Tuesday 12 December 2017

Leaving Cert written examinations upon us

The Leaving Certificate written examinations always start on a Wednesday early in June. The written Leaving Certificate starts on the Wednesday after the first Monday of June, on which the bank holiday falls, which makes it this day next week, June 9.

This slightly late start affects the issue of the Leaving Certificate results, which is expected on Wednesday, August 18, followed by the issue of CAO first round offers, on Monday August 23.

So with a week to go before the start of the Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations, most students are working through the final elements of their revision programme.

Students nowadays are becoming more sophisticated in areas like study and exam techniques. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile reminding students of some basic revision tips.

  • Revision can be simplified by looking over all the notes, projects and essays of the past year in the various subjects as the exam draws near.
  • While nobody can predict what questions will come up, there are certain valuable strategies all students should follow in examinations.
  • Be as familiar as possible with the kinds of exam questions that come up.
  • Be sure to know the value in marks of each question, as some questions -- or parts of questions -- are much more valuable than others. If time is a problem, first answer the parts that get better marks.
  • It is hugely important to focus completely on the question. Read the examination paper carefully, and answer the question that was asked, and not the question you would like to have been asked. Every aspect of a question is important, so do not neglect to answer the question fully.
  • As each exam finishes, put it behind you. Do not engage in post mortems, because you will usually concentrate on the mistakes you believe you have made. This can distract students from effective performance in the next examination.
  • When students are studying for an examination, it can be a stressful time for other members of the family as well. Parents will want to help, but are not always sure what is the best way. They can help students by creating a fully supportive environment, but should avoid adding tension by asking too many questions.

QWhen do the examinations finish?

AThe final exam of Junior Certificate finishes on Thursday, June 24, while the Leaving Certificate finishes on Friday, June 25. The written exams of the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme finish on Thursday, June 17.

Many candidates will have finished their exams much earlier than the final date, because the most commonly taken subjects are examined in the first week.

When the exams are over, the attention of some of the Leaving Certificate students may turn for one final time to their CAO application.

As they know, the final closing date for the change of mind facility is July 1. Applicants should not change their mind on the basis of how they believe they have done in their examinations, because they are often poor judges of their own performance.

Choose courses in order of genuine preference, and leave room for safety nets -- some less competitive course choices you would still enjoy.

Irish Independent

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