‘Tis the season for more study! For Leaving Cert & college students the holiday season can be a double edged sword. While looking forward to time off there is also the need to study, revise and complete any Christmas exams that are looming on the horizon. For Leaving Cert students, some will contemplate the plentiful Christmas revision courses on offer throughout the country.
For parents, this option may seem a step too far, coming as it does during a financially stressful time of year. There are also concerns about the “Grinds Culture” which promotes inequality between those students who can afford this option and those that can’t. Criticism in recent years has come from teachers, principals and also the National Parents Council. Some critics argue that these courses are nothing more than a shortcut in the points race and lead to skewed results. Inaccurate points scores can increase the dropout rates in college for those who have over-achieved in the Leaving Cert and can’t continue this level of performance into third level.
Despite the criticism, thousands of students will sign up for these courses in the weeks ahead in the hope that it will improve results or help them catch up if they are lagging behind in certain subjects. For those students that may have missed class time due to injury or illness, courses like this could help them bridge the gap. There are also students who may regard teachers in some subjects to be less open to questioning for those lagging behind or less skilled at imparting their knowledge to their students. For these students intensive revision courses in these subjects could be beneficial.
Otherwise the general consensus seems to be that Christmas is a good time for taking a break with time for some study & revision in spare time as required. For those that are finding difficulties in certain subjects, more benefit might be had by revising the parts of these subjects that they are comfortable with (and other subjects of course) over the Christmas and investing in some one-to-one grinds for the areas of difficulty in 2016.
Some prices and resources for Christmas revision courses are listed below..
Bruce College Cork offer a one week intensive Leaving Cert revision course costing €195 per subject. The course runs from Dec 28th to Jan 2nd (excluding Jan 1st). The college also offers one day intensive revision courses. More information about this college can be found at Brucecollege.ie.
Limerick Tutorial College offers a 4 day intensive Leaving Cert preparation course. This course costs €185 per subject but offers discounted rates for extra subjects with 5 subjects costing €400. Each subject is covered for 1 & a half hours per day (6 hours total). More details about this college can be found at www.limericktutorial.ie
Yeats College have 2 colleges in Waterford and Galway. They offer a one week revision course running from Dec 28th to Jan 2nd (excluding Jan 1st). Each subject costs €150 with discounts applied for multiple subjects (5 subjects costs €480). More details can be found on their website at www.yeatscollege.ie.
The Dublin School of Grinds in Stillorgan are offering free preparation courses for Leaving Cert students. Students can attend up to 3 such courses (3 different subjects) as an introduction to the Schools techniques and courses. While the courses are free & may therefore not be as intensive as other Christmas revision courses, the notes and tips on offer may be of benefit even for those not continuing further with the school.
The Institute of Education on Leeson Street, Dublin 2 offers a 5 day course from 29th December to January 2nd (including New Years Day) Classes here cost €295 each (the most expensive option reviewed by far) with discounts offered for multiple classes. More information can be found at www.instituteofeducation.ie