My daughter's doing the Leaving Cert this year. If you don't know, the Leaving Cert is like a high school diploma, sort of. It marks the end of your second level education, but, no BUT, it is a totally different experience for the student {and, most importantly as far as I'm concerned, the parents}.

By the time you get to the end of your high school career in America you've had hundreds of exams, quizzes, projects, other things that all add up in the various subjects to make your high school record. In Ireland nothing you do in the first 12 years of education matters. All that really matters, all that counts is how you perform in the Leaving Cert Exams, which you sit over a two to three week period at the very end of your school career. Everything else is simply practice. It's like the Olympics where some highly trained athlete spends his entire life preparing for one two-week festival of sports in which he hopes to achieve his life's ambitions.

Two weeks and nine (or so) three-hour exams in 7 subjects (two subjects have double three-hour tests because three hours wouldn't be fun enough). And riding on your performance in these exams is your college place. Like I said, nothing else matters. Your test scores are your college application. Seven numbers measure you.

Once you have finished the exams you only have to wait two months (give or take a week or so) to find out how you did.

Needless to say this process has the effect of creating stress in a house. More on that later.


dublin37 wrote:
Good luck to her!
5/20/2009 10:55 AM EDT

TheYank wrote:
Thanks. I need it. (see next post)
5/20/2009 11:42 AM EDT