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Getting the balance right in the lead up to exams

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Words: Niamh Dwyer

The last couple of weeks leading up to exams can be difficult. Students who have worked hard are feeling exhausted while many feel overwhelmed by the amount they have left to do and worry about running out of time. Regardless of the work rate up to now, it is important to get the balance right in the lead up to the Leaving & Junior Certificate which begin on June 6. Consider the following suggestions to ensure that you can give them your best shot.

Plan the remaining time carefully. At this stage the study plan should have the essential topics to be revised in each subject, taking account the schedule of the actual exams.

Actively engage with the subject material. Instead of sitting silently looking at your notes, read them aloud. Hearing the information will make it more memorable. Move around if necessary to keep up energy levels. Become the teacher, research has shown that the most effective way of learning something is by having to teach someone else. If you don’t have willing students, pretend you do and explain out loud what you know about the topic.

Use Flashcards. Long detailed notes need to be condensed into keywords or simple diagrams. They are ideal to focus your attention the night before the exam.

Focus on Exam Paper layout, sample questions and marking schemes. On www.examinations.ie you will find past papers, solutions and marking schemes. Study these carefully. Once you have revised a topic, read through the questions on that topic in past papers and see if you could attempt them, then look up solutions.

Practice timing in key questions. If you are concerned about your timing in certain subjects pick a couple of questions and practice against the clock.

Vary the routine of subjects and topics. At this stage it can be more difficult to concentrate so move from one subject to another more frequently. For example, revise a topic in geography and then move onto a question in accounting.

Avoid social media while studying. Put away the mobile phone. A huge amount of valuable study time is lost by responding to messages on the likes of WhatApp and Snapchat so for the coming weeks put away the phone while studying.

Switch off. The mind requires rest in order to function effectively in study sessions and exams so it is essential that you learn to take breaks. On study days, get up early. Treat it like a working day (9am-5pm). Take short breaks in the morning and afternoon and an hour for lunch. Then relax in the evening. Watch TV, go to a match or for a walk or meet up with friends.

Maintain some balance. Although it is difficult to think of anything other than exams in the final weeks, it is essential to strike a balance. Exercise, fresh air and healthy eating are hugely beneficial for the brain and they ensure the best chance of staying focused, maximizing concentration and making optimum use of the remaining time. They also help to perform more effectively in exams. Consider exercise an integral part of both your relaxation and your study plan.

Niamh Dwyer is a guidance counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore and is PRO of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She can be contacted at careerfocusnow@gmail.com.

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Local activities this weekend for National Heritage Week

A number of events will take place in Killarney this weekend as part National Heritage Week 2022 which runs until this Sunday. This year’s theme is biodiversity and sustainability. Tomorrow […]

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A number of events will take place in Killarney this weekend as part National Heritage Week 2022 which runs until this Sunday.

This year’s theme is biodiversity and sustainability. Tomorrow (Saturday) the Life in the Bogs – Family Funday in Cronin’s Yard, Beaufort, runs from 10.30am – 2.30pm.
Activities include; Bog in a Bottle activity – learn about how bogs are made, Plants of the Bog – learn about the different plants in the bog and how to tell them apart, Pond Dipping in Bog Pool – Use nets and find out what creepy crawlies can be found in Bog pools, Birds and Mammals of the Bog – learn about the different animals that live in our bogs, and a Scavenger Hunt. Tickets are free but bring €2 for parking.

On Sunday the Harpers for Heritage concert takes place at Muckross Schoolhouse with Fiachra Ó Corragáin, Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman from 7.30pm to 9pm.

There’ll also be an exhibition from the Killarney National Park Photography Competition based on the theme of ‘Our History, Our Future’ in Killarney House and Gardens while the Me and the Moon will create Bee/Bug hotels and sustainable eco bird feeders today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) from 11am – 4pm at Muckross Schoolhouse.

The Heritage Council is encouraging people to visit www.heritageweek.ie to see what other events are taking place in their locality or across the country. Participants can browse the website and create a bespoke National Heritage Week ‘Events Trail’ to help them plan their week according to their location, their particular heritage interests and their preferred event type, such as a festival, performance, exhibition or re-enactment.

“This year, National Heritage Week looks to the past to create a better future,” Chief Executive of the Heritage Council of the Heritage Council, Virginia Teehan, said.

“The theme of sustainable heritage and biodiversity encourages us all to reflect on how our history and heritage can play a part in protecting our planet. Whether it’s learning a new skill like embroidery, blacksmithing or pottery making; better understanding how to prevent biodiversity loss in our own back gardens or country lanes; or gaining fresh insight into the history of our art, music or the Irish language and sharing this knowledge among friends and family, there are endless ways to get involved. I would encourage people to visit the National Heritage Week website and browse the vast array of events and projects taking place and plan their week.”

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Killarney girl has an important part to play in Rose Festival

By Michelle Crean A little Killarney girl has had her dreams come true after being selected as a Rose Bud in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival. Chloe Nott […]

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By Michelle Crean

A little Killarney girl has had her dreams come true after being selected as a Rose Bud in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival.

Chloe Nott (7) from Fossa was thrilled to find out that she has been paired with Arizona Rose Sophie Owen.

She’s now super excited as the Festival kicks off tonight (Friday) and is looking forward to being part of the big parades which attract thousands to the streets of Tralee tomorrow (Saturday) and again on Sunday.

“We found out about three weeks ago, she was picked from hundreds from all around the country,” Chloe’s mom Gemma told the Killarney Advertiser.

Last Saturday the Rose Buds came together for the first time in the Meadowlands Hotel in Tralee where they met the Kerry Rose Édaein O’Connell and received their sashes.

Tonight (Friday) they’ll enjoy a party in the Meadowlands and have a busy weekend meeting and greeting people when they take part in the Festival’s activities including a trip to the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium.

“I’m so excited to meet my Arizona Rose,” Chloe, who is going into Second Class in Fossa National School, said.

Gemma and her husband Eric and son Luke (9) went to Reidys in Killarney to tell Chloe the exciting news.

“My mom gave me a rose and told me I was a Rose Bud. After she told me I was bursting with excitement.”

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