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5 Steps to Take Control of Your Leaving Cert

3 min

Congrats! You’ve made it through the first week of exams! You now know what the atmosphere is like around the exams, and are getting used the exam setting, but you’re only a third of the way there! There’s still 2 weeks left and you don’t want to risk burning out so try our tips below....

1. Leave the past alone

Don’t dwell on the exams of days past. There’s no point in trying to examine what answers you gave last week as there’s nothing you can do for another 2 months. My advice? Get a storage box and start putting your books, copies and notes into it as soon as you finish the corresponding exam. Keep your study space focused by only having the study material you need on show.  

2. Only study for the following day 

During the week you may be tempted to try and cram as many subjects into a single night as possible but this is both a waste of your energy and time. Only study for the subject(s) you have the following day. You’ll have better focus and will be more likely to retain the information. 

3. Bedtime is key 

As I said in my previous blog post, getting a full night's sleep is crucial throughout your exams. Your ability to concentrate will be better, your ability to recall information will be better and you won’t be crashing by the time of an afternoon exam.

4. Don’t push yourself 

Whether you’ve had one or two exams in a given day, don’t spend all of the remaining day studying for your next exam. Doing 3 to 6 hours of exams is mentally and physically draining. Your brain will, if memory serves me correctly, feel like mush when you’ve finished a day of exams. Take a few hours off to nap, relax with a book, watch some tv - to just chill out. Studying when you’re still coming down off your exam buzz  won’t be beneficial. 

5. The Lure of Sugar & Caffeine 

I could drink tea by the bucket load, and have been partial to the odd can of Red Bull to keep me awake, but you’ll thank yourself if you don’t over-caffeinate. (I only used Red Bull as a last resort for a particular class in college). Don’t rely on coffee, sugar-filled soft / energy drinks and junk food as an energy source. A plain ole bottle of cold still water is great for concentration (and hydration!) and superfoods like avocados, blueberries and dark chocolate are good for both your body and your mind. I’m not saying to completely refuse a bag of Haribo or a sneaky bag of Tayto, just eat in moderation and stick to a healthy rounded diet.

Go forth with these survival tips and you’ll be both energised and able to tackle whatever comes your way! Once this week is over you’ll be into the homestretch and will be able to start enjoying the summer; let’s hope the weather will pick up then. Best of luck in the week ahead!