Leaving Cert

How to manage 6th year - Tips from The Student Coach

By Berni Sheridan - 3 minute read

6th year goes fast, don’t underestimate how quickly the time will go by! It's your responsibility to start revising last year’s material as well as keeping track of the various deadlines and applications that you have to make this year. In this blog, Berni from the Students Coach gives some great tips on how to manage 6th year effectively.



The CAO is a straightforward application process once you’ve chosen your courses, so don't fear it! However, it's critically important to ensure that you list your choices strictly in order of preference, irrespective of points!

Get some guidance

If you know what you’re applying for, you’re sorted!  However, if you are part of the 80% of students who don’t know – fear not! There is still time, but you need to start your investigation!  If you’re unsure, you need to talk to a guidance professional as soon as possible. Hopefully your school counsellor can give you an early appointment, but their time is limited, and you may be restricted to one appointment which may take weeks. If you feel you need help immediately, check out the Students Coach.

Do independent research

In the meantime, it important to start investigating any career areas you might be interested in.  Your first step is to do a desktop study e.g. Google all the courses available in your chosen field and the entry requirements and points necessary for each.  After, it's important to talk to a guidance professional to assist you with shortlisting courses.

Consider all options

Depending on the career that you are interested in, it is important to also consider UCAS and European applications, in addition to CAO.

If you are making an UCAS application, the earlier the better!  Despite what many think, the application process is not a difficult one, but does require guidance.

It is also important to consider alternatives to college e.g apprenticeships, post Leaving Cert courses (PLCs), repeating the Leaving Cert, deferrals etc.


Start early

It's critical that you start revising last year’s material from week one of 6th year.  If you develop a systematic approach, you can still continue with extra-curricular activities and your stress levels will be significantly more manageable.

Make a plan

It is very difficult to make steady progress without developing a study plan that works for you. There are a few points that need to be considered when developing a study plan:

  • The weekend is the best opportunity for revision.

  • Weekend homework should be completed on Friday to make time for important revision.

  • It is ideal to be specific in your plan, not only about the subject you will study, but also the subject topics / chapter you will revise. 

  • At this stage, any content revision should be tested by completing associated past paper questions and then checking your answers. Studyclix makes this process easy using the questions by topic page!

  • You can download a Studyclix study plan here and fill it in, the Student Coach can then help you organise it!


Stress is a common element of the Leaving Cert experience.  Here's what you should know:

  • Knowing what you want to do and having a goal reduces stress.

  • A systematic approach to study is an essential part of stress management.

  • Physical activity, eating healthily and proper sleep will actively enhance your academic achievement.

For more info on exam stress, read here.

The Career Club at the students coach offers a comprehensive on-line support system to assist students with this busy year.  This unique ‘buddy style’ programme gives you access to your own personalised career support professional throughout the year.  

Best of luck!

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