Students begin Leaving Cert exams today

More than 120,000 students will begin their State exams this morning.

Nearly 57,000 Leaving Cert students face English Paper 1 this morning. Around 62,000 Junior Cert students face the English and CSPE exam.

It is the first exam under the new junior cycle English programme, where the paper accounts for 90% of the grade.

Education Minister Richard Bruton wished the students luck this morning, and had this advice.

"People have to regard is as a marathon, not as a sprint," he said.

"It's over a long number of days and it's very important to try and stay fresh through that period.

"You can often spend too much time regretting the answer that you should have given in the paper that's gone, where people really should take the opportunity to be cool going into their exams.

"Be very careful to read the questions that are asked, so that you answer the actual question asked."

Meanwhile, any student who feels overwhelmed by anxiety about their exams is being encouraged to call Childline.

The 24-hour phone line is available by phoning 1800 66 66 66 or by texting the word 'talk' to 50101.

Interim chief executive of the ISPCC, Caroline O'Sullivan, wants students to ask for support if they need it.

The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon wished all students beginning exams this morning the very best of luck.

In a statement, he says "all anyone can do is their very best".

KEYWORDS: Leaving Cert


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