Analysing the learning from my Junior Certificate is an important task that every parent should do with their teenage child. Together, you both have spent the last three years studying and preparing for it and it has now come and gone in the flash of an eye. Now, they are either in Transition Year (TY) or preparing for the Leaving Certificate. If they are preparing for the Leaving Certificate, how can they improve upon their study, preparation and performance?

We hear people say after the Junior Certificate results come out that it wasn’t an important examination any way or no one gets anything out of the examination. This is not said before it, only after it. In our opinion it is a very important examination before and after it with so much learning having taken place from the whole experience for the student.

How can you analyse this learning and use it for the Leaving Certificate,  as we all know this is the next important examination?

Develop a brand new study plan:

You may not have had the need to design and develop a tailored study plan for your Junior Certificate, but you will need to design and develop a study plan for the Leaving Certificate. Depending on your career choice and CAO Points target, your school and study time periods now become priority and come before everything else in your life for the next two years or so. This study plan should entail the seven days of the week and be designed so that you are using every available hour in your week towards the Leaving Certificate. Choose a study system and a way of memorising what you learned that suits you.

‘Spring-clean’ your study area and get organised:

You may have already done this task, but cleaning your room where you intend to study and getting organised for the year(s) ahead is another vital first step towards making your final two years in secondary school worthwhile and beneficial. Clear away all the Junior Certificate books, notes, documentation references. Invest in new ‘everything’ i.e. stationery, books, notepads, study systems; start afresh and then keep your study area tidy and organised. You will enjoy doing your homework and studying more.

Start thinking about academic and career goals and targets:

After getting organised and doing your study plan, the only other thing to do is to understand why you are doing all of this. Why are you going to school, why are you studying, what is it all for? It is for you to achieve the highest CAO points possible to realise your ideal Third Level Course leading to the realisation your ideal, realistic career. The first thing to do is to choose a career that will inspire, motivate and please you. The second thing to do is to choose a Third Level Course that will allow you make this career a reality. The third thing to do is to calculate the number of points you can achieve based on your subject choices, the level you are taking in each and what grade you can realistically achieve.

You will not feel the time going by when you have a plan, are organised and a set goal written on paper…