Dr Ciara Kelly on exams: 'Take it from someone who has four degrees. Here's why you can do this'
One week and three days to go. And I, for one, am relieved. This has been a long time coming and, I think, the sooner we get on with it and we get it over with, the better. The massive pressure of the build-up to the Leaving Cert is easily as difficult to cope with as the exam itself.
And, I think it would be great if our kids could separate the two things and just do the exam without the long, horrible lead in - whilst that would still be a stiff test, it would not be the waking-up-in-a-cold-sweat, naked nightmares that haunt so many of us for the rest of our adult life. I think this last week is, of course, about doing the final bits of revision - I would not have the qualifications I have today if cramming didn't make a difference! But it is mainly about staying calm and getting your head in the right space. We are now gearing up for the main event. This is like the moment before a boxer enters the ring and he is hopping from foot to foot readying himself for the fight. The mindset of how you go into a set of exams is probably as important as what you actually know about the subjects you're being tested on.
There are people who know tons of stuff on any given topic but fail to perform on the day - which is incredibly unfair. But equally, there are people who have the bare bones of knowledge, but punch above their weight when they sit in that exam hall - which may also be unfair - but if you're going to be one of these, it's so much better to be the latter. And that's all down to holding your nerve and being absolutely determined to do your personal best on the day.