Niall Brennan: @mragscience

“In these final few weeks, the main focus should be on practising exam papers and looking at marking schemes to see how marks are being awarded in each question.

“The exam paper is a large booklet with great choice so remain calm and read every question twice to fully understand what is being asking. Time isn’t an issue to complete the paper so I would highly recommend answering an extra question.

“Numeracy calculations is an area where students drop easy marks on the day of the exam through simple miscalculations. Practicing questions on livestock units, food conversion ratio and average daily gain along with experimental results of Dry Matter and Organic Matter percentage should be practiced.

“The exam generally matches the theme of the project for that year. This year’s project theme is ‘The role of food production in maintaining natural resources in Irish agriculture’, so definitely have a look over animal nutrition, fertilisers, multi-species swards and Low Emission Slurry Spreading·”

Stephanie O’Dwyer. \Sean Lydon

Stephanie O’Dwyer: FCJ Secondary School,Co Wexford

“The key is to 'study smart'. Link up the material, the core areas of the course – the experiments, soils, animals and crops. You will end up revising less volume of material.

“For the cross-cutting themes, it’s important to think about the environment. Focus on the new technologies and sustainability of farming and how this would link to your other main topics like soils, grasslands and animal production, eg think of areas like slurry, and runoff pollution using LESS technological and methods.

“Keep in mind that there’s a good chance one question on the paper will be linked to this year’s Individual Investigative Study (IIS) – food production and natural resources.

“Read your questions carefully and choose which ones you are going to answer wisely. It is also important to watch your time management.”

Jennifer Ahern.

Jennifer Ahern: John the Baptist Community School, Co Limerick

“The importance of practising and applying your knowledge to exam paper questions cannot be emphasised enough at this stage of the year.

“Give yourself time to revise a chapter in whatever way suits you best and then find all relevant exam questions on that topic. Use the marking schemes to assess how well you answered each question and highlight the keywords required to gain full marks.”

“You will notice there is a large variety of diagrams on the exam paper. The important ones include the ruminant stomach for a cow and young calf, monogastric stomach, Nitrogen and Carbon cycles, all experiment set-up diagrams, grazing system patterns, soil profile diagrams and the farmyard layout.

“Finally, time management is key and should be the most important thing that students are mindful of. Use five minutes at the start of the paper to read through all the questions and choose the ones that suit you best.

Section A short questions (100 marks)

•Answer 10 out of 12 questions

•Internal choice in four questions

•Worth 10 marks each

•Approximately 5 minutes per question

•Total time = 50 minutes

Section B long questions (200 marks)

•Answer four out of six questions

•Internal choice in two questions

•Worth 50 marks each

•Approximately 20 minutes per question

•Total time = 80 minutes

“This allows for 15 minutes – use at least five minutes to read over your answers. This leaves 10 minutes that you may require to finish some questions. Best of luck to all students sitting the exam.”

Read more

Agri Careers: why are students turned off by agricultural science?

Agri Careers: higher education in the north-west needs ‘affirmative action’