Leaving Cert 2021 is looking like Leaving Cert 2020 PART 2. Last year I had someone doing the Leaving Cert, so I understand the frustration being felt by parents and students right now.


As I write an Taoiseach, Micheál Martin has stated that his preferred option for Leaving Cert 2021 is a combination of a written Leaving Cert exam and calculated grades. I’m almost afraid to commit those words to paper as this may no longer be the case. Such is the uncertainty surrounding the state exams as we head towards our second Easter in lockdown.

In the stock markets, uncertainty causes volatility. Stockbrokers like to be sure about things – even bad news can reduce volatility. Uncertainty causes stress and anxiety in humans so we need to create some certainty around the Leaving Cert.

Free Pass?

Firstly, it is certain that there is not going to be a free pass and there is going to be an assessment at the end of the summer term. It will either be calculated grades, a written exam or a combination of both. Therefore, prepare for a traditional Leaving Cert type written exam (the preferred choice of the teacher’s unions). Attend all of the online classes and make your revision notes as you go.

Teachers have increased the number of in-class tests and this will count towards your calculated grades. Having more class tests means that you are also revising more. If an exam hasn’t gone as well as you would have liked, that’s fine. Use the corrections as feedback and go back over the subject matter.

Ready for Leaving Cert 2021?

It’s ok if the course isn’t finished yet – this is February, you’re not supposed to be Leaving Cert 2021 exam ready right now. There is plenty of time between now and the end of the school year. Plenty of time to learn new information and plenty of time to revise what has already been done. There is time to improve on your grades, and the department has said that more choice will be made available in the exam questions to allow for the disruptions to classes.  Accommodations are being made for practical exams.

It is good to remember that the Dept of Education is not a soulless entity. It is made up of people with daughters, sons, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbours, and friends who are sitting the Leaving Cert. They want to do best for everyone in a way that is equitable to all. Will they find the perfect solution that works for everyone? No, they will not. It is not possible to please everyone, but they have learned from mistakes made in 2020.

Written exams will probably be dependent on Covid restrictions being lifted, and so uncertainty around them will continue until if/when they are cancelled.  So, take control and study as if it were 2019. Assume that a traditional exam is happening and be prepared for it. That way you are going to do well in the classroom tests/assessments that count towards calculated grades, AND the formal written state exams.

Do a Boris -Take Back Control

In uncertain times, you can take control of those things that are within your power to do so. You can’t control the Department’s decisions, union’s reactions, your classes online or the tests your teacher sets. Attending classes, active listening, completing assignments and homework, study, and revision are all things that you have absolute control over. Take back your powers of control and focus on doing the best that you can.

For more information on our Study Success Program contact Elaine on 087 2996054

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