When transitioning from 5th year to 6th year, the holidays can sometimes generate a bit of anxiety – how should I study, when should I start studying, will I get the grades I need to make it into my course…? This is completely natural and the fact that some of these questions pop into your mind shows that you are already becoming mentally primed for the big year. Yet, at the same time, there are numerous preparation strategies you can employ during the holidays to improve your performance and secure an amazing Leaving Certificate.

English subjects can be particularly stressful for many students, especially since they are compulsory. However, you can use the holidays to get ready for any and all essay topics by starting to read your texts early. 6th Year can be very busy and finding an appropriate amount of time to thoroughly go through your English texts may be difficult. Instead, if you read them now, not only will you have more time on your hands later in the year, but you will also have the opportunity to think about the themes and ideas discussed in the text. Consequently, when it comes to writing essays, you will already be familiar with the topics and be comfortable discussing them too. In fact, some students even find it useful to re-read the texts once the school year begins to consolidate the major aspects as well as to refresh their quote banks.

Additionally, maths and science skills can also be enhanced during the holidays. Many students struggle getting ahead in such subjects during school break because these disciplines require concepts to be taught by educators. However, in the holidays, it might be useful to review 5th year content as many of the concepts discussed in 6th year build on prior knowledge. Hence, reviewing derivatives, gas laws or probability formulas may aid in grasping new topics more firmly and quickly during 6th year.

Humanities-related subjects can be very difficult to prepare for simply due to their vast nature and complicated interactions. Yet, by involving yourself in real-life examples around the world, you can improve your understanding and perception of the subject. For example, students studying global politics may entertain themselves by looking at Donald Trump’s diplomacy; business management students might read about Apple’s battery replacement compensation to customers; law students may consider delving into the processes that took place for legalisation of voluntary euthanasia; linguistics students can explore the new lexicon described by Oxford Dictionary’s “Words of 2017”. Having real-life examples that illustrate the lessons taught within the classroom can reinforce key ideas and improve comprehension, helping you better prepare for your exams.

Moreover, preparation for 6th year does not necessarily have to involve subject-based studying. You can simply use the time to get organised and build a home environment that will keep you focussed for the year. Grab exciting stationery, re-decorate your study, buy a new desk and personalise it as you wish – construct an atmosphere that enhances your concentration and helps you study.

However, most importantly, as clichéd as it may sound, having an enjoyable and relaxed break should be top priority. There is nothing worse than walking into your first 6th year class feeling stressed, fatigued and drained. So, grab all the sleep and energy you need now, because there is an incredible year coming ahead and you would not want to miss a beat.

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