Saturday 24 February 2018

A timetable is the template from which to achieve lasting examination success

Going to College

It may feel like the summer holidays are about to begin, but students are very aware that their exams are fast approaching.
It may feel like the summer holidays are about to begin, but students are very aware that their exams are fast approaching.

Aoife Walsh

Now the exams are drawing ever closer, many Leaving Certificate students are having their last classes with their subject teachers and are preparing for the important occasion of graduating from second-level school. Most Leaving Cert students are certainly feeling tired and study weary at this time of year, while others may be feeling stressed.

It may feel like the summer holidays are about to begin, but students are very aware that their exams are fast approaching.

So what should students be doing to help make the best of the last number of weeks before exams?

As school finishes, students will have more time to spend on independent study. This presents both opportunities and challenges. Firstly, it is likely to improve the quality of revision for some, as they no longer have to begin their study after a long day of classes and homework. This is certainly no easy task. It will also allow students time to concentrate on one task or subject for a number of hours at a time, a luxury that is rarely available during the school week. This time can be used to practice writing essays or completing a sample Leaving Cert paper.

However, many students struggle with managing their time during this period. Tiredness can prevent students from making the most of their days and some are not yet able to concentrate and motivate themselves without routine.

If a student is finding it difficult to organise themselves, it may be helpful to use their school timetable as a guide to what they should be studying and when. For example, students should get up at the usual time and start studying at the time their lessons would normally start. If they normally have English class at 9:00am for 40 minutes, then they should start studying English for 40 minutes at 9.00am.

They should take breaks with the school timetable also and use non-exam subject times to focus on subjects that they find more difficult.

This way, by 4pm, students will have completed seven hours of revision.

If school offers a quiet place for students to study, it may be helpful to take advantage of this, especially for those who are finding it difficult to study at home.

However, while many students choose to study in the local library, they should carefully consider how much work they will get done in this environment, especially if there are many other students studying there also.

Finally, if teachers have asked students to attend school for extra class, it is of the utmost importance to attend.

Many students may feel that they would get more work done at home, but this is often a false economy, as students underestimate how much work can be completed by a teacher in a long revision period and this work will help inform and improve the quality of students' own revision time.

So students should forget about all they have not done and focus on what they can achieve between now and June. Every 20 minutes spent studying is potentially another few points for CAO and will bring students a little closer to their goal.

IMPORTANT DATES THIS WEEK:

Today

Open Day/ Interview day Killester College of Further Education 

May 22

Open Day Bray Institute of Further Education

Part-Time Open Evening National College of Ireland

Balbriggan Library Information Session Open University in Ireland

May 24

May Open Day and MBA Information Session Open University in Ireland

May 27

Psychology Public Event Mary Immaculate College

Galway City Centre Library Information Session Open University in Ireland

Kilkenny City Library Information Session Open University in Ireland

Trainee Jockey Open Day RACE

May 28

Interview Date 2014 Dun Laoghaire Further Education Institute

Enrolment Interviews 2nd Round – (two days) St John's Central College

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

Irish Independent

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