Laura Burke gives us her top tricks and tips to help make sure you're as prepared as possible for the dreaded Leaving Cert.
Students all over the country are preparing to sit their Junior and Leaving Cert exams this week and it can be quite a stressful time for all those involved.
 
The next few weeks will see the final push and preparation for upcoming exams, but students should consider these five handy tips that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready heading into your tests. 
 
Plan ahead 
This is essential to ensuring that there is no extra pressure put on yourself in the immediate lead up to exams. 
 
By setting out a realistic study timetable for the week ahead, you can aim to cover all the topics you feel necessary to do so. 
 
Make sure to add in study breaks and other commitments you may have outside of study for that week so you have a better chance of sticking to your timetable.
 
Exercise 
While studying for exams we tend to spend most of our time sedentary, so it is important to fit at least 30 minutes of exercise in daily. 
 
This doesn't have to be anything too intense, even a walk in the evening is sufficient. It will be a relief to get some fresh air and take a break from the books in a healthy and relaxing way. 
 
Drink lots of water
This is very important because your body can not function properly when it is dehydrated. Make sure to have a bottle or a glass of water beside you at all times when studying as it'll help you to think clearer and quicker throughout the day and keep your body refreshed, hydrated and ready to continue with the books.
 
Get a good night's sleep 
Although it might seem logical at the time to stay up until all hours of the night in a last ditch effort to cram information, this is something you should avoid at all costs. 
 
You should aim to get a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night and no less. If you feel like you need to look over something the morning of the exam, the car or bus journey to school is a great chance to do that. 
 
Don't panic
Although the thought of it all is daunting, you've done all the hard work up until now and it will pay off in the exams. 
 
Just remember that if you're not sure of an answer – guess – chances are it might be right and it's a lot better than writing nothing at all.
 
Finally, good luck!
 
Photo: Pete/ Flickr