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Junior Cert Advice

Junior Cert Advice

Anna Powell

Ok, your first Junior Certificate exam has arrived and you’re panicking. You’ve studied but you are terrified of sitting the actual exam. Fear not! Here’s all the advice you need to get through the Junior Cert exams.

First a Reality Check

It can be so easy to get caught up in the hype around state exams when you are in school. Although we have all been nervous before our first state exam, it’s so important to remember that it is just an exam.

It’s important to always try you best, but the result of your Junior Certificate doesn’t really make a difference in the grand scheme of things. At the end of the day, it is just another test. Do your very best to calm your nerves and just give it your best shot!

It can be so overwhelming to think about all of the exams you are going to have to sit over the coming weeks. However, once you have sat your first exam, all of the tests are just going to feel like any other test you have ever done. Without even meaning to you will fall into a natural rhythm of sitting each paper and it won’t feel like such a big deal each time.

Make sure you have everything you need

It is a good idea to prepare everything you will need for the next day the night before the exam.

Make sure you have all the supplies you will need to complete the exam packed and ready to go. It’s also a good idea to decide what you are going to have for breakfast and to also have your uniform laid out the night before your next test. This will help you to get ready quickly in the morning. Not only will this help you to arrive at the test centre early but it will also help you out of a bind if you wake up later than planned.

Be early

Do your very best to arrive at the test centre 15-20 minutes before the actual exam begins.

This will give you a chance to get settled and relax before you have to take the test. It will also give you a chance to leave your bag in the designated spot and make sure you have all your supplies on your desk in the examination centre.

Don’t work yourself up over predictions

There is absolutely no need to stress yourself out over topics and questions that are predicted to come up on the exam. Those around you may be discussing topics they believe will appear on the exam; my advice? Do your best to tune it out and just relax.

Nobody knows what is going to pop up until the exam has started and the papers are opened. If you focus on the topics you’re confident with rather than the topics you don’t know as well, you will be surprised at how many questions you will be able to answer with out any stress. Once you have that done go back and try your best with the rest.

Timing is everything

Do your very best to give each question an allocated amount of time during the exam. 

It’s a good idea to take out a previous year’s exam paper and decide on how you are going to time the exam in advance. Write out how many questions will be on the paper, how many marks are associated with each question and then decide how long each question is allowed.

Always give yourself 5-10 minutes at the start of the paper to flick through the test and calm your nerves so you know what’s there.

It is also important to leave 5-10 minutes at the end of the paper to check over your work. If a question’s allocated time runs out during the exam, jot down bullet points of points you wish to mention and then move on. This will make the question easier to come back to at the end.

Read the question carefully

Make sure that you read each question carefully.

See Also

It can be really helpful to underline or highlight the important words in each question. This can also stop you from misinterpreting the questions due to your nerves.

Make sure you read the question a few times before answering and keep referring back to it.

As per my previous point, it is important to note how many marks each question is worth to allocate your time accordingly. There is no point in spending too much time on a question that is not worth a lot of marks; it is important to prioritise the highly marked questions and do them first.

Relax the night before

Don’t try to cram a year’s worth of studying into your head the night before an exam. Do a little bit of revision, but then leave it at that.

If you don’t know what to revise the night before an exam it’s a good idea to flick through your exam papers and jot down bullet pointed answers to questions. Other than that, do your best to relax the night before an exam. Do an activity that relaxes you such as watching your favourite TV show and make an effort to get a good night’s sleep.

The very best of luck with your Junior Cert exams – you’ll do great!

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