When I was preparing for the LC (2015), I found this post from Fintan really helpful. While everything he said is still valid (and I would recommend reading it – I know I did many times!), I think a more recent version is in order.
I got 8 A1’s (HL) in the LC this year doing English, Irish, maths, French, biology, physics, chemistry and applied maths so I can offer advice in any of these, or equally if you’re just looking for general tips (how long to study, how to learn vocabulary, how to manage stress, etc.) I can give some. I also went to an Easter course for maths and had grinds in English if you want advice on extra classes. For now, I just have three things to say:
- In order to do well, you need a reason to study, and I mean a good reason that will last you the year. It’s a long few months, and nobody stays motivated because they’re scared of failing or because they’re trying to please their parents, for example. Knowing why you want to study and do your best can really take some of the pain out of studying.For me, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after school (and still don’t – gap year!), so I studied in order to have as many doors as possible still open to me when I left school.
Also, I really didn’t want to have to repeat (who does?), and I knew that if I worked as much as I could repeating would be pointless no matter what my results were. If you put in as much effort as you will ever be willing to the first time, then you can’t have regrets at the end.
- Like Fintan said, I think a study diary is essential. For me, this meant writing down what I studied each day and how many hours I did in total. It helps you keep track of your work, but it can also just be satisfying to get to write down what you have achieved – your work isn’t recognised properly until August so you may as well do it yourself!
- Take care of yourself. I know a lot of you will ignore this, but honestly if you need a day off just take it! We had a loss in the family and I took a whole week off school without thinking twice. I had mid-term right after the mocks, and I didn’t work at all for the week just to recover. This means that if you’re sick, stay in bed – you won’t study well when you’re sick, and there’s no point in studying just to have done something. When you’re relaxing, make sure you’re actually relaxing, not thinking about study. Of course, there will be some late nights with the books and stressful times but remember that your wellbeing is not only more important than the LC, but it is also essential if you want to succeed in the LC.
For some of you, what’s above will sound cliché, but so many people don’t keep track of their work, or they don’t study ‘enough’ because they lack self-motivation. What’s worse is when a student is motivated and organised with a study journal, but exhausts themselves and does worse because of it!
I have so many ideas for what to write here, but I think you’ve done enough reading! I can expand on anything above if you’re interested, and please do ask any questions you have about the LC – I would be delighted to help and will get back asap. I know I would have been too shy to post anything in fifth/sixth year, but seriously don’t hesitate.