What is an important wish that you want to accomplish? Your wish should be
challenging but feasible.
What will be the best result from accomplishing your wish? How will you feel?
Pause and really imagine the outcome.
What is the main obstacle inside you that might prevent you from accomplishing your
Pause and really imagine the obstacle.
What’s an effective action to tackle the obstacle? Make a when-then plan.
Get folders and write notes from the start,
learn as you go and don’t leave everything
until the last minute. Get a folder for
everything, you might think it’s a pain but
there’s nothing worse than going looking for
that French sheet your teacher gave you two
weeks ago, holding the key to your exam and
discover that it’s missing.
When you get closer to the exams you will love your old
self for saving you time and effort by summarizing and
highlighting the most important parts of each chapter.
This will ultimately cut down the overall stress you feel
before an exam.
Avoid missing out on class time
The more class time you miss the greater the risk of missing
important learning points.
Do not be an “a la carte” Cert student—students with the best
attendance are the ones who reach their full potential
Set up an area for you to do homework
You do not want to be staring at your
"study desk" that's cluttered up with
makeup, bracelets, books, bath salts, a
bottle of lemonade, and a t-shirt.
Hopeless. Always de-clutter.
It's really important to have a designated
area for yourself so you can come home
and get straight into your work, instead of
messing around or trying to get settled in
somewhere else. It's always helpful to
decorate your space too, with stuff you find
cheerful, so it makes studying seem less
torturous and horrible (which it is).
• Spread out tasks over short periods of time and take brief breaks
every 20 minutes or so. It’s a good idea to include a reward to enjoy at
the end of a long study session.
• Follow daily routines such as studying at the same time each day and
in the same place, with distractions switched off or removed. Some
say it's best to try to simulate exam conditions as much as possible in
your study area and that we remember best under conditions that
resemble those in which the original learning took place. Figure out
what works best for you.
• Begin with something fairly difficult, even a topic you don’t like.
Achievement boosts confidence and energy for the rest of the
• Pose questions about the subject matter before, during, and at the
end of a session. Self-test as you go along. Revision is an on-going
process, not just a priority in the days before exams.
• Know that question-answering techniques are a huge part of exam
preparation. Ask for help from your teachers on how best to answer exam
questions in each subject.
• Study sample questions set by teachers (as well as previous exam questions)
to ensure that the material you are learning can be applied to the types of
questions that come up in exams.
• Take part in occasional study groups with other students to discuss difficult
aspects of a subject, to share knowledge and techniques, to teach one
another and to inject extra motivation into your study. And remember it can
be good fun!
• Seek advice from a teacher or parents if stress sets in or problems arise.
Parents have been there, done that, and know a lot more that you think!
Above all: don’t spend days drawing up elaborate plans. Find out what you
have to do, how to do it, and then do it!
In training for any game, the most important thing is practice. Practice,
practice, practice. You can know every page of the book, but if you
can't get it down on paper within the required time you might as well
not have bothered. And as anyone who has ever marked exams will tell
you, the most important thing is that you answer the question: the
question that is in front of you, not some other one you maybe wish
had been there. This also comes with practice
Set time limits
In your Junior Cert. examination you will be expected to work against
the clock. Your study should also involve working against the clock.
Allocate a set time for each study topic or question. Your teachers will
be able to suggest how much time is reasonable to study any given
Do not expect study to fill a void that non work
activities should – schedule things you enjoy
Moaning is forbidden
“offenders are subject to a syndrome of
victimhood that reduces their sense of humour
and capacity to solve problems. To be at your
best, you need to focus on your potential and
not your limits. Stop complaining and make
your life better”
Go back to basics
Participate as well as you can in class
Do your homework as well as you can
Set small goals for yourself – e.g. commit to
doing 5 minutes study a night.
What to do if you’re
Imagine you are 30. What advice do you think
your 30 year old self would give you about the
• Sparkpeople.com for exercise and nutrition
• Pray as you Go for prayer
• Headspace, Mindshift, Moodtools for de-
• Evernote for organisation
• Quality Time – my digital diet for analysing phone
• Freedom for blocking you from using different
apps at times you decide
• Duolingo and Memrise for languages
• Kahnacademy.org for Maths and Sciences
• Studyclix.ie, Studynotes.ie, examinations.ie
and Quizlet.com for general study resources
• Crashcourse youtube channel for different
subjects and general study tips