With only five weeks to go until the Leaving Certificate exams, it’s natural for both parents and students to feel the pressure building. On a recent episode of 96fm’s The Opinion Line with PJ Coogan, Michelle Flynn, an educational expert from, shared valuable advice to help parents and students alike in the lead-up to the exams. The interview covers the roles of parents, alleviating stress, and creating an effective study plan and approach. You can listen to the full interview here and find the link in our Instagram stories.

  1. Parents’ Role:

Parents have a crucial role to play in supporting their children during the Leaving Certificate exams. Michelle Flynn suggests:

  • Encourage a balanced approach: Remind your child that while exams are important, they are not the be-all and end-all. Help them maintain a balanced lifestyle, including regular exercise, adequate sleep, and time for relaxation and hobbies.
  • Create a supportive environment: Ensure your child has a quiet, comfortable space to study at home. Offer encouragement and assistance where needed, but avoid pressuring them.
  • Discuss alternative options: Talk to your child about different paths they can take after their exams, such as further education, apprenticeships, or gap years. This can help alleviate some of the pressure they may feel.
  1. Alleviating Stress:

High stress levels can negatively impact students’ performance in exams. Here are some ways to help your child manage stress:

  • Encourage regular breaks: Taking breaks during study sessions can improve focus and productivity. Encourage your child to step away from their books for a short walk, snack, or chat with friends.
  • Teach stress-management techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, visualization, and mindfulness can help your child manage anxiety and stress.
  • Keep an open line of communication: Encourage your child to share their concerns and fears about the exams. Listen to them and offer reassurance when needed.
  1. Study Plan and Approach:

Creating a structured and realistic study plan can help your child make the most of the remaining weeks before the exams. Consider the following tips:

  • Prioritize subjects: Help your child identify their strengths and weaknesses, and allocate study time accordingly. Focus on subjects that need the most improvement while maintaining a balance across all subjects.
  • Use different study techniques: Encourage your child to experiment with various study methods, such as flashcards, mind maps, or teaching the material to someone else. This can help improve retention and understanding.
  • Practice past exam papers: Solving past exam papers under timed conditions can help your child become familiar with the exam format and boost their confidence.


As the Leaving Certificate exams draw closer, it’s essential for parents to support their children through this challenging time. By creating a supportive environment, helping them manage stress, and assisting with study plans and approaches, parents can make a significant difference in their child’s exam preparation journey. Don’t forget to listen to Michelle Flynn’s full interview on 96fm’s The Opinion Line here for more insights and advice.