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Exam tips to help you cope with those facts and figures

It is not advisable to approach each subject with the same study technique. Different subjects require different skills. You must identify this now and tailor your study to the demands of each given subject.

MEMORY SUBJECTS

This concept lends itself to effective and efficient study in the coming weeks.

Firstly I will concentrate on subjects which require high levels of factual memorisation. Subjects in this category include Biology, History and Geography. This type of subject relies largely on memory and attention to detail.

In order to learn this material you must be organised. Split the syllabus into sections.

Compose a list of every definition you need to memorise.

Next, write out a list of each date, statistic, law, etc.

Ideally these lists should be composed on flashcards.

Stick the flashcards up around your room. Glance at them every day in a spare moment from now until the exam. You will be surprised how much will stick.



SYLLABUS

These memory intensive subjects have an extensive syllabus.

As a result, your study will be more time consuming as there is more material to cover. Take this into consideration when planning your study schedule.

Do not feel compelled to allocate equal study time to each subject.

I was once advised to do so and promptly rejected the concept.

There will always be certain subjects that you have an aptitude for.

However, when it comes to subjects which require a lot of memory work, it will always take a considerable amount of time to learn off the material, no matter how brainy you are!

When learning off masses of material it is important to remain alert at all times. Do not forget to take breaks throughout your study. I suggest you take a 10-minute break each hour. Use this time to get a glass of water, go outside or listen to music. Anything at all that will take your mind off study is suitable.

It is important to allow your mind to wander during these breaks. While studying these subjects your brain is under immense pressure to concentrate fully. Taking the odd break will allow it to re-energise. Hopefully when you return to your study you will feel more alert and ready to tackle another topic.

CONCEPT SUBJECTS

Maths is a tricky subject to study. This study is largely in contrast with any other subject on the Leaving Cert.

Of course, an element of memorisation is required. Ensure you learn off all formulas not included in the log tables.

However, I am convinced that's where the memorising stops. From here on it's all about understanding key concepts. Some students learn off techniques to answer questions. This never works.

Indeed, the Leaving Cert Maths papers will contain questions very similar to ones you may have practised for homework. If you have only learned off techniques to answering questions, you will quickly become lost and overwhelmed when the exam question does not match one you have practised. There will always be twists and turns on the Maths papers.

Alternatively, if you understand the concepts required you will succeed. Understanding Maths places you in a favourable position. Even if an exam question is quite challenging, you know you can make a good stab at it and pick up attempt marks at least.

So how is it done? Practice.

I reckon the best way to study Maths is attempting questions.

This technique is the quickest way of identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Concentrate on your weaknesses, iron out the mistakes and you will be ready to tackle the paper in June.



PROGRESS

Once you have learnt to modify your revision to suit the subje you will make huge progress in the coming weeks.

For example, a subject such as English requires an altered mindset to Maths.

English revision should concentrate on memorising quotes, essay plans and vocabulary.

Adjust your study to each subject appropriately. Do not take risks.

There will always be a wild card on the paper.

You must expect the unexpected.

Therefore you cannot afford to leave certain sections of the syllabus out. If you do you could be left with little to no choice on the paper.

As tedious as it is, make sure you cover every chapter adequately.


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