We don’t envy them: almost 119,000 students will settle down at tiny wooden desks across the country this morning to sit their Junior and Leaving Certificate English exams.
A whopping 4,000,000 exam papers will be handed out this month as the teenagers are tested in more than 100 subjects.
Dr Tony Bates, founder and CEO of mental health charity Headstrong had the following advice for the class of 2015:
“When you walk in, try you give yourself a moment in the exam hall to stop, to put your feet on the floor, your bum on the chair and take three breaths.
“Just take a minute to come down, you need to get below the level of anxiety in your head in order to be able to remember what you know and you know a lot more than you realise.
“Just say to yourself, ‘I’m here now. I’ve made it’. Just think, ‘this is it and all that is expected is that I give it my best shot – and I can do that’,”
The Minister for Education, Jan O’Sullivan wished the young people of Ireland good luck, describing the exams as, “a significant milestone in a young person’s life.
She urged families to remember that students can find it extremely stressful: “Family and friends are often crucial in helping students remain calm and focused and for keeping things in perspective.” she said.
While the first papers will be turned over at 9am today, the rest of us might have to wait until next week for the annual burst of scorching exam weather.
According to Met Éireann, Thursday will be dry but mostly cloudy with outbreaks of rain and drizzle and highest temperatures of 16 degrees. At the moment it looks like the early days of next week will be dry with sunny spells, light winds with temperatures reaching 17 degrees.