Timing and knowing your timetable for your exams is extremely important! In fact, having your timing skills on point can even give you a benefit over other students, we’ll look into the benefits and techniques of exam timing in just a moment.

I just want to briefly mention what happens if you don’t get your desired grades. As many people already know, it is possible to resit your leaving cert. You can take one or all your subjects again in what is known as your ‘repeat Leaving Cert’.

We will look into this more later in the article.

“Pace, rhythm and timing. Pace, rhythm and timing is what it's about. The content's got to be great, but then it's got to be delivered. It's a tricky thing to do, and it takes a lot of work.”

Ron White

the importance of timing
Making sure you allocate each question time means that you won't leave out anything completely - Photo by Analia Baggiano on Unsplash
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Leaving Cert Maths - The Importance of Good Time Management Skills

When it comes to the Leaving Cert Exams, timing really is everything. Having a time management plan in place for your Maths Exam can benefit you in so many ways. Allocating each question a specific amount of time means that you can’t get stuck on a difficult question instead you can complete your exam and come back to it with the extra time you’ve allocated yourself for revision of your answers.

Timing is so important in this exam, if you end up running out of time and leaving out multiple questions, it can really take points off your entire grade for Maths. This is why it is so vital that at least attempt every single question. Why? It’s simple, the Project Maths Syllabus is largely focused on the student's comprehension of the problem, this means the most important thing to the examiner is that they can see you understand what is being asked of you. Of course, finishing the question with the correct answer will get you full marks, but, if we look at the bigger picture, it’s better to move on if you’re struggling with a question, that way you won't lose the valuable points you will earn by attempting everything on the paper instead of leaving some questions blank.

maths lc exam
Sometimes, the best way to time something in advance is to do trial runs, with the leaving cert maths papers this is definitely a good idea - Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

How do I Know How Much Time to Allocate to Each Question in the Leaving Cert Maths Exam?

The best place to start when preparing for your Leaving Cert Maths exam papers is to check out the time allocated on past papers and find out when they take place.

The maths exams are almost always in the first week of the leaving cert exams. Usually, the exam starts on Wednesday your maths paper 1 may be on Friday in the afternoon and paper 2 is usually on the Monday morning that follows. And each year and may differ slightly especially in times like now where the pandemic is changing the academic year completely. However, for the longest time, this has been the typical timetable regarding leaving cert maths.

For both papers 1 and 2 in the exam, there are 9 questions, 6 short and 3 long. You will be given 2 hours and 30minutes to answer all questions. My advice, divide up your time so that you don't get stuck on a question and you have time to go back over them at the end.

Timing for the exam
Preparation and practice for timing your leaving cert maths exams will really benefit you on the day - Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash.

My suggested breakdown is as follows:

  • 6 short questions x 12 mins each
  • 3 long questions x 20 mins each

This breakdown means that you will have a total of 18 minutes leftover, these 18 minutes can be crucial, especially if you'd had to move on from my question earlier or if you want to double-check your answers. Even though in most cases there is a clock in the exam hall I would recommend bringing in your own wristwatch.

Having your own watch on the desk or on your arm means that you can more easily track of the time without always having to take a break to look up at the clock. This means that when your 12 or 20 minutes are up for the question, even if you have not completed the question that you can move on to the rest, and gain the valuable marks that you will be granted for attempting every question on the paper. Of course, this is also why it is important to ensure that you have extra time in the end, hopefully, you will only need to go over the paper at the end but if there was any on completing questions you have this time to go back and attempt to finish them.

What Happens if I Do Not Pass The Leaving Cert Maths Exam?

As mentioned earlier in this article, if you don’t get your desired grades, it is possible to resit your leaving cert. You can take one or all your subjects again in what is known as your ‘repeat Leaving Cert’. Deciding to repeat your Leaving Cert is not a decision to be made lightly, and for some people, it may seem like the worst thing ever, whereas for others it might feel like an opportunity to show you can do better and achieve your goals.

Whatever happens, you mustn’t decide to repeat until you get your Leaving Certificate results, sometimes people panic after exams before they even know how they did, it's better to wait until you have your results, don't be hasty after all, there’s nothing you can do until August.

If when you get your results, if you decide you need to repeat your Leaving Cert, the good news is that there is no need to retake the subjects you passed for college enrolment during your first set exams. The even better news is that It is possible just to take one subject in the Leaving Certificate. For example, if a student is quite happy with their points but failed to get the necessary grade in a particular subject required for entry to a particular course, then you may repeat just that subject.

However, it is also important that you remember that what you repeat depends on your reasons for repeating. Some students repeat because they wish to increase their overall points. So obviously, when students are repeating for the purpose of improving their points, they need to only repeat subjects in which they have not achieved satisfactory results.

The average student to repeat the leaving cert takes on somewhere between two and six subjects, some even take on subjects they didn't do before. Making the decision of what to repeat isn't something you have to do alone usually, the teachers in charge of a "repeat" class will give advice on the subjects and help you decide how many subjects you need to repeat.

repeat maths lc
Whatever your reason for repeating, once you go into the academic year focused and work hard, you should better your previous results - Image by Anastasia Gepp from Pixabay

Where Can I Repeat Leaving Cert Maths?

A lot of the time students have a choice of locations. Usually, a secondary school in an area has a dedicated repeat Leaving Cert class. There are also a number of Further Education colleges, which offer repeat leaving cert classes.

Depending on where you live in the country you might have three possible options:

  • Go back to your old school,
  • Go to a new school.
  • Go to a Further Education College and participate in a Repeat Leaving Certificate course.

There is no option better than the other, only whatever feels right to you, whether it's the comfort of resiting exams in a school you already know or a change of scenery to renew your focus, if you choose to repeat once you work hard you will achieve improved results.

For more help and guidance when it comes to Leaving Cert Maths, visit the following articles:

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Maureen

Hey, I'm Maur/Mo, I'm a writer from Ireland. I've written a novel and a lot of poetry and fiction. Currently, I work as a content writer at superprof