Expert Shares IMPORTANT Sanity Saving Tips for Students Sitting Exams

Top 10 tips for students sitting exams by expert Sally O'Reilly

Tomorrow morning teenagers will be sitting their Junior Cert and Leaving Cert exams across the country. Right now the books should be closed and they will be probably be hitting the hay soon and to get a good nights rest. So we've called in expert Sally O'Reilly to give us some last minute tips for students during their exams. Here's what she had to say...
10 sanity-saving exam tips:
  • Read the question (practice how here) you'll know you understand it if you can rephrase it.
  • Underline keywords.
  • Draw out a plan for your answer - scribble any names, dates, formulae you'll need immediately.
  • Think of the invigilator as a helper, not a disciplinarian. Their job is to assist you in doing your best.  
  • Think of the person assessing your paper as trying to help you get the best marks, not take them away from you. These people want you to do well. Help them to help you by being clear and simple.
  • Avoid the temptation to discuss the gory details of each paper afterwards, especially with the ones mentioned in that last piece.
  • Eat in between exams. Even if you're nervous and feel a little sick - eating will help.
  • If you feel a panic coming squeeze every muscle in your body including your face all the way to your toes. Hold tight for 3 seconds, and then flop everything. Place a hand on your tummy and take a deep breathe into it, past your chest, so your hand moves. Keep your shoulders low. Breathe until your breath has slowed to a speed in the gif below. Then do the squeeze again, hold for three, and flop.
  • Reread all your answers and make any changes or additions necessary.
  • Check that you have answered as many Qs as required in each section.
When you're done, pat yourself on the back knowing that you've just done one of the most difficult things in your life and that you've done your best.
Written by Sally O'Reilly - Counselling Psychologist and Psychotherapist at

Sally O'Reilly

Person, Psychologist, Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor with special interest in adolescence. Love all chocolate equally, hate all blue cheeses - equally.

Read more by Sally
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