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Routine and balance are crucial in the run up to exams

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

As you approach the countdown to the beginning of the Junior and Leaving Cert Exams on June 8, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance so that you can pace yourself properly.

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It can be tempting to try to pack in long hours of last minute study at this stage and become more focused on what you don’t know instead of what you do! Stress is a normal part of facing exams and in fact a certain amount of it is helpful to ensure that it mobilises you to perform well, but it is essential that you keep it, and the exams, in perspective. After many years of supporting students before, during and after exams, I know too well how overwhelming the experience can be so I urge you to do everything you can to look after your well-being at this stage.

Before the exams

Stick to a good routine with a healthy balance in terms of revision, rest, fresh air, sleep and diet. Don’t be tempted to work late at night as it is usually unproductive and impacts on your concentration the following day. Approach your last minute revision in a targeted way with the guidance you have been given by your teachers. Have a schedule with your exam dates/times highlighted hanging up where it is obvious and visible at home and take a photo to save on your phone.

During the exams

Set two alarms for the mornings of exams and allow lots of extra time. You will need to be in your assigned seat in the exam centre at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam on day one and 15 minutes before all other exams. Hydration is really important during the exams to help with concentration so make sure you have plenty of water. The first thing to do when you look at the paper is to read the instructions carefully, your teacher will have gone through these many times with you. Mark all the questions you are going to do and write out a quick time plan for yourself. Focus on exactly what you are being asked; the most common feedback from examiners is that students give a lot of irrelevant information so keep glancing back at the question to keep yourself on task to target the marks.

Breathing

If you feel you are becoming really anxious in the exam hall, focus on controlling your breath to bring a sense of calm. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds, hold your breath for one second, and breathe out through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat for one minute.

After the exam

Try to avoid too much discussion after each paper, ‘post-mortems’ of the exams are rarely helpful and can add to stress levels so once each exam is done, take a break and then move on to preparing for the next one. I can tell you that regardless of what happens in each exam, you will have lots of options available to you and an interesting journey ahead.

Keep in mind that while the Leaving Cert is an important exam and big milestone, it will not define you for the rest of your life. Best of luck to the class of 2022!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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Retiring Garda Sergeant began career in Killarney

Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney. […]

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Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney.

Sergeant In charge at Killarney Garda Station Dermot O’Connell paid tribute to her achievements and her unrelenting commitment to improving the policing environment.

As a former Chairman, Secretary and delegate of the Kerry Branch, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell worked closely with Antoinette in AGSI for many years.

“Her support for members of the Association was second to none. Antoinette always pursued what was right and just. Her ability, knowledge and professionalism was acknowledged both internally and externally by other representative bodies and also professional bodies,” he said.

“When Antoinette arrived here at her first station, the late Jack McGrath was the Sergeant In Charge.”
“As many know Sergeant Jack McGrath frequently walked the beat. During this time Jack shared much of his experience with Antoinette who proved her ability as a competent Garda to Sergeant Jack McGrath. “
“Jack was very impressed by her ability even at that early stage, he always spoke highly of Antoinette and followed her career path with great interest.”

Antoinette subsequently transferred to Limerick (Roxboro Road and Mayorstone Garda Stations). As a Sergeant she moved to the Garda College and completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and a BA in Training and Education.
In 2021 Antoinette was honoured by University Galway with an Alumni Award for her significant contribution in the field of policing.

She became the first female member to serve with the Association of Sergeants and Inspectors at Branch level, National Executive level, President, Deputy General Secretary and finally General Secretary.

“On behalf of the Kerry Branch of AGSI I wish Antoinette the very best in whatever the future holds for her and her family,” added Sergeant O’Connell.

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‘The Bumblebee1000’ Supercar event arriving in Killarney on Saturday

The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday. Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) […]

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The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday.

Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.
After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) and Cashel Palace Hotel (1pm) the convoy will arrive the Europe Hotel and Resort at 5pm.
“’The Bumblebee1000’ is not just about horsepower and adrenaline rushes; it’s about making a difference. As participants roar through the countryside, they’ll also be driving towards a noble cause. This event is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for The Little Blues Heroes charity, supporting the children of the Little Blue Heroes, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said an event spokesperson.
“The Bumblebee1000” is not just a journey; it’s an experience that blends luxury, adventure, and philanthropy in a seamless fusion. Whether behind the wheel of a sleek supercar or a supporter cheering from the sidelines, everyone is invited to be part of this remarkable event.
The cars will depart the Europe Hotel and Resort at 10am on Sunday and will stop off at a charity cars and coffee event in Tarbert at 11am before finishing in Adare at around 2pm.

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