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So, the Leaving Cert starts today ...

(249 Posts)
Maryz Wed 04-Jun-14 08:52:32

Any other Irish parents having a nervous breakdown?

I swear this is worse than when I did it myself.

Maryz Wed 04-Jun-14 09:10:35

So just me then.

I will go and open the Valium chocolate grin

Irishmammybread Wed 04-Jun-14 09:58:51

I'm an Irish auntie with a niece doing the Leaving Cert, does that count? I'll share some chocolate with you!

Vintagecakeisstillnice Wed 04-Jun-14 10:05:00

God love them.

I still get 'The Fear' when I remember back.

We had a mass said for the class the night before which we all had to attend. I still remember the priest saying ' just remember there is life after the Leaving Cert' and thinking no there bloody isn't …

DramaAlpaca Wed 04-Jun-14 15:29:47

Found you!

I could do with a bit of support here. DS2 has had a very tough time with depression over the last year or so & couldn't sit his Leaving last year. The stress for both of us building up to this year has been horrendous.

I feel like shouting from the roof tops how proud I am of him today. He managed to go in & sit his first paper, and despite severe nerves it went well.

Roll on next Wednesday, when he's all finished & we can both relax.

Maryz Wed 04-Jun-14 15:32:57

Good for him, Alpaca.

He is finishing early. Loads of dd's friends are doing odd subjects like Music and Applied Maths so she won't have anyone to go drinking with celebrate with.

Though I'm in Dublin, and there seems to be an entire week of celebrations planned in various nightclubs the week after next.

YesIcan Wed 04-Jun-14 15:36:35

Still at the baby stage here, but 'I remember it well'.

DramaAlpaca Wed 04-Jun-14 15:40:12

DS1 had one subject that was a whole week after everything else was finished. I think he managed to sneak in some celebrating in between.

I'm very glad for DS2 that it'll all be over quickly. Then he has to think about his CAO form before the change of mind closes on 1st July. He doesn't want to finalise it until he has a feel for how the Leaving has gone.

Maryz Wed 04-Jun-14 15:43:07

Oh, don't mention that fucking CAO form.

I reckon dd has spent nearly as much time on it as she has on some of her subjects.

Try not to let him panic and change it too much. Yes put in one or two "if all else fails" choices, but too many of them panic, remove all the things they really want and replace them with courses they think they might get, which is a disaster. They often do better than they think they have - and if it's a shitty exam, then sometimes they can do ok because it's shitty for everyone iyswim.

It's something for you to look forward to Yes along with teenage hormones

DramaAlpaca Wed 04-Jun-14 15:54:13

The thing is, he's only put one thing down on the CAO & it's a course he doesn't want to do it at all. So he needs to start from scratch. His way of coping has been to focus on just one thing, the LC itself, and then do the CAO when that is over. Less stressful for him.

YesIcan Wed 04-Jun-14 15:57:06

Mine are (almost) 4 and (almost ) 2. My brother with teenager s says it easy to get them to finish dinner compared to getting them to study. I have 2 boys. Are girls harder to rear?

Maryz Wed 04-Jun-14 16:00:48

I've done a lot of looking at (relatively) low point courses in random places (in anticipation of ds2 [sigh]), so if you want to pm me what he's interested in I might be able to help.

Just make sure he has a variety down - there can be as much as 150 points between what an individual child might get if luck goes there way and if it doesn't - dd, for example, is predicted to get between a C3 and a B1 in each of six subjects - that gives her between 330 and 480 ffs, depending on things like what poet comes up, whether there is a particularly tough compulsory question in HE etc.

It's a crazy system.

Maryz Wed 04-Jun-14 16:01:36

Yes, they can all be awful. In my experience the girls tend to be a little more polite about being awful grin

pilates Wed 04-Jun-14 16:02:58

Sorry to be thick, but what is a Leaving Cert?

Maryz Wed 04-Jun-14 16:07:46

It's the Irish equivalent of A-levels and it's the most horrific exam imaginible.

dd, for example, has 14 years of school work examined via eleven 3 or 3 1/2 hour exams in eight subjects over 7 school days.

