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Posted by Francis O' Toole on January 29, 2014

Study Guide

A few words of friendly advice from

Don’t panic –  If you don’t already have one – prepare a timetable covering each subject and each topic you are intending to cover.

Timetables help to be organised, less stressed and breaks down what you have to do and when by.
Draw up timetables of when your exams are and what you are going to revise with the weeks leading up to the exam. Check out to download your free timetable!

Hint: Start with the subjects you dislike. Spend more time on them. Your favourite subjects will be easier.

Basic study guide

  • Read and make use of your notes, this is simple enough but if this method of study doesn’t make things stick, don’t do it for the sake of it maybe copy key points on small revision cards, this breaks down revision into more digestible chunks. You can get excellent revision notes on

  • Make use of diagrams and draw out your own.
  • Get friends and family to test you on what you have taken in. This will help you keep your mind alert and to see what you have remember.
  • Practise exams using past exam and sample papers to get used to the questions and the timing.  If you don’t already have them you can download past papers from or why not get them corrected and recieve your feedback from

  • Above all, stay active.  Do not study longer then 20 minutes at once, your brain will stop taking in information.
  • Exercise has been proven to help. In your breaks do some exercise to limber up for your next session of revision.

Cillian Fahy’s Top Study Tips

These tips are designed for you to avoid the pitfalls of the final few weeks of Leaving Cert study and make sure that you can make the most out of your exams

1. Subject Review
Over the holidays you should spend time taking a good hard look at all your subjects. Break them down into their specific exam questions and see what areas need the most attention. You can use your mocks results to help you here. Then rank each question according to marks and how well you do in them and let that decide where you should give the most focus.

2. Cram with a Plan
Right now you probably feel like there is no time to lose. But it’s important that you study with structure otherwise you will lose time. Spend some time making a study plan up until the exam. Outline exactly what you are going to do for each subject.

3. Refine your notes
For some subjects you might have a very large amount of notes. It’s important that you refine them down and remove some of the extra notes which are unnecessary so you have a clear idea of what you need to learn and cover in the time that’s left. Only leave the notes which are wholly relevant to the exam. Revision notes are available on which already have this part done for you and focus on only what is necessary to do well in the exam.

4. Marking Scheme
Whenever you complete a question you should correct it with the marking scheme. This will allow you to look at an answer from the examiner’s point of view. You will get a clear idea of where marks are won and lost. It’s important whenever you complete a question that you have the examiner in mind.

5. Change your focus
Up until now you will have been preparing notes and answers for different subjects. But you need to change the focus of your study from creating those notes to learning them. It’s easy to carry on as before organising and preparing answers but ultimately it’s about what you know. So get those notes in your head.

6. Make the most out of what you know
If you think about it you already know a lot for each subject and it’s important that you make the most out of them. If you look at your language subjects, the material you’ve learned off for your orals may be valuable in the exam make sure you can write it as well as say it. This can work just as well for subjects with practicals or projects. Review them quickly to see what information you can make relevant to your exams. You will be surprised!

7. Predictions
There’s a right and a wrong way to use predictions. The wrong way is to only study the predictions. This will rarely work and the Leaving Cert is not something you want to leave to chance. The right way is to use them to guide your study so that you place special emphasis on what is predicted but still cover all the other topics too. So by all means use predictions, but make sure you use them the right way.

8. Stay Confident
More important that anything is to stay confident and motivated. As time ticks on, you will undoubtedly feel stressed and tired but keep your head up. Don’t focus on the time you’ve wasted before. All you can do is use the weeks ahead the best you can. The best way to keep a positive outlook is a well-structured study routine. If you don’t have a study plan, then make one!


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