You’d be a fool to ignore the past Junior Cert exam papers and marking schemes!
One of the most common mistakes we see students who are preparing for the Junior Cert exams make is the low usage of past Junior Cert exam papers. Here, at JC-Learn we can never stress just how important it is to integrate past exam papers into your studying schedule. There are countless benefits to studying using the past Junior Cert exam papers which are usually found on examinations.ie or now on our new easy to use feature HERE. In our opinion, here are the top 4 reasons as to why you should study using past examination material.
Reason 1: It helps familiarise the layout of the paper.
If you’ve spent the entire year analysing and completing the past papers you will know the layout of each exam like the back of your hand. This is incredibly important as so many students make mistakes such as doing too many questions or missing out on a question. Generally, each year the papers are laid out in the exact same way so it makes sense to need to know the layout of the exam so you’re not surprised in June! It will also help you save lots of time in exams as you won’t need to read the exam question guidelines.
Reason 2: You get to know the common topics.
What we would never do is predict what will come up in exams. We think there is never any point in risking a prediction because at the end of the day it is purely guesswork! But what we are big believers in is focussing on topics in the syllabus which play much bigger roles in the exams than others. As an example of this, you’re guaranteed for the last two parts in Q6 in the Junior Cert history exam the questions will be based on social change in the 20th century and Ireland in the 20th century. This is always the case and is well worth noting as this part of the history exam takes up a massive chunk of marks.
Reason 3: You will understand the time pressures.
Every year there will be students who don’t finish the final question or two in a paper. This is particularly common in the history and English exams as they are just so tight for time. If you have been practicing the exam papers then you will know which exams require you to write and think quickly. It will also enable you to be extra time efficient. As an example of this after doing a few English papers you might find that it takes you 40 minutes to do the reading comprehension as you’re not the quickest reader but you can rattle off an essay in 50 minutes. This allows you to factor this into the exam day so you know what your personal time restraints are.
Reason 4: Gaining massive confidence.
Most students will have only ever sat one full Junior Cert exam paper under exam conditions once before the real thing. This is usually the mock examinations. We recommend that you do full exam papers under exam conditions almost every week. The strict timings, lack of books and lack of breaks will help you feel what exam week will really be like. Think about it like running a marathon, you can’t expect to do well in one if you’ve never been practicing in race conditions. This will help you prepare mentally and it will also point out your weaknesses. However, each week you improve and the idea is that by the start of June you will be fully ready to tackle any exam paper that gets thrown in front of you.