February 13, 2014

Educational Guidance

Study Choice

3rd Year Guidance


  • The Subject Choice Presentation is delivered by the Guidance Counsellors to all 3rd Year classes.
  • All students receive a subject booklet. 

  • The Cambridge Occupational Analysis set of Aptitude Tests is administered to all 3rd Year Classes at the start of the 2nd Term by the Guidance Counsellors.

  • Aptitude test results are given to students in small groups

  • Links to subject choice are discussed.

  • Students are given the option of meeting the Guidance Counsellor 1 to 1 to discuss test results and /or subject choice.

  • The Information Evening and Presentation to all Parents of 3rd Year Students is organised and facilitated by the Guidance Counsellors.

  • Subject Teachers from Senior Cycle are scheduled by the Guidance Counsellors to talk to all 3rd Year classes about their individual subject area and particular aptitudes required.

  • 3rd Year Subject Choice Forms are delivered to all classes

  • Option bands are created in consultation with management

  • The Guidance Counsellors liaise with 3rd Year SPHE Teachers on Study Skills and individual student needs during the school year as per parental/teacher requests.

Study Skills


Effective Study skills


 When exams are looming, everyone needs good study habits. Try to develop the habit of studying  over a period of time and it will become as natural as breathing!

 But don’t put it off, get started today!



  • Draw up a study timetable and a subject/topic hot list. Aim to have a clear target of what you want to achieve.
  • Get organised-Notes, books, everything related to a subject must be in order, including past essays and assignments.
  • Try using a different colour storage box for each subject
  • Stick to a consistent daily routine of study using 30-40 minutes blocks of study with brief 5 minutes rest periods to relax, stretch, let go.
  • Follow daily routines such as studying at the same time each day and in the same place, with distractions switched off or removed.
  • Exam classes should do three hours a night (inc. homework) and at least 8 hours over the weekend period
  • Always study actively-not just reading but making notes, using spider-graphs , mind maps any visual means to help memory and understanding
  • Self-test as you go along. Revision is an ongoing process, not just a priority in the days before exams.
  • Revise with the exam in mind. Know the format of each exam paper , the number of questions and time . Practice answering questions in the time allowed. Ask for help from your teachers on how best to answer exam questions in each subject.
  • Study sample questions set by teachers (as well as previous exam questions) to ensure that the material you are learning can be applied to the types of questions that come up in exams
  • Above all: don’t spend days drawing up elaborate plans. Find out what you have to do, how to do it, and then do it!


 Dealing with Exam related Stress


Stress can affect a person mentally socially or physically. Some typical symptoms are exhaustion, loss of or increase in appetite, headache, sleeplessness, feelings of anxiety and fear about the future.


  • Remember that some stress is normal but too much stress can damage your ability to concentrate and perform in an exam.
  • Be realistic. Take studying seriously and try to do your best, but don’t set yourself crazy goals like “600 points or I’m not happy” or “Four A’s is what I want”. If you set the standards very high, you’re putting yourself under massive stress. Look at the results you need for what you want to do and aim for this.
  • If you’re having problems studying, ask for help. Talk to a teacher or Guidance Counsellor about it.
  • Don’t leave yourself without time to study. If it’s too late for that and you’re cramming, then listen to your body and rest when you need to. Otherwise you’re risking burn out.
  • Don’t panic before the exam. Stay away from anyone who is stressing loudly or revising frantically, they’ll only make you feel nervous too.
  • Try to keep things in perspective. Grades are not a measure of your value as a human being, nor do they measure intelligence or creativity.
  • Relax!

  • It’s useful to learn a “relaxation response” to calm you down when you are stressed. You start by finding a quiet place where you can lie down. Then you focus on getting comfortable, slowing down your breathing, letting all your muscles go floppy and relaxed, and thinking about being in a really calm place like lying on a beach in the sun with no worries, or taking a long soak in the bath. This imaginary calm place is your mental refuge. Imagine lots of details – the sounds, the smells, the sensations, etc. Then practice ‘going there’ in your mind for just a few seconds every day, so it will be easy to do when you are really stressed.


Stress Reduction Tips for Students


  • Try not to let things pile up by doing a bit every day.
  • Take time out to do the things you enjoy.
  • Take regular meals and eat enough nutritious food and complex carbohydrates
  • Cut down on tea and coffee intake.
  • Get some exercise -even a 20 minutes brisk walk or some dancing in your bedroom!
  • Don’t work right up to bedtime. Take some time to chill out before you put the head down.
  • Write down your worries – they may not seem so bad.
  • Don’t use drink,drugs or tobacco to relieve stress – they make it worse.
  • Don’t try to be perfect all the time – the best you can do in the time available is fine.
  • Have a laugh with some friends – aren’t we supposed to be having fun?!
  • Get lots of sleep – problems always seem worse when you’re over-tired.
  • Make a tape with all your favourite songs – try to avoid depressing ones!
  • Go for a long walk by yourself to clear your head.

 If exam stress is getting you down, you can talk to your Guidance Counsellor.