Dr Eddie’s advice for Leaving Cert students who got their results this week

The Leaving Cert results are out tomorrow, Wednesday August 13. Many students will get their required points, but some won’t. The key is to keep the exam in perspective.

The Leaving Cert results are out tomorrow, Wednesday August 13. Many students will get their required points, but some won’t. The key is to keep the exam in perspective.

There is an overemphasis on the Irish Leaving Cert. No person is defined by their results. It does not test for integrity, respect, honesty, passion, humanity, caring, flexibility, critical thinking, problem solving, emotional intelligence or teamwork.

The academic path is not the path for all. Resist comparing point scoring and identify that there are many different paths for all.

• If you have received the results you hoped for, congratulations. Be proud of yourself and the hard work you have put in. However the wait still remains to see if you’re offered your preferred choice on the CAO. Try and remain calm and not speculate too much. Don’t get your hopes up as points tend to change yearly depending on demand.

• There will be some who are bitterly disappointed. Do not let this dominate your thoughts. Try not to worry too much, the CAO offers will be out in a week or so and you might be subject to some offers.

• If you are not offered your first CAO choice, you need to be flexible and look at other options. Do not make any definite decisions as there will be two more rounds of offers to come. Every year, particularly after the first round offers, vacant places are advertised. These are courses that have not been filled by earlier applicants to the CAO system. However, keep asking yourself is this course really for me? You don’t want to be stuck doing something you hate for the next four years.

• If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of receiving no offers do not stress, there are plenty of other options to consider. There has never been so many positive alternatives. Talk to someone who has some experience with such predicaments, such as your school principal or career guidance teacher.

• Result appeal- If you feel that the results you received do not reflect your work, you can arrange a viewing of the script, usually with your teacher and then an appeal. Talk to your school about how to do this.

• You might want to consider post leaving cert courses. PLC courses offer a mixture of practical work, academic work and work experience over a wide range of disciplines.

• Furthermore there will be new courses advertised by individual colleges and Institutes, generally throughout August and September. These courses were not sanctioned in time to go into the Official CAO system, so therefore a student applies directly to the institution. The sorrow and the panic of not having a place in college – when all your other friends have, can be very lonely, but it can also be very dangerous. Think wisely about all the courses you are considering.

• When all other options have been explored maybe the last option for you to consider is the repeating of the Leaving Cert. The thoughts of repeating might be a daunting prospect, but it will be worth it come this time next year.

But in order to be successful you must be aware of where you have gone wrong. This is really invaluable, so viewing your scripts can be quite helpful in these situations. Try and focus from the beginning of the year. Students who have a clear vision of what they want tend to be very motivated and make for successful repeat students.

Got questions about your results, the points you require or what to do next? The National Parents Council Post Primary run a helpline every year for students, parents and advisors. The Helpline is 1800 265 165.

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