Advice for parents of stressed out leaving certs 2021

In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a parent who is stressed about her daughter who is sitting the Leaving Cert this year. She is concerned about the points going up and that her daughter needs to make a 90 point jump from her 5th year results to get her dream course. Her daughter is concerned that her project work might not count and that she lost too much time from 5th year. She is stressed about the pandemic and whether the Leaving Cert will actually go ahead. She is also concerned whether the points will go up and whether the schools will lock down again.


Dear Rayse The Game,

I am writing to you because I am stressed about my daughter. She is a 6th year student doing her Leaving Cert this year but she is really worried about what is going to happen this year. 

She had been thinking about doing midwifery but this year the points went up by 80 points to 480. Based off her 5th year results she is in or around 390 points. Do you think it is possible to go up by 90+ points? 

She has already missed a lot of school and I feel like I am seriously behind. She also has a lot of project work to do before Christmas and she is worried that orals could be cancelled like last year. 

She also said there is a negative atmosphere in school and some teachers have said they won’t get the course finished if there is another lockdown. She needs some advice because right now she is finding it overwhelming and I am at a loss of what to say and how to support her. Any advice would be great.

Your Sincerely,



Dear Parent,

Firstly you can’t control the virus. You can’t control what is going to happen with the leaving cert this year. And you cannot control the points system. What you can control is you. So right now you have a choice. And what you can choose is how you are going to play the game this year. 

As a parent it is highly important that you try to be optimistic and also to teach your children adaptability. 

Leaving Cert 2020 was obviously a highly unusual situation. Covid is here and we have to learn to live with it. My bet is that the exams will happen next year because they will have the benefit of the experience this year. We are in the middle of a pandemic but I am every effort will be made to hold practical work, orals and the state exams.

If the teachers are prepping you for another lockdown then you have to be ready for this. In other words you have to be prepared to work from home a lot more. This is why having a good study area with a good desk in a quiet space is crucial.  

So my advice is to assume everything will happen as it should. Get your practical work done. Work on the orals happening. And pace yourself for a June exam.

With respect to points, if you are asking me if it possible to increase by 90 to 100 points, this is achievable. I have had students go through my programmes who have increased their points by 100 to 200 points. It’s a question of mindset, method and putting in the work. 

The other thing is to forget last year. If you constantly feel you are behind you will feel stressed. The good news is everybody is in the same boat. For Leaving Cert students you need roughly 90 to 100 HOT topics or chapters for the exams. In other words you narrow down each subject to 12 to 15 hot topics that you think has the next chance coming up. Start with your favourite subject and smash out 5 topics in one week. Do another 2 or 3 over the weekend and you have half the course done.  

Right now it’s about getting into the game and then Upping your game. If teachers ask you for work, then get it in as teachers may have an input into this years exams again. We don’t know what is going to happen so get your work in when asked.  One thing last year proved is the student who keeps working as they go will do better than the student who leaves it to the last minute. 

There is no doubt we are in very different times. But the good thing about having a set of exams to focus on this year, is that it actually gives you something to focus on rather than all the negative news right now.

October 8, 2020

You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *