Choosing the right subjects for the Leaving Cert now will take much of the stress out of the next two years.
In the next few weeks you will have to decide what subjects you want study for Leaving Cert. You may be 100% confident in what you’re going to do or might not know what you will do at all. If you are the latter then you’re probably very worried and stressed. Below you will find 6 tips to help you with picking subjects for Leaving Cert.
Tip No.1: Get Focused
Soon you will be picking your Leaving Cert subject that you will study for the next two years. If you’re doing the Junior Cert you may be preoccupied with your studies and feel the Leaving Cert is a long way away and if you’re in Transition Year you might be in “relax mode”. It’s easy to overlook the importance of choosing the right subject for Leaving Cert at this supposedly early stage but you need to remember that the decisions you make now will influence the next two years and beyond.
Tip No.2: Make Smart Decisions
By choosing a subject you’re not good at you will one, not understand the ideas that are thought in the class while other students will get it more easily, two, not only will you have to sit in that subject for two years but you’ll also have to dedicate hours upon hours of your time studying it and three, you may be limiting your options available to you after the Leaving Cert. Imagine studying a subject for two years and then realising you can’t choose your desired course because you don’t have the right subject requirements.
Tip No.3: Get the Right Mix
The Leaving Cert will be tough, stressful, intense and overwhelming. Choosing subjects is the biggest influence of the journey and it should be treated as such. Subject choice should become your priority right now and getting the right mix of subjects will affect your schooling both for the remainder of secondary school and for Third Level but also for your future job.
Tip No.4: Share the Tough Decisions
There are people assigned to help you with this decision. Don’t think you have to make it alone. Guidance counselors, teachers, students, and even your parents can all provide valuable help with your decision. Talk to them about what a subject involves, how it’s taught, how much learning off is involved, how practical it is etc. Make sure you don’t leave talking to someone til late.
Tip No.5: Avoid the Common Pitfalls
Pick subjects that will maximise your points and ensure that you achieve grades which reflect your full potential.
Avoid the common pitfalls when choosing subjects, for example:
Don’t just do a subject because your brother or sister did well in it.
Don’t just do a subject because you like the teacher.
Don’t just do a subject because your friends are going to do it.
Tip No.6: Check the Course Requirements
Research! Research! Research! If you have an idea about what course you want to do in college or even a vague idea it is of the utmost importance to know what you need or what subjects would be useful for you to do the course. We recommend Careers Portal to research college courses but it’s also a good idea to contact teachers who teach the course and students who have studied or are studying the course. A good way to get in contact with them is by going to open days. Your school’s guidance counselor should have dates for college open days but we have also listed them for you here: College Open Days
We hope these tips you will help you in the coming weeks. Best of luck in the future!
The Irish Times – Exam Times November 13, 2014