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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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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website, Killarneytri.com.

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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments

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The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.

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