Tuesday 20 February 2018

It's nearly over - but give it one last push

Going to college

Guidance counsellor Aoife Walsh
Guidance counsellor Aoife Walsh

Aoife Walsh

At this point Leaving Certficate students will have completed their exams in all the core subjects and popular subjects such as geography. There are likely to be a large number of candidates who have just one or two exams left and perhaps have a long wait for these. It can be very difficult for students to maintain focus especially when there is so much free time so close to the end of the exams. If students find themselves in the position where they have a long wait for just one or two exams here are some things they can do to help make the best use of this time.

Don't take a day off

There may be temptation to take a full day off study after such a busy week but it is essential to resist. Students may want to catch up on sleep or take a breath, but doing so may destroy a well-established routine. Having a lie in or an early night, taking some extra exercise or catching up with friends is a great idea, but do not allow a small break to upset motivation to revise.

Keep routine

A couple of days is a long time to prepare for just one exam so students should ensure they complete a good quality study session every day. Doing revision at the same time every day makes it easier to complete and I would always suggest doing this as early in the day as possible. Studying in the morning means students often get more done and the rest of the day is then free for anything else that needs to be done.

Don't get distracted so close to the finish line

Students should try not to be pulled in to the celebrations of classmates who may finish their exams before them. It might feel like it is over and it nearly is. However students should ensure they push through the few days and consider having a big celebration when everyone is finally finished.

What next?

Once the exams are finished it is prudent for each student to check that they completed all careers-related tasks before they finally switch off to enjoy the summer. They should have one last look over the CAO form, ensuring as many spaces as possible have been completed on each list. Applicants should ensure that they have made good use of the Level 6 /7 list as well as Level 8.

Next, they should check for new courses that may have not yet considered. They should also consider applying for a PLC course.

Finally, applicants who are applying for a SUSI grant should ensure that their application is completed correctly and they have submitted all requested documentation to SUSI.

Aoife Walsh is a guidance counsellor at Malahide Community School, Co Dublin

Question: I am not taking a language for my Leaving Cert but I believe I am entitled to a language exemption. What do I need to do to ensure there are no problems with my CAO offer?

Answer: Many colleges require students to hold pass grades in languages for matriculation. These include all NUI colleges, Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick (UL). These institutions require entrants to hold a pass in English, Irish and a third European language, or English and another language. Dublin City University requires entrants to hold a pass in maths and English or Irish. Students may qualify for an exemption from these requirements if they have a learning difficulty or if they were born outside of the state.

Important dates


Open Evening — IT Tallaght

Information Session — Open University Holles Street Dublin 2


Part-time courses open evening — National College of Ireland


Lifelong learning information  Evening — IT Carlow


Enrolment day — Ballsbridge College of Further Education


Virtual open day — DIT school of hospitality mgmt & tourism: dit.ie/hospitalitymanagementtourism/livechat/

Reply to offers deadline — UCAS

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