Exam time and summer sunshine

Junior Cert girls from Loreto Secondary School, Fermoy studying for their CSPE exam on the pontoon by the River Blackwater at Barnane on Wednesday, (l-r) Caoimhe Barry, Sinead Cotter, Caoimhe Hazelwood, Vivian Keane, Cora Murphy, Jennifer Bryan, Katie O’Flynn and Ellen Kingston. (EA)

True to form, the sun shone high in the sky as Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students began their exams yesterday, Wednesday 6th.

The general feeling from students at lunchtime in Fermoy was good and all seemed relieved to have the first exam successfully out of the way.

The Leaving Certs seemed relatively happy with English Paper 1 and most students were finished for the day, barring those studying Home Economics.

The Junior Certs were also fairly pleased with their English exam (which is now only examined through one paper in the new Junior Cert curriculum), but felt that time management was the most difficult element of the exam to contend with.

Almost all Junior Cert students had to sit their CSPE exam in the afternoon yesterday, but nobody seemed too worried about it during lunch time as most enjoyed the sunshine, had a bite to eat and chatted with friends.

Danny Keane, Eoin Flynn, David Hyland and Sean Barry reflect on a hard morning’s work at CBS Mitchelstown following Wednesday’s Leaving Cert English exam. (JOF)

With at least one exam under their belts, students will feel more confident facing into the exams ahead as they get used to the routine which will be the norm for the next two weeks.


Many a candle will be lit, many a prayer will be said and many words of encouragement will be shared over the exam period. The central message nationally this year is to try to stay as calm as possible and don’t let the pressure overwhelm you.

Eat well, drink lots of water and go into each exam in a focused head space. When you sit down with that pen and paper with a clear mind, you’ll realise that you know an awful lot more than you thought you did.

As for the exam itself, reading the question properly is an essential first step in doing well. Highlighters can come in handy to make sure you understand the key words in front of you, but everyone of course will have their own method.

Most importantly, never leave a blank, you just never know what might get you those extra few marks.

Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. Simply do your best and be proud of your achievements. Best of luck to one and all!