A big problem with students who wish to do well in their exams is that they simply don’t know how much they have to know!
It’s a perfectly understandable complaint, and hopefully this will help.
Remember that for each chapter you will have to know:
- All definitions (see the notes I hand out in class)
- All experiments (whether mandatory or not)
- All maths problems (see separate guide to answering maths problems).
- Graph questions (see separate guide to answering graph questions).
- Any other theory
Get your friend/Mom/Dad/brother/sister to ask you the exam questions from the questions at the end of each chapter in my notes – all the solutions are there to check with.
When revising the Experiment questions don’t waste time writing them out fully. Sketch a quick diagram labelling all the main parts, and then write down one or two sentences summarising what you did.
You can go into more detail in the exam itself – this is just to check whether or not you can remember the experiment.
Get into the habit of marking/highlighting what you don’t understand, and then either ask a friend to explain it to you, or ask me.
Make sure you don’t leave it and hope that it won’t come up in the exam!
Most students who get A-grades in the Leaving Cert do this a lot. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence!
Try to revise one chapter of science per night.
BTW, this took time to put together so don’t be afraid to say thank you; you would be surprised how much a few small words could be appreciated (by all teachers, not just me!).
Here’s how to get 35% of your Junior Cert Science mark without having to learn any Science:
- Get the first 10% by having your lab book written up – it’s automatic and doesn’t necessarily mean you did any experiments. It certainly doesn’t mean you learnt anything; in fact if you missed out on any expeiments just copy them from somebody else and make up a date (try to ensure it was a day when the school was open).
Technically we the teachers shuldn’t be signing off on this section unless we know it represents a fair reflection of the students’ actual work, but in practice this is rarely going to be the case. it may be that we see the results our students get as a reflection of our own teaching ability; we may have inherited the students from other teachers or indeed schools so may have no way of knowing how much of the previous work is legitimate; it may be a task too many for already busy teachers to monitor, particulary if the students themselves have little regard for the excercise or simply lack the necessary organisational skills to keep up to date themselves.
- Get the next 25% by having your two designated investiagations written up in the correct format. This isn’t very difficult and the average mark here is about 90%. The important thing to remember here is that it doesn’t matter how well you did the actual investigations or how clever your approach was (or indeed if you bothered to do the investigations yourself in the first place) – all the marks here go for how you write it up.
If you think the final mark that students actually obtain may be somewhat inflated by the hoop-jumping above, you’re not alone. In fact some of us would go so far as to think it makes a mockery of the whole subject at this level.