It’s that time of year again when the prospect of final exams appears on the radar.
You’ll have safely despatched your completed CAO forms or made your decisions about your subjects for Leaving Cert, and now the only thing between you and your future are the Leaving Cert or Junior Cert examinations.
Most schools build towards these by running a series of trial exams. ‘The mocks’, as they are commonly known, are run at some stage between February and the end of March. They are designed to replicate exam papers and conditions, and give you a trial run at the exam papers in each of your subjects.
Of course, the mocks bring with them an upswing in stress levels and increased speculation about what’s going to appear on the paper this year.
Some schools set their own papers and others buy in a selection of commercially produced exams.
Much will be read into what topics appear on the mock papers as a pointer for June. Very often, you may not have finished covering the course in class and are expected to sit an exam based on the entire syllabus. You may be anxious about what areas to revise and how best to approach the mocks and you may be unsure as to how much importance to attach to your performance in these trial exams.
Remember that the mocks are merely a good opportunity to check your progress at this important stage of the year. The only exam that really counts takes place in June so there is still plenty of time to get back on track if you find you are behind in some areas.
All the resources listed below appear for every subject in skoool.ie's Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle Exam Centre.
The key gaps to identify are in the following areas:
- Your subjects
What important areas of the course are you weak on and need more attention?
Consult our Revision Checklists for an overview and look for feedback from your teachers on your grade potential and the appropriate level at which to take the exam - click here for Leaving Cert revision checklists.
In addition, you can see some of your specific subject questions answered in our Ask the Expert section.
- Your revision and study methods
Are you preparing in the most effective way? Check out our Study and Revision Tips for guidance on getting the most from your study efforts.
Why not print out a Revision Checklist for each subject to monitor your progress?
- Your exam technique
Are you making the most of your knowledge of each exam? Consult our Exam Guides and Model Answers for guidance on maximising your marks in each exam paper - click here for Leaving Cert Exam Guides and Model Answers.
Are you aware of what came up in this exam before? Check our Past Paper Analysis section for a detailed breakdown of previous year's exam topics.
- Your career goals
Are your stated career goals realistic and do you have a fall-back option available?
Look at all your options by using our Career Matters channel.
Use our Interactive Points Calculator and Course Search to review your options in the light of your mocks performance and feedback from teachers.
Now is a good time to take stock and adjust your approach where necessary.
Remember that the practice you get in your mocks and the lessons you learn can make a big difference to your performance in June.
It’s not the end of the world if your mocks aren’t all you hoped for – a little thought will get you clear on what needs work, and what you could be doing better. Let us help you to help yourself. And good luck.