Keep Calm & Carry on…. 5 steps

Advice for Leaving Cert and Junior Cert students / Five steps


Step One / Healthy body – healthy mind

This is a challenging and testing time for all exam students. There is a danger in panicking and trying to do as much as possible in a short space of time. Some students have told me they “stay up till 2am in the morning studying”. This is not good practice. These students will become tired and exhausted before the exams even begin. Your body & mind needs rest, sleep, plenty of water and good food – ditch the coffee and red bull. Take time out to exercise and recharge the batteries. Always start the day with a good breakfast.


Step Two / Teachers

Your teacher is a significant adult in your life at this time. If you have questions about a topic you are revising or are unsure – put your hand up in class. Talk to your teacher. Every teacher wants the best for their students and are willing to give all the support they possibly can. If you are working well with your teacher, this in itself will give you confidence heading into exams.


Step Three / Plan & Prioritise

Have short term and long term goals when it comes to your study plan.  What do you hope to achieve today and what areas will you cover over the week? Always keeping notes. But keep you plan as simple as possible.   I know of sixth year students spending over 2 hours daily on social media - this will have an impact on your study or some students are working part time in jobs to make some money. Prioritise what is best for you.


Step Four / When stressed

Our emotions tend to run high when we are under pressure – this is normal. “I was angry in school, so I couldn’t study” or “ I have created a big mess of things”. These are sayings we all use. There is a danger that we could go down the road of negative thinking and loose hope. We could end up acting at these times and doing impulsive things like binge drinking or just spending hours on social media or comfort eating. When we have intensive high emotion, take 20min out……just focus on one thing for twenty min. ME TIME Go for a walk, listen to music, meet a friend, talk to a family member or follow through with something that helps you relax.   Doing one thing for 20 min will help you manage impulsive actions that result from distressing emotions.


Step Five / It will pass

Sometimes we cannot see light at the end of the tunnel, but it is there and the only way is to go through the tunnel and come out at the other side, just keep going. Each time you go into school or study at home – you are one step closer to the end of the tunnel. The exams will be over before you know it. KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON

Francis O' Toole

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