A year ago, I did my Leaving Cert. Whether you are doing it the first time or a repeat student, you are more than likely nervous. So here’s some advice I’ll give you to get through the next few weeks.
- Wind down before going to sleep: This is ultra important for effective sleep. I did this by watching my favourite film The King’s Speech the evening before English paper 1. I felt calmer before I went to sleep (I also listened to hypnosis on my iPod). Don’t do an all-nighter.
- NEVER revise one just one or two poets: I get it, you might not like all six poets, and yes it takes a lot of time when you have to study the comparative study and the single text (more than likely Macbeth). But just pinning your hopes on your favourite poet, can lead to disastrous results. In Leaving Cert 2010, everyone wanted Eavan Boland to come up, she wasn’t there. In Leaving Cert 2012, everyone wanted Plath to come up (I agree that her poetry is easy to write about and her poetry’s better than Adrienne Bitch) but she didn’t feature. If you want to narrow down, do at least 4.
- Practice revision papers can the most effective study: I advise to practice it the day before. And in the case of languages, practice the aurals. It’s super effective.
- Look at revision books: If you are running low on time for reading the text book, try the revision books. It has pretty much everything you need, but more compact. This is especially good for French.
- Stick to your guns: Don’t drop down to ordinary level the morning of the exam. It’s inconvenient for everyone. Believe in yourself and fight your way through if you must.
- Don’t do an exam post-mortem: If things go wrong, it will make you feel worse if you keep thinking about it. And don’t go near the class genius. It’s your battle, not theirs. Move on and focus on the next exam. Besides you might do better than you think.
- Don’t be the high-achiever asshole: Everyone knows you did lots of subjects, intend on getting over 600 points, and you brag about how easy you found Higher Level Maths while many others struggled. Seriously, shut up.>
- After finishing maths destroy notes responsibly: Seriously, Project Maths deserves it. Accompanying soundtrack is optional. I recommend “How You Like Me Now” by The Heavy.
- Keep focused on your days off: Whether you have a day off or a week off between your exams, keep going. Yes it’s boring. Yes you’re going insane. Yes you hate your friends for being done before you. But your time will come, and it’s worth it.
- When you’re finished your exams treat yourself: For the first time in forever, you can do whatever you want. (But realistically, you need sleep).
Good luck to all who are doing the Junior Cert, Leaving Cert and Leaving Cert Applied. March on soldiers!