Search icon

Big Kids

01st Jun 2019

Junior- or Leaving Cert coming up: Here is what to focus on the last week before exams

last week before exams

Tick Tock – it’s nearly time for the exams.

The ticking clock is loudest for sixth years over the next two weeks, but fear not: There are ways to get some more studying in – even when time isn’t on your side.

The last week before exams are upon students up and down the country, and the panic is no doubt starting to set in. Remember: Some people study better in the morning than in the evening, and it is up to the student to identify which suits them best. It is important to draw up a schedule of study – but it is more important to stick with it.

Most importantly – and this is where you come in, parents – let your children know they don’t need to panic – if they don’t already have one, help them prepare a timetable covering each subject and each topic they are intending to cover.

Timetables help to be organised, less stressed and breaks down what the student has to do and by what time.  It is important that they make a subject-specific schedule and mark this up on a visible calendar so that they can be reminded of timings every time they look at the calendar.

Draw up timetables of when the exams are and what they are going to revise with the weeks leading up to the exam.

(PS: You can download a free timetable from

last week before exams

We have got some solid advice from the experts at, and this is what you should be telling your kids right now, parents:

  • Read and make use of your notes, this is simple enough but if this method of study doesn’t make things stick maybe copy key points on small revision cards or draw mind-maps which will break revision down into more digestible chunks.
  • Make use of diagrams and draw out your own.
  • Get friends and family to test you on what you have taken in. This will help you keep your mind alert and to see what you have remember – Use the MCQs on
  • Practise exams using past exam and sample papers to get used to the questions and the timing.
  • Stay active. Do not study longer than 20 minutes at once, your brain will stop taking in information. Exercise has been proven to help. In your breaks do some exercise to limber up for your next session of revision.

1. Cram with a plan

Right now, you probably feel like there is no time to lose. But it’s important that you study with structure otherwise you will lose time. Spend some time making a study plan up until the exam. Outline exactly what you are going to do for each subject.

2. Refine your notes

For some subjects you might have a very large folder of notes. It’s important that you refine them down and remove some of the extra notes so you have a clear idea of what you need to learn and cover in the time that’s left. Only leave the notes which are wholly relevant to the exam.

3. Marking Scheme

Whenever you complete a question you should correct it with the marking scheme. This will allow you to look at an answer from the examiner’s point of view. You will get a clear idea of where marks are won and lost. It’s important whenever you complete a question that you have the examiner in mind.

4. Change your focus

Up until now you will have been preparing notes and answers for different subjects. But you need to change the focus of your study from creating those notes to learning them. It’s easy to carry on as before organising and preparing answers but ultimately it’s about what you know. So get those notes in your head.

5. Make the most out of what you know

If you think about it, you already know a lot for each subject and it’s important that you make the most out of them. If you look at your language subjects, the material you’ve learned off for your orals may be valuable in the exam make sure you can write it as well as say it. This can work just as well for subjects with practicals or projects. Review them quickly to see what information you can make relevant to your exams. You will be surprised.

6. Predictions

There’s a right and a wrong way to use predictions. The wrong way is to only study the predictions. This rarely works and the Leaving Cert is not something you want to leave to chance. The right way is to use them to guide your study so that you place special emphasis on what is predicted but still cover all the other topics too. So, by all means, take note of any predictions that are given, but make sure you use them to your best advantage.

7. Stay Confident

More important that anything is to stay confident and motivated. As time ticks on, you will undoubtedly feel stressed and tired but keep your head up. Don’t focus on the time you’ve wasted before. All you can do is use the weeks ahead the best you can. The best way to keep a positive outlook is a well-structured study routine. If you don’t have a study plan, then make one. specialises in providing study tools and premium study content for the Junior and Leaving Certificate students. Their standard features are free, while the Premium users also have access to premium study notes, exam papers, aurals, MCQs, exam creator, video tutorials and sample exam papers.