Just a few words to wish the students beginning the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate Exams tomorrow, Wednesday June 6th, every blessing and good luck. For those outside of Ireland, the Junior Cert. is taken at the mid-point in secondary school (students are about 15 years old) The Leaving Cert is taken prior to leaving formal second-level education. (18 years old) For most students, the Leaving Cert is a launch-pad into third level education and eventual employment.
It is a scary time for students in that this exam has been on the horizon all through their lives in second level education. Each year that passes, there is increasing pressure on students to perform well, more when the exams come round than during the lead-up. Before the distractions of mobile phones, Facebook, and Twitter, I did my Leaving Cert twenty-five years ago this year. I remember sitting staring at some of the exam papers (especially mathematics) and literally having no idea what to do next. Yet, I've sat many exams since then and I've never felt anything like I felt when I was just 18. For sure, the most stressful exam I ever did wasn't the Leaving Cert but the driving test!
So, the candle will be lighting in our church for all those sitting the Junior and Leaving Cert tomorrow morning. I believe English Paper I is still first on the menu after all these years.
Prayers and blessings to you all...