suits his or her needs with a little thought and organisation.
There is no magic answer to studying for exams. At the end of the day, it boils down to sitting down and doing the work -- nobody else can do it for you.
Revision should focus on developing an understanding of your subject. When revising a topic, work out answers to a number of possible questions on the topic so that you get good value for your effort.
Be familiar with the type of exam that faces you. Know what marks are awarded for each section of the paper. Practice starting with the most valuable sections of the paper.
Learn to stick to the point when answering a question. If you start wandering away from the points, you will lose marks.
When students are studying for an exam, it can be a stressful time for other members of the family as well, especially parents. Parents will want to help, but are not always sure what is the best way.
They can help best by creating a supportive environment.
While neglect or lack of interest on the part of parents can be very damaging to students, they should also avoid causing additional stress by being over-involved or nagging. As always, it is a question of balance.
The summer term starts on Monday, April 12, which makes for quite a long final term. This can be beneficial for exam candidates, as it gives them a decent stretch to wrap up their course and exam preparations.
Although we tend to associate the State Examinations with the month of June each year, quite a number of elements of the exam are assessed much earlier. Many elements of the exam have already been assessed, and various other practical elements of the examination will take place from April through the month of May.
The Leaving Certificate language oral examinations will take place from April 12 to 23.
The Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate written exams start on June 9 this year, which leaves exactly 11 weeks of study time left from today.
Open days: A number of open days take place in agricultural colleges today,Gurteen Agricultural College, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, from 10.30am to 12; and the College of Amenity Horticulture, National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, from 2pm; and tomorrow (March 25) in Ballyhaise Agricultural College, Ballyhaise, Co Cavan, and in Pallaskenry Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Co Limerick. Also on March 25, Killester College of Further Education, Killester, Dublin 5, holds an open day/enrolment day from 9am-4pm, and IBAT College, Swords, Co Dublin, will have an Open Evening from 4pm-8pm. On March 27 the Sound Training Centre, Temple Bar, Dublin 2 hosts an open session from 12-4pm.