Post Leaving Certificate update and exam tips!


I apologise for my tardiness in posting on my blog. Many of you may be aware that I have been occupied receiving my exam results. I have also been extremely nervous about the CAO offers which will be released on Monday (praying I'll get my course).

Everyone in the Irish education system knows that the Leaving Certificate results are publicised in mid-August of each year. This year, D day arrived for me as I completed these exams in June. August 13th was a date stuck in my head for the majority of Summer as I eagerly anticipated the results in hopes of doing well. There were many surprises in store for me that morning.

I was given the shock of my life when I stared down at my English (H) result, a D1. I saw this after a girl in my class (who is better than me in this subject) told me she got a D2. This was dissapointing as I had always loved this subject, received As and Bs all year and was told I'd get a B1. This severely damaged my prospectful 500 points aim. I am still wondering what I did wrong! I will definitely get this rechecked!

Luckily a lot of my surprises were positive. I also received two A2s, one in Home Economics and another in Irish. I was over the moon when I saw this. the Fact that an A2 was the first result I saw calmed my nerves slightly! I was surprised with Irish honestly. I reanalysed my oral and exam performance in this subject countlessly and I knew the grammatical errors I failed to correct. Also I hadn't learned the poem "an spailpín fánach" properly and couldn't answer one of the questions well! I must have had a great day when I did paper 1! This was one of the most important subjects to me and I was ecstatic about this result. Likewise in Home Economics I was extremely content, mainly because an A in this subject can be challenging to get. I worked very hard at this subject. I found that the exam was extremely bizarre with questions on shopping instead of food. They were also fairly vague. I'm glad that the State Examination Commission were understanding to students' lack of familiarity with these type of questions and hence rewarded us with fair and well deserved grades based on the work we did. 

The rest of my results were bs which could have been improved if I focused in more on them. Overall I am happy. Nonetheless I am not safe for my desired college course, Food Science in UCD. I am hoping I will be extremely lucky and the points will drop. 

I thought it might be a nice idea to give anyone reading a few tips on facing exams. This half of the post will be focusing on tips on tackling exams. 

We are all guilty of this to some extent, some more than others. I urge you not to predict too much. Sadly, Seamus Heaney passed away this time last year and students hence were banking on him coming up for poetry in English paper 2. The Exam commission are trying to make exams less and less predictable every year and hence he appeared on the unseen poem. This cannot be relied on for any subject. People should avoid the lazy way out of things and study all the content so they'll be safe. 

This most certainly is a tip I would not have taken notice of seeing as I do tend to suffer mildly with anxiety, not only in exam situations but everyday situations too! It is however best to remain calm. I performed better in those exams I manage to keep my cool in than those I lost it in. In English, I rushed through the Macbeth question as I was quickly losing time and still had the unseen poem to do. I believe the better option would have been to complete a higher standard essay and avoid the unseen poem if I didn't have any time left. 

Many people like to stay safe and do those common questions that everyone does. I made that mistake in the Macbeth question, a question based on his relationships and power. I should have done the dramatic techniques question. As soon as I saw Dramatic techniques that ruled the question out completely for me. If I had thought about the question more I could have thought of a lot of things to write about such as; pathetic fallacy, dramatic irony, imagery and soliloquies. Most of the time you know a lot more than you initially believe.

Nowadays there are plenty of facilities available to help students obtain optimum grades. I can't stress enough the importance of getting help when you are finding something difficult. For awhile I found French difficult. I kept working at it and got a few grinds from a guy who lives nearby which benefitted me greatly. I think that difficulty happens a lot in honours maths also. In fifth year I opted for ordinary level after my struggles despite being reasonably mathematical. I was capable of passing honours maths and getting 25 extra points. It is only after the exams that I realise how valuable those points really are. If I had honours maths I wouldn't be as unhappy with my English. However if you are struggling for a long time (which I wasn't) it is probably for the best to drop down to ordinary level.

I think I will end the post now as I can't think of anything helpful to say. I may update on Monday and inform you of my college offer.

Thank you for reading.
If you are sitting exams and would like advise, do not hesitate to contact me. 

My blog email is 

I will also leave a list of my subjects if someone requires advice in a certain area. 

Irish (Higher Level)
English (Higher Level)
Maths (Ordinary Level)
Geography (Higher Level)
Biology (Higher Level)
Home Economics (Higher Level)
French (Higher Level)

Thank you for reading. I appreciate comments and people who read the blog.

I'll see you soon,
x x x x x 

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  1. I really enjoyed reading this post! I'm in 5th year and need all the tips I could possible get :) I like how you got personal with us also. You did exceptionally well though I must say congrats! I do Bio, Hon Irish and Home Ec and would love any tips you may have :)

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