Exam Season Begins With Soaring Temperatures in East Cork

by Seamus Whelehan

St Colman's Community College Midleton Leaving cert students Francesco Campana, Kane Geary O'Keeffe, Shane O'Driscoll and Eric McKenna Duggan doing some last minute cramming ahead of English Paper 1 yesterday.

Almost 121,000 students across 5,223 centres nationwide began their Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations on Wednesday morning last 6 June.
Over 6,500 students are sitting their Leaving Cert across Cork County, 251 are opting for the Leaving Cert Applied, over 7,000 are sitting their Junior Certificate with 46 students sitting their Leaving Certificate in Libya.
In St Colman’s Community College Midleton, one third of students are expected to sit higher level papers, which appears to be the trend nationally.
As the pupils at East Cork Schools Coláiste Muire Cobh, St Aloysius Carrigtwohill, Pobailscoil Na Tríonóide Youghal, St. Mary’s Highschool ,Midleton College, CBS Secondary and St Colman’s Community College Midleton began their exams, Minister for Education Richard Bruton TD, wished them well, and hinted at the stress felt during exam times, saying the key is keeping calm.
“While these exams are important, they are just one pathway into education. A range of opportunities now exist which will help students to fulfil their ambitions”he said.
Pat Burke, Chairman of the State Examinations Commission (SEC), extended very best wishes to all sitting the state examinations.
He said: “The state examinations are a milestone for students, their families and schools. The reassurance of families and the wider community is an essential support for students sitting examinations. For its part, the Commission will continue its work in ensuring that the examinations meet the highest standards of fairness and transparency. The Board and staff of the State Examinations Commission are very aware of the effort which students, their families and schools have invested in the forthcoming examinations and extend their best wishes to all”.
63,000 students will take the Junior Certificate, with over 58,000 sitting the Leaving Certificate.
The first papers on the Leaving Certificate were English paper one in the morning, with Home Economics in the afternoon.
The Junior Certificate students, however, faced a morning of English with Civic, Social and Political Education exam papers in the afternoon.
A record 37% are taking higher maths, up from 20% in 2011, many attributing the increase to extra CAO points for a D grade or higher in Honours papers and also the impact of project maths.
ASTI President Ger Curtin said while stress is normal during the exam period it's important to “keep things in perspective.”
“Exams are just one small aspect in life. They are not everything. It is much more important to focus on how you are, rather than how you are performing” he said.
Experts advised to avoid post exam analysis and keep looking ahead to the next exam. Revision sessions of about 30 to 40 minutes are far better than cramming the night before an exam. Take plenty of breaks and make sure to build in time to organise yourself for the following day. Being organised is another way of minimising stress on exam days.