Her entire future lies on the results - when you apply for university here it's only academic results that count: there are no personal statements, no interviews, no aptitude tests, no references, no individuality at all.

They all have to study English, Irish, Maths, a European language, and at least two other subjects; most have to do 7 or 8 subjects in total if the compulsory ones aren't their strengths.

If they don't do well enough, they can't repeat individual subjects, they have to do the entire year and every exam again.

It's an archaic system (and nail-bitingly awful for parents who can only sit and watch).

pilates Wed 04-Jun-14 16:16:07

Wow learnt something new today - thanks.

Sounds very harsh sad

middlings Wed 04-Jun-14 16:16:47

I've just come out in a rash. It was 19 bloody years ago and you've just made me come out in a rash just thinking about it!!

I was one of the ones who didn't finish until the 22nd June! I had every single paper from Wednesday til the following Tuesday and then nothing until Latin 10 days later. 'twas hell.

What's really amazing Maryz is that nothing has been done to update the process in all that time. Crazy stuff.

Although for some courses there are interviews remember - NCAD always had interviews and portfolios. As does DLIADT and some of the courses at TCD. That's just a few out of hundreds though.

Good luck to your DD - mad few days.

HappyMedium Wed 04-Jun-14 16:19:40

Good luck to all doing the Leaving was me 15 years ago. could I really be that old?

DramaAlpaca Wed 04-Jun-14 16:21:44

It's a ridiculous system, isn't it? With the UK system, if you have an offer from a university you know exactly what you need to get in your A levels to secure your place. Here it all depends on what everyone else gets. Madness. And very stressful.

Thanks for the offer of help, Maryz. I'll let him get through the next week first & see where he is then. He'll hopefully be able to think it through with a clearer head once the exams are over. I will definitely encourage him to put down courses with a wide points range so at least he gets something.

middlings Wed 04-Jun-14 16:34:00

That's the killer DramaAlpaca. I have a cousin who's 5 years younger than me. He really wanted to do the same degree I did and his points should have sailed him into it. We were all gutted a few days later when the first round came out and we realised he hadn't a hope that year. The real craziness is that I got a 2:1 in my degree and my best friend got a 1st - neither of us would get into our degree course now on the basis of our points and wouldn't have had for a long time. It's nuts.

I'm in the UK now, and while I don't like the narrowness of the UK system at an early age (your GCSE choices at 14 seem to go a long way to dictating A level choices), the university entry system is certainly better.

Good luck to your DS - is Fish Farming in Letterkenny still everyone's fall back??

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 04-Jun-14 16:42:37

Ah sod - should never have opened this thread. Now I'll have the Fear dream again where I realise that the exam is tomorrow and I haven't studied a thing.

Did the LC in 1992 and again in '93. A lifetime ago now! I repeated but ditched all the compulsory subjects that I wasn't doing Honours in. You can count them for your basic requirements for uni, just not for entry points. I think I did 2 or 3 new subjects the second time around. Best thing I ever did though in the UK people just think WTF? and look at you like you are a complete moron when you say you repeated so I don't mention it much. I've never heard of anyone repeating A levels here unless they were ill / on drugs and only then on MN.

A wide points range is only useful if you'll actually study the course though. I've got two siblings who dropped out of courses because they had no actual idea what the course contained when they applied. My brother was studying a technical architecture course of some sort which involved just tons of maths (which he is crap at) when it came to the studying. It's fair to say he's doing something a million miles away from it now grin

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 04-Jun-14 16:43:01

On the upside, is the weather blindingly hot there yet?

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 04-Jun-14 16:43:54

Ah - the fish farming. I know someone who actually did that course. He works in sales in Barcelona now grin

Mrsjayy Wed 04-Jun-14 17:05:38

Being scottish not irish not a clue what you are talking about I am assuming its an exam for leaving school I hope your child does ok deep breaths and chocolate

BallyGoBackwards Wed 04-Jun-14 17:19:15

I have a niece doing the Leaving and 2 nephews doing the Junior Cert.

Mind you I think I did my leaving at the worst time ever!!! 1990 - Italia 90 - World Cup. The whole country was on a major session for the whole month!!!

Good luck to all. MaryZ, I will look you up in 5 years when my DS will need help with low point courses hmm

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