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A marathon, not a sprint: five tips to get through exam year

10 October 2017 Dalmac News

You may be only a few weeks into the school year, but it is worth thinking now about how you want to achieve the best results possible next June. There are a number of ways that will help you succeed, from taking part in our grinds in north Dublin to common-sense techniques. Let’s take a look.

  1. Plan ahead

The Junior and Leaving Certs may seem a long way off right now, but you will be amazed at how quickly the months pass. Then, suddenly, school finishes, June arrives and it’s time for the big day and that first exam.

It is worthwhile planning ahead now so you have a good idea of what you should be doing at different times of the year. This includes study plans for the holidays, blocking off time for studying particular subjects and making sure you take adequate break periods throughout the year.

Buy a year planner or use one on your smartphone to plan ahead. And, of course, you can change and adapt it as the months so you can concentrate on any areas of weakness. The teachers of our grinds in north Dublin can help with your planning as the year progresses. 

  1. Keep studying

It really is worthwhile studying throughout the year and not leaving everything till the last minute – or even the night before. Realistically speaking, you will inevitably end up doing some cramming but it is so much better to be well prepared. Don’t forget Roy Keane’s adage: “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”

In particular, keep an eye on the subjects you find more difficult and do a few test papers well in advance of exam time so you know sooner rather than later what you will have to do during the exams themselves.

  1. Do grinds

Getting extra tuition in your subjects during the year can be really helpful. Grinds will help you to focus on what’s going to come up on particular exam papers and will allow you to concentrate your efforts in those areas.

We all have weaknesses in certain subjects and if you can identify those and work on them at your grinds, you will give yourself a much better chance of achieving a higher grade.

Grind teachers, like those here at Dalmac Grinds Academy, are usually really experienced teachers who can assist you to hone on in on the key elements of papers. These grinds in north Dublin also provide excellent revision notes which will be invaluable as the exams approach.

  1. Communicate

You are not alone! There are teachers, students, parents, family and friends around who know what you are going through and who will be there to help. Talk to your teachers throughout the year about how best to prepare for the exams.

Ask your friends and school mates what they are doing to maximise their chances of doing well. Share notes, tips and advice with each other. No matter how people pitch the Leaving Cert to you, you are all on the same side and all trying to do the best you can. Help each other get there!

  1. Take care of yourself

Yes, it is really important to study and work hard throughout the year. However, it is equally important that you look after yourself too. Have fun and go out and socialise. Play sport whenever you can. Take breaks from studying.

Don’t study late into the night if you are very tired; you are not really taking much in anyway and you are just making yourself tired for tomorrow. Eat well and don’t skip meals or snack all the time.


If you are interested in grinds in north Dublin, get in touch with us on 01-8431697 or email info@dalmacgrindsacademy.ie