Tension is in the air for more than 4000 families across Meath this week as the State examinations get underway tomorrow.
Some 4,466 Meath students will sit the Leaving Certificate and Junior Certificate examinations in 19 schools around the county, joining the 118,673 candidates who will take their seats in 4,962 examination centres countywide this week.
A total of 2068 students will sit their Leaving Certificate in Meath and of those 99 will be taking the Leaving Certificate Applied exam.
Among those doing the Leaving in Meath are 9288 girls and 1041boys, while 54 girls and 45 boys are taking the Applied examination.
Some 2,398 students will sit the Junior Certificate in Meath, 1,171 of whom are girls and 1,227 boys.
Since the weekend, over 4,962 superintendents involved in supervising the written examinations have taken possession of the boxes containing the three million examination papers that are required by candidates over the 13 day examination period.
The examinations run until Thursday 19th June for Junior Certificate subjects and Friday 20st June for Leaving Certificate subjects. The written examinations in the Leaving Certificate Applied programme finish on Thursday 12th June. The results of the Leaving Certificate examinations will be available on Wednesday, 13th August 2014. Results of the Junior Certificate will be available in mid-September 2014.
Meanwhile St Patrick’s Mental Health Services says that parents play a vital role in keeping anxiety to a minimum during exam times.
Leaving Cert anxiety can be a whole pile of worries wrapped up into and channelled through this one event.
Colman Noctor, Adolescent Psychotherapist advises that at this stage there is little value in going over what the young person could have done or discussing the option to repeat. Acknowledge and focus on the work that has been done and provide reassurance
Be careful to get the balance right between acknowledging the momentous occasion that these exams are for the young person without getting caught up in the hysteria or histrionics. Admit that it’s a big deal but one that you believe that they are able for.
Reassure the young person at this stage that the work they have done will emerge on the day. Some people will enter panic mode where the belief that all of the things they have learned have vanished from their memory. The more relaxed they are the better the chance they have to remember so try and emit an atmosphere of calmness and belief with a twist of empathy and understanding.
Remind the Young Person that after tomorrow evening anxiety will reduce. Once the first one is over the natural familiarity with the process will serve to reduce the panic levels for the remainder of the exams.