How to Survive the Leaving Cert

Ever since I finished my Leaving Cert back in June it seems as though everyone has been asking me for study tips, exam advice and general school survival. About a year ago, the Sadhbhers School Survival Guide (over HERE) got a great response, but I have so much more to share with all of you on how to survive exam seasons, the dreaded Leaving Cert and of course school life in general

I'm not going to lie (partially because I'm an awful liar, but primarily because we could all do with a dose of reality in life), the Leaving Cert is probably the worst thing you will ever have to encounter in your entire life - but don't worry, it does come to an end (eventually) - and I'm here to help make time fly a lil' bit quicker with all my top tips on how to survive the LC;

1. Make a Study Plan (..and stick to it!)

It'll seem as though everyone's telling you to make a study plan during fifth and sixth year, but no one's telling you exactly how to make it. I was never the kind of person who could stick to strict timetables, and I never will be - so I decided to make my study plan a little bit different. I scheduled certain hours for general study and certain times for breaks, but I decided not to set daily deadlines for myself. Each week I made out a list of everything I wanted to cover during the week, so every time I sat down to study I picked a few from the list and worked on them. It would have been ridiculous for someone with an attention span like me to allocate certain hours for certain subjects, so this tactic worked really well for me

2. Plot Target Results and Long-Term Goals

This is another tactic that worked really well for me. Before each exam I always plotted my targer results, and wrote down the actual ones afterwards. This really pushed me to work a little bit harder and allowed me to track my progress too. 

3. Stick Old Exams Around your Room 

This probably sounds 110% stupid, but it worked for me. Unlike most people, whenever I got a bad grade I tended to keep the results somewhere I could see them. Disappointment following some exams drove me to work harder. Similarly if I did good in another, I'd keep that close by too, so that any time I felt like I couldn't do it I had a little reminder that I could.

4. Make Time for Exercise

Even if you hate it, you know it's good for you (and besides, the Leaving Cert is so full of comfort eating, so you'll need to workout!). Running was my go-to - and it's probably the best sport to choose during the Leaving Cert too, because you can work it around your study schedule and anything else that might get in the way. 

5. Try To Get Out of the School at Lunch

Trust me, don't hang around at lunch, because you'll probably start going insane. It took me all too long to realise this. Just go for a walk and chill out somewhere completely non-school related if possible 

6. Eat Well and Sleep Well 

All that study and stress is so draining, and it's so easy to get sick if you're not eating or sleeping right, especially when you're under so much pressure. I decided to take Omega 3 & 6 supplements as well during the course of the year. Omega 3 is super important for healthy brain functioning (but I guess if you're studying Home Ec then you probably already know that, and you've probably already got a box too!). 

Until next time,


  1. Nice post! I am going into 5th year and I am trying to prepare myself mentally for it as I know it will be a stressful 2 year.

  2. Really great post to get back into the mindset of study, especially since I have the LC ahead of me :) x



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