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Exam & Study Tips

Leaving Certificate & Junior Certificate Exam Tips & Study Tips

Goals & Targets

Firstly you will need to set yourself a realistic goal i.e. results you want to get, a course you want to get into.

Your realistic goal should be reflective of your past results and with effort, study, good time management and your natural ability what is realistically achievable for you.


Allocate a certain time every evening and weekend for studying. Make sure that your study is effective by making notes. Your notes should summarize the topic you have just studied.

You should then test yourself by answering a past exam question on the topic you have just studied.

Once you have completed a topic, that does not mean you should not go back and revise it again. You should repeatedly test yourself on the topic as repetition will improve your memory which is key to exam success.

Exercise, sleep and food

It is very important to ensure you follow the following guidelines.

Get enough exercise when you are studying – healthy body = healthy mind. Exercise releases endorphins which make us feel happy, the happier we feel the easier it is to concentrate and study.

Get enough sleep – if you are sleep deprived you will not be able to concentrate properly. You should try and get 8 hours sleep a night.

Have a balanced diet and make sure you are getting all the required vitamins, you should make sure to eat plenty of Omega – 3 fish oils and drink plenty of water. Omega-3 oils are beneficial because they provide fluidity to cell membranes and improve communication between brain cells. They may help to boost learning power, but also greatly enhance mood.

Exam Day

On the day try to be as relaxed as possible, before you go in, take some quiet time for yourself and calm yourself if you can even try to enjoy it. Consider that you are trying to impress someone that knows nothing about the subject. 
Try to explain it as simply as you can.

Be sure to:

  • Write clearly. You can only get marks for the writing that they can read
  • Answer the question that is asked, you won't get any marks if you don't answer the questions asked.
  • If you are running out of time, at least write some key words and phrases. Blank answers get no marks.
  • After the exam, don’t do a post analysis with your class mates. This will only worry you if you did not have the exact same answer and will distract you for the exams to come and your confidence. Post analysis is worthless, so don’t do it. Don’t forget, after the exam is too late.
  • Finally, remember - a few prayers never did me or anyone else any harm!