The Leaving Cert has long been a source of stress for young students.


Not only are they required to commit copious amounts of information to memory, but they have to do so with the pressures of exam scores looming over them.


A new study, conducted by DCU and Trinity College, Dublin, has verified just how devastating the exam’s effects are on children.


The results showed that the Leaving Cert caused so much anxiety that it’s negative effects far outweighed its positive ones.


The report's author, Dr Denise Burns, said: “It's this big volume of information that they have to cram into their heads which is a big source of the stress.”


She went on to call the exam a “senseless burden,” explaining that is is not the best way to develop critical thinking skills.



Not only did research show that the test caused overwhelming stress for students but it placed the child’s entire family under strain as well.


“We know that families have been through the stress that these students go through when they're facing up to the Leaving Cert,” she continued.


Naturally, parents help out and encourage their children during their studies, especially when it comes to an exam so vital to college eligibility.


The author pressed for change in the school system and current study methods.



“So students are learning off essays, textbooks and notes and this is largely what grinds schools do, so this creates disadvantages for students as families cannot afford grinds.


"This is a major inequality in the Leaving Cert system.”


Hopefully, we will see changes made in response to the recent study, whether it is revisiting the Leaving Cert's structure or implementing a less stressful form of assessment.


Until then, check out some of these stress-reducing methods when studying for the exam.