Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 26 November, 2020

The 9 worst things about the Leaving Cert

Easy to say it doesn’t matter when you have already sat it.

THE LEAVING CERTIFICATE started today and all over the country thousands of students have bitten off the last of their fingernails and are wondering if all the schooling they attended was worth it. It probably wasn’t but anyway.

We sympathize with you and so we’ve put together a list of the worst things about doing the Leaving Cert (sorry Junior Certers, your time will come eventually).

Here’s what we came up with.

1. The weather

The weather is always glorious during the Leaving Cert (except for the day you finish obviously). While everyone is having cans by the canal and suffering 3rd degree burns because they forgot suncream, you’re stuck inside learning trigonometry and trying to remember what your last choice was on the CAO. We commend your sacrifice.

2. The timetable

We know that we’re supposed to sit at least 6 exams and some of these have 2 parts but by god the timetable takes forever. Good luck if you study religion or music because you’ll be there until the very end my friend. At least you’ve extra time to study?

Source: GIPHY

3. The unsolicited advice

It’s amazing how many people are suddenly you offering advice. They’re only trying to help you of course but sometimes you just want to be left alone. No mam just putting any answer into the biology paper won’t get me attempt marks. No dad I can’t just make the maths up. It’s a nightmare.

4. People telling you ‘it doesn’t matter’

Any of us who have sat the Leaving Cert and come out the other side know that a lot of the time it has very little influence on what we end up doing. But at the time, it’s put to you as the biggest exam of your life and tt matters to you a lot. Telling someone it doesn’t matter isn’t helpful. Just give them a cup of tea and leave them be.

5. The Irish aural

Nothing strikes fear (and laughter) into the heart of a Leaving Cert than the Donegal Irish part of the aural. Just breath and remember that attempt marks DO count in the Irish aural. Stick a fada in there somewhere and it’ll be grand.

6. The melt behind you who somehow has a cold in summer

Listen there’s always someone who annoys you in the exam hall. The guy behind you who won’t stop snuffling because of his hay fever. The girl who breathes really loudly when you’re trying to remember that precise quote from Shakespeare to hammer home your half baked point about imagery. My examiner wore heels on the first day and fell over. Just breathe.

7. The nightmares

The nightmares that you get about waking up late for an exam or turning up naked to an exam or getting into an exam and forgetting everything, they’re not specific to the Leaving Cert. They’ll be with you forever.

8. The analysis after each exam

There’s nothing worse than comparing answers after each exam. ‘Did you get 67 for number 3?’ ‘No I got 435′. ‘Well I got 4′. Listen lads, either you’re all wrong or one of you is right. Either way, you’ll never know unless you choose to look at your paper at the end. Try not to think about it.

9. The system in general

Let’s be real here, a system that’s essentially a large memory test and encourages you to rote learn then actually understand the material is probably not the best measure of your intelligence. The entire system needs overhaul but remember if you fail something, it’s ok. You can always repeat or come back as a mature student or do a PLC.

Good luck everyone!

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About the author:

Rachel O'Neill

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