How to get a Distinction in Junior Cycle Science

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The New Junior Cycle Science Course is much broader than the old Junior Cert Exam. It’s probably one of the most interesting and useful Junior Cycle subjects, with a wide range of different topics, from learning about the solar system to sustainability to microorganisms, there’s never a dull moment! There’s a good few experiments on the course which means a lot of practical, hands-on work in the laboratory. The lack of structure to the paper can put some students off, but the paper is very doable. In this guide, Eva will share a few tips that she wish she had been told at the start of first year.

Read Full Guide Here


The Science Junior Cycle Exam is marked out of 400 marks. The Assessment Task is worth 10% (40 marks) and the Written Examination at the end of third year is worth 90% (360 marks).

CBA 1 - Extended Experimental Investigation

CBA 1 is a Written Assessment submitted at the end of Second Year, which is nice, as you can get it out of the way before the workload picks up in third year!  Even though the results of CBA 1 will not go towards your final grade, it’s a chance to develop your practical skills as a scientist and achieving an “Exceptional” will get your Junior Cycle off to a great start. You can choose any topic to research and carry out an experiment on. 

CBA 2 - Science in Society Investigation (SSI)

CBA 2 is known as the S.S.I. and is a written assignment completed around Christmas time in third year.  It gives you an opportunity to research an area of controversy in science that you would like to learn more about. It is a project that you will put your research skills and critical thinking to good use. Like for CBA1, there is a Features of Quality there to guide you so make good use of it!

The Written Exam (90%)

The Science Written Examination is worth 90% of your grade, with 360 marks going for a 2-hour long paper at the end of third year. This exam has no set structure or topics, which can throw some students off. Instead, it will take the form of various multi-part questions divided into two sections: Section A and Section B. 

There are three main methods of revision for the science exam:

1. Flashcards
There are so many different ways to use and make flashcards, like buying a pack from a stationery shop and doing it the old-fashioned way, making them online on Quizlet or saving time and using the Studyclix Science Flashcards. 

2. Blurting

3. Practising Questions 
Unfortunately, when it comes to science, rote learning a ton of flashcards simply isn't enough on its own to secure top marks. As well as learning the information, it's so important to learn how to apply your knowledge. Practising questions can be taken from past examinations and sample papers by using the Question by Topics page.

To read all of Eva's tips, click here.

The Studyclix team

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