Hey friends, hope we’re all keeping well.
So, last Friday (3rd September), I got back the results of my leaving cert exams. Since I started this blog to also document my thoughts and reactions during important events, this is the post that will be dedicated to discussing the results of those exams.
For any international friends reading, the ‘leaving cert’ exams are basically final high school exams in Ireland, that also act as university matriculation tests. By scoring a certain amount of ‘points’ in these tests, they essentially determine what courses in college you can enter.
The way these points are calculated is a bit unnecessarily tricky, but if you study this table a little bit, you should get the general gist of it.
To achieve a H1 grade, you must score between 90-100% in an exam. For a H2, the requirement is 80-89%, etc. Since the majority of students in the country sit exams for 7 or more subjects, you can also only count 6 subjects for points.
Thus, the maximum amount of points you can achieve in the leaving cert exams with this system is 625 (don’t forget about maths’ 25 extra points for if you score a H6 or higher). The next highest being 613, then 601, and so on.
This system can change a bit depending on the course, for example in medicine there’s a whole other test you need to take, but that’s none of our business.
I’ll be honest, I think I worked really hard the past few years and studied pretty intensely. There were a number of outings that my friends organised, that I missed because I promised myself that I would study that day.
The course I originally had as my first choice for college was a computer science and business course, which demanded a total of 555 points. During the later half of 6th year though, I discovered a much more interesting course-management science and information systems studies (or MSISS for short).
It’s basically a combination of maths, business, and technology, but required a whopping 613 points to enter.
Thus, I put down MSISS as my first choice, just in case by some fluke I manage to score 613 or even get the legendary 625. Deep down, though, I still expected to score around the 560-570 mark. Only I truly knew the amount of work and study I really did, so I think it’s natural I try to hold myself to a bit of a higher standard than others usually would.
I think it’s what people call ‘ambition’ 🙃
I wanted to challenge myself, see if I really put my mind to something, I can achieve it. Of course, this point system is in dire need of a reformation anyway, but I thought I should still give it a try.
Basically, I wanted to have high expectations because I was ambitious and passionately welcomed the challenge.
🗞Results and Reflections🗞
On the morning of September 3rd, I logged onto the candidate self-service portal, which opened at 10am, and clicked to view my results online.
I was nervous. The portal had already been open for 20 minutes now. Without a shadow of a doubt, others just like me were currently all across the country, each having different reactions to their results. Maybe they involved tears. Disappointment. Anger. Delight.
I’m not going to lie, I genuinely felt my heart racing all throughout the login process. Was it enough? Did the work pay off? Have my efforts been in vain? Am I finally going to get disowned? (Maybe not that last thought though)
Yeah, not many optimistic thoughts here, unfortunately 🤦🏻♂️
Finally, I clicked the green login button after having put in my details, and hit enter.
This summarises what I saw.
6 H1s, including maths. The highest mark had been achieved: 625.
Now, I’m going to spare you all what happened next as it just involved a bit of screaming and tears, so let’s just reflect on this grade a bit.
This…was insane. Beautifully, fantastically, heart-racingly insane. It’s crazy to think that this number is the accumulation of my efforts for the past 2 years, yet here we are.
The journey to get here wasn’t easy. No, it was hard, difficult, and rough. If you want to hear the ugly side of it, I’ve lost count of the number of study sessions where I got so angry at myself for failing to understand how to do a problem that I just shouted.
Or the number of times where I wanted to rip my notes apart after failing to solve a math question for the third, fourth, or fifth time.
Yep, looking back, that’s pretty pathetic man.
But, and wow this is going to be corny as hell, I don’t regret any of it. I’m writing this a few days after results day and just after accepting the MSISS course, and I can say I’ve never felt happier, or just more ‘complete’ in life.
My school has recognised me, my parents are proud, my friends are happy for me, and I feel good with myself. It literally feels like the ‘happy ending’ to a video game.
But wow, yeah, it’s difficult sometimes to put into words just how much of an emotion you’re feeling. All in all, still speechless and blown away by my result, and even more so by the fact that I’ve gotten into my dream course. Truly feels like I’ve peaked in life, just wow.
Emmm okay, but what does this mean for the blog in general?
Well, I made a post a good while ago, detailing the overall purpose of this blog and why I started it. One of the major reasons was to help students who were struggling, and give them solutions and advice on how to best overcome study hurdles. I mean, the blog’s damn name is ‘Rebellious Student’😅
Although I did write that, there was still an uneasy feeling I always had, doubting whether I genuinely could and should give such advice. I mean, who the hell was I to give you study tips and tricks? What proof did I have that you could take at face value? Pretty much none, and that’s why I never felt truly ‘qualified’ to make such posts. Yes, it was a classic case of Imposter syndrome.
Now that I have the results from the most important exams of my life, I can confidently, proudly, and assertively assure you all that this student-focussed purpose will be more defined than ever. My goal to help as many students as possible to succeed with their education will remain one of this blog’s top missions, and that will absolutely not change now.
So yeah, you can definitely expect more posts around studying tips now, now that I feel like I have my ‘qualifications’🙃
Well, I think all these kinds of posts need to end off on a certain way, so let’s get it over with.
Please remember, that I DO NOT condone and absolutely condemn putting down others for something as stupid as their exam results. At the end of the day, your self worth will never be defined by a group of numbers, and no amount of tests or examinations will change that. No matter what anyone says, you’re the one in charge of your own future, so if you don’t get a result you want, keep your head up high and move forward🙂
Also, thanks a lot if you managed to read down this far. I appreciate all my readers, commenters, and followers for helping me reach this far with my blog. Trust me when I say this is literally just the beginning, and so much more cool and exciting things is going to happen with the blog soon
Stay safe, and I’ll hopefully see you in another post😃