Junior Cycle | Leaving Cert

After the Mocks - Some Good Advice

By Eimear Dinneen - 6 minute read

Some students feel disappointed after their mock exams, and others feel relieved. Regardless of where you stand on that spectrum, here are some tips on moving forward towards your actual exams.

If you’re disappointed

It’s not the end of the world. If anything, it’s a good thing that you didn’t do as well as you thought. You’ll now know for next time where you need to improve.

Don’t let it get you down, just be thankful that whatever went wrong, went wrong now instead of in June! Almost all students get a better mark in the Leaving than in the Pres, remember that.

Moving forward, try to pinpoint your weaknesses and then work on them. You won’t have any other proper exams like these until the actual Leaving Cert so if you want to see that you’re improving on these weaknesses, I would recommend asking your teacher to correct extra work for you. I did this a lot with English essays and it brought my mark up by a lot because I kept seeing where I went wrong and rectified it for my next essay.

If you’re happy

Good for you! But don’t get ahead of yourself. Doing well in your Pres/Mocks is not an invitation to do nothing from here until the Leaving Cert. You probably still have areas of the syllabus to cover and you need to keep up the study so that it stays fresh.

Unless you got all H1s, you’ll still have room for improvement, so like my above point, work on your weaknesses to get them up to standard for the Leaving Cert. You know now that you can sit through these exams without a problem, so try to feel calmer and more confident about the exams in June.

Keeping calm and having a positive attitude will make the coming months far less stressful for you.

Advice for everyone

Look at your papers

Take full advantage of the resources around you. If you didn’t do as well in a certain subject, look over the paper and correct yourself so you’ll know for next time. If it’s something like English where you can’t exactly pinpoint where you lost marks, ask your teacher, they should be able to tell you where you need to improve.

Don't get caught up with predictions

Remember, DEB and Examcraft make the pre papers, not the State Examinations Commission, they are not affiliated with one another. Therefore, just because something came up in the Pres doesn’t mean it won’t come up in the Leaving Cert.

Do not panic

Seriously, do not panic if your Mocks didn’t go well. If you haven’t done any work so far, it’s not too late. You still have time to get your act together and start studying to get you great results.

Pay attention to your timing

If you’re anything like me, the Pres/Mocks will have been a wake-up call in terms of the getting the official Leaving Cert time allowance right. I was incredibly short on time for English Paper 2, so I knew straight away that I needed to focus on writing quicker for that paper in the future. Like I said, the Pres are a good way to get experience on doing the state exams, so take away and learn everything you can from them to be fully prepared for the real thing.

Mind Yourself

Now can be a prime time for students to get stressed and anxious. Maybe the reality of it is too much, maybe you’re being pushed past your capability by family members or maybe you think that your results won’t improve enough to get the course you want. These are very valid reasons to get anxious but try to relax and remember that it isn’t the end of the world. Talk to someone who knows what you’re going through or just take a day off to relax if you need it, your health and safety comes before your academic life.

What now?

Keep working. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting nearer and you’re so close to freedom. If you’re lazy about study, just snap yourself out of it because for the sake of 3 months, putting in the effort will really pay off and you’ll be very thankful you did. You don’t want to be that person that regrets not making more of an effort in 6th year and getting a better result. I know lots of these people, some who are in their late 20s and they still regret not trying harder to show their full potential. Learn from their mistakes!

Good luck in the coming months!

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