Exam Times – Junior Cert Science

Past papers are key to preparing effectively for the Junior Cert Science exam. Definitions, mandatory experiments and labelled diagrams are just some of the areas of the syllabus that a student can prepare effectively for with past papers and regular revision.

Emer Fannin, who has been teaching Science at The Institute of Education for 10 years, explains why students who revise regularly with past papers get the high grades…


  • The best way to answer questions is in points. Long descriptions do not gain any extra marks.
  • Try to have just one item of information in each sentence.
  • Read the question carefully a few times and answer exactly what you are asked.
  • Plan before you write – otherwise marks are lost through lack of detail.
  • Do not use red or green to highlight any part of your work The examiner corrects in red, underlining the items of information for which they are awarding marks, and their supervisor corrects independently in green.
  • Use the amount of space set aside for the answer as a guide to the length and detail needed in your answer – try to use all the space. There is a blank page at the end of the answer book for additional work.
  • Do not delay over a part that you cannot answer, move on and come back to it later.
  • Attempt all the parts of a question; try not to leave any blank spaces. You get no marks for each blank space, but you may get marks for an attempted or even guessed answer!
  • If you have to carry out calculations, show all the steps in your answer book. If you make a small mathematical error, you will lose only a small number of marks. Remember units with your answer.
  • If you have to draw diagrams, use a good sharp pencil and draw them as large as you can. Include as many labels as you can.
  • When you are finished, check that you have answered all parts of all the questions.


Common Errors

  • Definitions are not known accurately. It is very important to learn off all the definitions.
  • Experiments are badly explained with poor diagrams not labelled
  • Graphs are badly drawn with weak interpretation.
  • Questions are left blank or the student didn’t read the question correctly.
  • Calculations are careless with units absent.


Full Supplement Download

Published on Thursday, 13th March, this supplement focuses on Junior Certificate Science.

Download Science Supplement (2.50 MB)