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If you are reading this blog, you are just about to embark on the journey of the Senior cycle. 5th year represents an excellent opportunity to get set up for the final year. Many of you will have completed TY and will be nervous about getting back into study mode but don’t panic! Within 3 weeks you will be back on track. There are three things that you want to pay attention to this year:

  1. SUBJECT CHOICE: Now is the time to pay attention to and get a feel for the subjects you have chosen. If a particular subject just doesn’t sit well with you or perhaps appears to be too difficult – now is the time to seek a change. It is essential to get the mix of subjects right!
  2. CAREER OF CHOICE: Next year you will be under pressure to make applications for colleges etc. You really want to use this year wisely to investigate careers of choice for you. To get you started we at The Students Coach advise the following:

2.1       Ask yourself a few questions e.g: What job would I love if I choose any career? What job(s) would I hate to do? What environment can I imagine myself working in? What are my strengths? What key elements would form part of my ideal job?

2.2       Use a recommended career inventory test – good tests don’t have to cost much – most schools will have recommended inventory tests available to students. Ask your guidance counsellor. If not, check out our website for a cost-effective solution on offer: careerclub.ie/careerclub

2.3       Book an appointment with your guidance counsellor – it is important to discuss any ideas with a good guidance counsellor who will help you to get focused on your strengths, values, passions etc and relate this information to possible careers.

2.4       To further clarify career/s of interest you really should get some experience e.g. You can shadow a student or professional, interview a professional or attend summer schools in the courses of interest. Colleges have taster days available on particular courses. 5th year is also an ideal time to visit colleges and get a feel for them. Avoid open days and visit them on a typical college day. Some colleges will even make a professional available to talk to you, if you contact them beforehand. Our career club team provide, assistance with all of this.

  1. MANAGING SUBJECTS – Most of you will be starting with 7 subjects, and many of these will be at higher level. Over the next two years you will accumulate a lot of information, notes, hand-outs etc. Here are some key points to get you started:
  • GET ORGANISED: Set up a desk and area to work for the next two years. Get yourself a box for each subject so that all information relating to that subject is stored in the one area.
  • SUMMARISE: The volume of information is immense across seven subjects. Form a habit of summarising each segment or topic as it is discussed in class. Write clear summaries and keep them in a file – clearly labelled. They will be a life saver by the time the Leaving Certificate exam comes around.
  • PAST PAPER QUESTIONS (ppq) : It is never too early to start practising ppq. In fact, we often find students start the practise of past paper questions too late in the day. For most subjects, you should practise ppq after each topic – it will make the difference in getting an excellent grade versus a mediocre grade. Studyclix is an excellent tool.

At the students coach we have developed a one-stop-shop to provide a comprehensive support programme for all senior cycle students guidance and study needs. Check out our Career Club where you are fully supported, guided, informed and advised though-out the 2 senior cycle years, until you are started in college or otherwise.

Good luck with the year ahead!

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