3m papers distributed as State exams set to get under way

Over 114,000 students will sit the exams this year

More than 114,000 students  will take part  in the Leaving and Junior Certs  this year. Photograph: Eric Luke

More than 114,000 students will take part in the Leaving and Junior Certs this year. Photograph: Eric Luke

Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 07:05

More than three million exam papers were distributed over the bank holiday weekend and delivered to 4,800 superintendents ahead of the written Leaving and Junior Certificate examinations which get under way tomorrow.

The Leaving Cert applied exams run until June 14th, the Junior Cert continues until June 20th and the Leaving until June 21st, according to the State Examinations Commission.

It sets and distributes the exams and oversees marking and grade allocation for the more than 114,000 students who will take part this year.

Organising the State examinations in 2012 cost the commission €61 million, with €33.9 million going as fees to examiners, superintendents and other contract personnel, the commission said.

A great deal of last-minute advice was on offer over the weekend, including what to do and what to avoid.

“It is like a marathon and like any marathon you need to be fit,” says Gerry Flynn, president of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. It can be “physically exhausting”, not just mentally, given a student would be writing for hours a day over a number of days.

“Be strategic about your approach to the examination,” Mr Flynn suggests.

The student should spend the first five to 10 minutes looking through paper before doing any writing. They should take care with timing and marks, avoiding giving extra time to what you know unless the marks available for the section warrant it.

No last-minute cramming
The Psychological Society of Ireland advises that students should avoid studying late into the night immediately before an exam and should not attempt last-minute cramming.

The key is to stay focused but calm, according to the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals. “Prioritise those areas that you or your teacher has identified as most likely to come up,” says the association’s director, Clive Byrne.

The association also suggests not skipping meals and bringing healthy snacks and water into the exams.

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