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It’s all about stamina in the final term of Leaving Cert!




By Guidance Counsellor Niamh Dwyer

As you return to school for your final term your focus will certainly be on making the best use of your time in the countdown to the exams.

With just over seven weeks to the start of the exams on June 7, it is really important that you look after yourself, revise effectively and work on your exam technique. The year of the Leaving Certificate is often compared to a marathon, so pacing yourself at this stage is essential so that you conserve some energy for the exams themselves. It can be tempting to try to pack in as many hours as possible of study in the final weeks as you grapple with the feeling that you don’t have enough done. Push those thoughts to one side and be sensible in your approach. Just like any long distance runner, if you exert yourself, you will have a lot less energy to perform well in the exams. It is all about striking the right balance between revision, rest and relaxation. Emotions can vary for Leaving Cert students at this stage of the year. You may feel stressed, anxious, overwhelmed while also feeling excited about finishing up in school and moving on to the next stage. Whatever you are feeling is normal and you are not alone. If you need to, chat to family and friends and reach out to those who support you in school.

Plan, prepare and prioritise

Approach this final term strategically. Plan ahead for each week. Make a list of exactly what you are going to revise for the week and draw up a daily priority list. At the end of each day tick off what you have achieved and plan for the next day. Review your mock exam papers and marking schemes. Prioritise the areas that need attention and fill in the gaps in your learning. At this stage it is essential that you practice lots of exam questions. Make sure you are clear on the layout of the paper in each subject, the breakdown of marks for each section and the time allocation for each question. When you are completing full exam questions, practice against the clock. Do your best to switch off all distractions particularly notifications on the phone and social media, so you can concentrate fully to maximise the use of your time.

Study sessions work best in short bursts at this stage, just like a High Intensity Internal Training (HIIT) session. Keep revision sessions to 45 minutes and take quick breaks to get up and move around regularly. Prepare glance notes and Mind Maps which will be really helpful in the days leading up to the exams. Always finish revision sessions by looking at an exam question on the topic.

Using a break down as follows might help:

* Survey the key headings, sub-headings, key points, diagrams, tables, maps etc (5 mins)
* Read the important information carefully, take very brief notes if it helps, but don’t overdo it. Concentrate on learning the content (20 mins)
* Recall what you can by brainstorming what you can remember on a blank sheet of paper (5 mins)
* Review what you are unsure about and have a look at an exam question on the topic to see how confident you would be to attempt it. Then check out the solution and marking scheme (15 mins)

Self-care is key

Above all else, you need to take care of yourself in the lead up to the exams. Eat well and stay hydrated. Avoid too many caffeinated drinks. Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Don’t study too late and always allow time to do whatever relaxes you after study – take the dog for a walk, listen to music, try some meditation/mindfulness if it helps, watch Netflix for a short while. You know what works best for you. Keep things in perspective. The Leaving Cert attracts a lot of media attention every year, try to keep that hype at a distance and focus on staying on track with your own exam preparation. This year has been tough and tiring but you are almost there now so keep it going! Remember that whatever happens in the exams, you have lots of options and pathways open to you and a ‘study-free’ summer to look forward to!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore and a member of Kerry Branch of IGC. See or follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.



Coolick National School to launch online lotto

A popular primary school in the Killarney area is launching a new fundraising initiative this week to support and improve the education experience of the children it serves. The Coolick […]



A popular primary school in the Killarney area is launching a new fundraising initiative this week to support and improve the education experience of the children it serves.

The Coolick National School Lotto is now live; offering a weekly prize, a weekly jackpot and a range of valuable spot prizes at launch.

Coolick NS first opened its doors in 1870 making it one of the county’s oldest primary schools. The school and pre-school is home to over 130 children from the locality. This is an increase of 20% over the past 5 years taking enrolment to an all-time high.

Coolick NS School Lotto Chairperson and parent, Pádraig Leane says properly resourcing primary school services is crucial:

“The cost of providing education is rising and the school grants provided by the department, although valuable, only do so much. We want to overcome this challenge with our school lotto. The school has a range of immediate needs but also longer-term goals to expand our facilities, add more sports equipment, wellness programmes, student support programmes and increase extra-curricular trips,” he said.

First on the list is a new set of school jerseys, gymnastics mats, replacement of end-of-lfe iPads and further expansion of their Tír na nÓg play area for the younger pupils.
Coolick National School Principal Gearoid O’Sullivan remains focused on providing the best for the children of Coolick.

“As a school we are committed to providing the best equipment, teaching and learning resources, outdoor spaces and a school interior that helps nurture each child. This school lotto will help us with our commitment to provide the very best for the school and especially for the pupils in our care,” said the principal.

The staff and students of Coolick National School are appealing to families, friends, past pupils, members of the local community, stakeholders and supporters to get behind the weekly school lotto. It is hoped that the option of 1 line for €2.50, 2 lines for €4 or 3 lines for €5 will encourage everybody to contribute. A lotto draw will take place each week with a maximum jackpot of €2,000 to be won.

Signing up is easy; through the school’s website

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Live TV audience date with Daniel O’Donnell at INEC

People of Killarney will have the opportunity to participate in a live television audience with Daniel O’Donnell. TG4 television’s highest rating country music series of concerts is coming to the […]




People of Killarney will have the opportunity to participate in a live television audience with Daniel O’Donnell.

TG4 television’s highest rating country music series of concerts is coming to the Gleneagle INEC Arena for the first time from June 17 to 19.

Recorded before a live audience over three nights with two concerts per night, Opry le Daniel offers a different music theme each evening and a host of special guests will join the legendary presenter Daniel O’ Donnell on stage to perform all your favourite songs.

The recordings of the show will be split into two one-hour blocks, taking place throughout each evening.

Now in its 14th year, Ireland’s favourite country music artist O’ Donnell will be joined on stage by Declan Nerney, Cliona Hagan, Mike Denver, Chrissy Mac, Dana and the Donegal balladeers ‘Onóir’ to mention but a few.

Tickets from €30.20 are available from and the Gleneagle INEC Arena box office on 064 6671555.

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