Getting 11 A’s in the Junior Cert
Getting 11 A’s in your Junior Cert is an amazing achievement. Some of you sitting your Junior Cert in June may see this as impossible or unrealistic, but I believe that if you have put in the work up until now, that with the right techniques and mindset over the coming weeks it can be done. Of course getting 11 A’s will take an extreme amount of work, and I have put together a few tips for you students who are really planning to push yourself between now and June.
- Productive Studying:
Sitting down for 5 hours to study is brilliant, but you want to make sure that you can maximise how much information you take in during this 5 hours. You need to make sure that you aren’t wasting any time when studying, know what you plan to study each day and have everything well organised, which leads me to my next point. Try to really focus and concentrate when studying, even the smallest distraction such as checking your phone can completely ruin your momentum.
- Be Organised:
Students aiming to really excel in the Junior Cert need to make sure that they waste as little time as possible, and to do this organisation is vital. Have all your notes divided into folders and clearly titled/labelled, this will spare you the frustration and time wasted by rummaging around looking for notes or copies. As well as sparing yourself valuable time, being organised will keep you from getting distracted, and knowing where everything is and what you have to do each day can both motivate and make you work harder.
- There is always something that you can be doing:
I don’t advise any students to lose intensity in their studies because they feel that they have everything covered or that they have already done enough. It is almost impossible to be 100% sure and confident about anything that can come up any of your exams, there is always something you can be doing. If you want 11 A’s you can’t afford to take any chances. Also, remember that if you slack off as the exams get closer you will begin to backtrack and forget things that you have learned throughout the year.
- Cover Everything:
I touched off this in the last point, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good knowledge of everything that can come up on all your exams. Don’t take any risks in hoping that topic that you know well will come up, because one little slip-up and that’s your 11 A’s gone.
- Always go over everything you have learned:
No matter how well you know a certain topic, still revise it at least once a week because you will be surprised how much you can forget if you leave a certain people in history, for example, untouched for a few weeks. I know you want to spend time on the topics you don’t know as well, but maybe take a few hours on the weekend to briefly go over everything you have learned.
- Keep a positive mindset and stay motivated:
Anyone who has been studying all year for the Junior Cert has got to be getting fed up at this stage, but remember why you started in the first place. Don’t forget that you are studying for yourself and nobody else (not parents or teachers), and I promise you the effort you put in now will stand to you in the future. Study helps you to become a better person and also statistically become wealthier than a person who has no time for study and simply does not bother.
- Make a detailed study schedule:
Your schedule for what you will study each day is so important over the next few weeks. This links in with both organisation and productive studying, your schedule is so important for making sure that your time spent studying is both efficient and productive. Remember to be realistic in what you plan to do each day and allow for the unexpected. It is also important to remember that when it comes really close to the exam you will be under a lot of pressure and will not want to take on tasks such as writing notes that take up large periods of time. Make sure you have everything organised so that you can spend as much time as possible just going over everything the week before the exam.
- Take well-deserved breaks:
I know you will have a lot of work to do and you will feel under a lot of pressure over the next two months, but you need to make sure you don’t overdo it. It is very important that you get sufficient sleep and take breaks. For example, if you are studying for a large period of time it may be a good idea to take a 10-minute break and get some fresh air. It is also good to keep up with your social life and get your mind off studying for a while, and I think it is a good idea to go and see your friends for a few hours one evening of the week provided you are on top of things, or even just relax for a few hours at home.
Everything I have said above also applies to anyone who isn’t exactly aiming for 11 A’s, but remember what Elon Musk famously said: “I think it is possible for ordinary people to be extraordinary”.
Last but not least a good way to prepare for exams is to sign up to our online study aid, www.jclearn.ie. JC-Learn is a website which simplifies the Junior Certificate for students and provides many resources. On JC-Learn, there are notes, A-grade exam answers, study tips, forums and a ‘message an expert’ service, which will give you a personalised answer to any question you may have. Our website offers exactly what any student needs in order to achieve high grades in the Junior Certificate. This modern way of studying is the way forward and can drastically increase your chances of getting the grade you want, especially if that means getting 11 A’s in your exams.