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Spare a Thought for University Students Sitting Exams for the First Time Since the Days of Junior Cert.

January Exam Planning

January is always an interesting part of the academic year for several reasons. Often, departmental staff are busy writing new courses or feverishly attempting to complete and build on existing ones, but this year academic staff in many of the Irish universities will now be getting ready for student exams. In 2023, many of the current Third year students across the country will be sitting examinations for the first time since their Junior Certificates as they missed the Leaving Certificate experience (lets’s call it that, shall we?) with the global pandemic and lockdowns.

A Word of Advice for Students: The Science of Planning

We would urge students to take time to plan their new examination experience. The entire examination process in university will be new for so many students, so they will be anxious and fearful and, many who have worked very hard to obtain high grades, will be desperately worried that examinations results will bring down their scoring averages, thus affecting the end degree grades.

Practice Makes Perfect

We are always amazed at students who fail to prepare and then, well, fail…or at least not perform as well as they might have. So, if we have any advice for our university students coming into January it is to take time out to practice how to approach exams; practice time management in answering questions, ensure the questions are properly read and understood before answering, see how long it takes for, say, a 45 minute question versus a 60 minute question. Darwin taught us that adaptability is a key survival skill. Exams are qualitatively different to essays and projects. Don’t get caught in the headlights of panic. Be calm, measured and critically reflexive in your exam. Viva la Revolution!

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