Yes, I hate to say it. 17 days are left until the Leaving Cert. Right now, we should be studying. But there are a lot of things we should be doing, however the internet is far more interesting. Plus if you’re reading this at least you’re thinking about the Leaving Cert – that makes it OK.
So today, I suppose we should focus on study tips for the exams. Studying is the most important thing for us right now, as the days rapidly disappear. So here’s today’s tips:
- Don’t Over-do It! Seriously, don’t. I think this is one of the most important things leading up to the Leaving Cert. We’re all under a lot of pressure, and the last thing we need is to fall asleep in class next week from exhaustion. Last week I made this mistake, for the first time in my life. I studied until 12:30 every night for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday I couldn’t face it, and on Friday, I couldn’t even get out of bed. Just be careful guys. It’s important that you have energy and motivation. Don’t study past eleven o’clock at night at the very latest, and make sure you’re getting 8-9 hours sleep a night.
- Eat Well: Yeah, OK – I accept that this one is just a little bit irritating. When I’m studying, I’m the first one to eat spoonfulls of chocolate spread and have 18 cups of coffee, but I do notice that it impairs my studying immediately. It’s very hard to concentrate when all you’ve eaten all day is 6 chocolate bars. Just vary it – make sure you’re eating proper food. And if you survive on coffee like me, I’d say just watch your intake. It can make you feel more stressed and jittery than normal, and we’ve got enough of thatat this time of year.
- Make a Study Timetable: A lot of people say this method doesn’t work for them – and if you don’t like it, then don’t bother trying it again. Everyone has a different way of studying. But for me, a study timetable has been my saviour this year. Most of us are finished up classes this week, so I’d say it could be a good idea to plan your studying for the week off and make sure you’re doing equal work in all your subjects. I always tend to focus on my favourite subjects, which a study timetable helps me to avoid.
- If you’re feeling REALLY stressed, take a break: This is one I’ve learned from experience. There’s no point in sitting at your desk, looking at geographical facts and thinking about tearing your hair out at the same time. If you’ve reached extreme stress, which sometimes ends with crying and professions of “I’m going to fail everything”, then just take a few hours – maybe even a day – off. Go for a walk, a run, a jog. Read a book, watch a film, hang out with your friends. Despite what we think, the Leaving Cert isn’t the most important thing in the world. It’s also important to make sure that you’re not on the verge of breakdown before the exams.
- If you haven’t done any work yet… Then that’s absolutely fine. There’s no point dwelling on the past, and you’ve still got a few weeks to get your work done. Focus on key topics. Don’t trawl through textbooks trying to write out chapters at this stage. Buy flashcards and revision books. Write key notes and read through them as frequently as you can. You’ll be fine! Good luck.
Best of luck everyone with the studying. Remember, that 17 days leaves room for a lot of work to be done!