To reduce stress levels during the Leaving Certificate students should make sure they eat, sleep and plan well ahead of their exams, a career guidance counsellor said.
After two years of COVID-19 induced chaos and disruption to their education, it would be understandable if the class of 2022 felt a little anxious before they put pens to paper for their English exam tomorrow.
One key piece of advice Brian Mooney has for them is to know exactly when each of their exams will take place and plan accordingly:
"Parents can be very helpful in this because [you can] go on the State Exams Commission site, download the timetable - they’re printable - and go stick it on the fridge.
"Have that conversation each evening, ‘What’s tomorrow? What do you need?’
"And obviously, look at the nutrition, any transport issues in terms of getting to the exam. You don’t want any stress around any of that and just plan it the night before.
"It’s pretty straightforward and having the timetable up can also be very helpful because under the stress of exams - particularly as they get into Week 2, Week 3 - someone may inadvertently think it’s an afternoon exam or a morning exam.
"So parents should keep an eye on that right through until the last paper to make sure there are no slip-ups."
Eating and sleeping are also key and student Alex Rowley says he has made sure to cut down on caffeine and energy drinks as his exams loom:
"Trying to cut down a bit more on the caffeine is definitely helping because you’re a bit jittery after two or three cups of coffee," Alex explained.
"So maybe keep it to the one in the morning if you really need it and also cutting out the energy drinks can definitely help.
"I think getting to bed at a decent time, maybe ten o’clock also helps.
"And for me... normally I say I’ll study after I get something done. So, let’s say I’ll study after I get a shower in the morning and brush my teeth and everything and then I try to get into the study."
The Leaving Certificate begins on June 9th and runs until June 29th.