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Best of luck to all students about to sit their exams!

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THE wait is almost over for Leaving and Junior Certificate candidates who will commence their examinations tomorrow. Below is some advice for candidates and wishing students the very best of luck!

Students should approach the State exams confidently because they are extremely well prepared after two years of consistent study. The national results achieved each year in the state exams are also very impressive. In addition, places in further and higher education courses, apprenticeships and traineeships will be very plentiful this year in a buoyant economy.

Maintenance
The heavy study is done, so the priority is to be mentally and physically alert for the exams. Your best asset going into an exam is a clear and alert mind. Your mental and physical energy needs to be at a high level over the next few weeks. On the evening before each paper, spend an hour or so looking over your notes, so that the important concepts and ideas are fresh in your mind.

Strategy
Give serious thought to your answering strategy and adopt a planned approach to answering the question papers. Write your answers between the margins and work your way down the page in a neat and orderly manner. Write clearly and legibly. Keep your answers well spread out for easy reading.

Enumeration
Number each question and sub-question clearly in the left-hand margin. Don’t split questions by answering a part of a question on one page and then the other part further on. If you are unable to completely answer a question leave a page blank to which you can return later. In fact, it’s a good idea to leave about a half page blank at the end of each question. This will allow you to add more information to a question if you wish to do so later in the exam.

Quality
A well-presented script makes a favourable impression on the corrector but the core of any exam is the quality of your answering. The content of your answer must be relevant to the question asked. Address the topics on the question paper. Be concise, accurate and relevant.

Format
Be familiar in advance with the format of each paper. Know how the paper is presented.

Timing
In order to do well in the exam you must present your answers within the time allowed. Be aware of the marking scheme for each paper and work out in advance the approximate time you can afford to spend on each question

Scan
Spend about five minutes reading the entire exam paper when its handed to you. This preliminary scrutiny of all the questions allows you to settle down and gather your thoughts.

Post-mortem
Once an exam is over, spend as little time as possible on a post-mortem. The matter is now out of your hands. Leaving Certificate Exam results will be issued on Wednesday, August 16, and CAO First Round Offers will be available on Monday, August 21.

• Billy Ryle is a career guidance counsellor and freelance writer

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Taking care of your skin at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning and exfoliating your face, neck and décolleté.

Serums, eye creams and moisturisers: Moisturising provides a protective layer to the skin that locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated. This hydration is what gives your skin a smooth and luminous appearance. This is the step in your skincare routine you don’t want to skip. We always apply the serum closest to the skin as it’s water based and needs to be absorbed on the deepest layer of the skin; the basal layer which is the active layer. It’s where the collagen and elastin start to grow and move up towards the surface of the skin. The more hyaluronic acid, peptides, ribose, and active ingredients in your serums the better. We need to keep our fibroblasts, melanocytes healthy as they are the source of plump, juicy skin.

An eye cream to me is the most important cream as the eye area is a place that doesn’t have any sebaceous glands (oil gland). These glands help remove old skin cells, keep the skin lubricated and prevent tissues drying out. Therefore, for me, I always use an eyelid lifting serum, eye cream in the night time and eye roll-on gel in the morning. Our eyes can make us look older than we are so it’s important to look after them. It’s very important not to go too close to the eye when applying creams as the skin is very thin. A little bit often makes a big difference.

When applying your serum and cream rub upwards and outwards; be careful not to tug the delicate skin around the eyes.

Apply SPF all year round, it’s the most important step in preventing skin cancer and keeps your skin healthy as you age. Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays helps maintain a healthy youthful visage. However, it’s important to remember the best form of sun block is to keep your face in the shade.

With all skincare routines, it’s important to keep it consistant. Do it twice a day every day and follow with monthly facials. Your skin is the largest organ on the body. This means that it’s important to take good care of it.

For more information, or to book a skin consultation or facial, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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What do we mean by ‘Employability’?

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at www.mycareerplan.ie. Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor

According to experts in the area of career development, the term ‘employability’ refers to a set of achievements that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations.

This in turn benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. At this stage in the year Leaving Cert students are well into the process of trying to decide what step they want to take next. It is a daunting task for many of you because of the variety of choices available and the challenge for young people at 17 or 18 years of age to really know what career they might like. It is important to remember that you aren’t choosing a career for life, you are taking the next step and you will be building on that as your career develops. A big concern for many students and parents is whether they will get a job at the end of their chosen course or pathway. While we have some indications of where there will be skills shortages in the short to medium term, the jobs market is subject to change.

PATHWAY

One thing we can be sure of is that, regardless of what pathway you take after the Leaving Cert, be that Further Education courses (FET), traineeships, apprenticeships or university courses, on completion of your training and education you will want to be ‘employable’. In simple terms ‘employability’ depends on your knowledge (what you know) your skills (what you do with what you know) and your attitude (how you approach things). As you research the various options open to you after you finish school, remember you are heading into a working world that values transferable skills which include specialist knowledge in the subject, field of study or technical area you have chosen to follow. It also places huge emphasis on having the ability to analyse, evaluate and use information effectively to problem-solve and to organise and communicate knowledge well. Furthermore, your personal qualities are a core part of your offering to a potential employer – your ability to work on your own initiative, to self-manage, to manage time and meet targets and deadlines. Central to all of this of course is the ability to collaborate, to work and study as part of a team.

If you are struggling to decide between courses or options, focus on finding an area that you really want to find out more about. You will develop a set of transferable skills which will give you flexibility and adaptability as you grow and develop in your career. All of the other things you do will add value to your degree/qualification and that is what will ensure your ‘employability’!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at www.mycareerplan.ie. Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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