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Leaving Cert Exam Diary: January

Leaving Cert Exam Diary: January

Sophie Coffey

Follow writer, Sophie Coffey, as she navigates the 2020 Leaving Certificate month-by-month. In part 5, Sophie shares her January Leaving Cert Exam Diary.

5 months down, 4 to go!

This is the first time I have typed that countdown and the number of months to go has been less than the number of months down! We are over halfway there!!!


January tends to be known as one of the slowest periods of the year.
I disagree!
These past few weeks seem to have disappeared faster than my attention span during Irish poetry. If it is any indication as to how the rest of the year is set to go, it is going to be June before we know it!
June is not the biggest concern at the moment, however, because the first two weeks of February are bringing with them clammy palms digging freshly sharpened pencils into our mock papers. There is nothing quite as motivating as the realisation that in a matter of days you must sit the equivalent of the Leaving Cert itself when you haven’t even finished all of your courses, never mind studied them! If any third or sixth years are spotted wandering the corridors murmuring under their breaths about maths theorems in the coming weeks I would recommend that you give them a wide berth.

Practical Applications

There was a slight concern over the mocks at one point when the Teachers’ Union of Ireland announced that they planned to strike on the second day of our mocks. As it turns out the strike will not affect our mocks in any way. It would have been highly ironic if it had as the mock business paper is scheduled for the same day as the strike. It was quite likely I would have been answering questions about industrial relations conflict as one took place outside! On the bright side I know the exact procedures that must be followed before an all-out strike can take place. First there is the secret ballot, then there is……….

See Also

Becoming Real

The Leaving Cert is a term we have been familiar with for quite a while at this point but it is only in the last couple of years that we have really focussed on it and only the past few months that the phrase has become an overused part of our vocabulary. Despite all of this it is only quite recently that I have started seeing it as something in my near future as opposed to the idea in my periphery that it has been for so long.
The CAO early entry closing date is the first big deadline to have been and gone as of 17:15 on the 20th January. You can still apply for the CAO over the next couple of weeks but it is €15 more expensive.
I also had to sign off on my application form to sit the Leaving Cert (no, refusing to sign it or “losing it” will not get you out of it, trust us, we asked!).

Planning for the future

The past few weeks have included plenty of career advice talks and guidance. Most recently the class of 2019 returned to update us as to how they are getting on. For me, what was most reassuring at this point in the year was that despite some girls not receiving their first choices they were really enjoying their various courses. The current sixth years are all enviously awaiting our turn to have it all behind us and the potential of choices ahead of us.
For the first time in our lives we will finish school at the end of the school year and have absolutely no idea where we will be heading off to in September. It is a daunting thought but one that we are trying not to worry about too much, at least until the dreaded mocks are over with anyway!
Catch up on all of Sophie’s Exam Diaries.

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