Tip #1 Make a timetable... and stick to it!!
If you make a timetable you will be more organised, and will be very surprised about how much time you actually have and how much you can get done. But you have to stick to it. I used to make loads of timetables and never stuck to them so really it was just wasting time making them.
In order to make it easier to stick to the plan, ensure it is realistic. Dont say you finish school at 4, get food, do work from half 4 until 11, that's just crazy and there is no way you will stick to it, maybe for a day or two a most! schedule in time for eating, for lazying around watching tv or on the internet or going for a walk etc. For example, you finish school at 4, get food, relax for a bit, start work at half 5, work until half 7, take half an hour to watch tv, get a snack, go for a walk, whatever, then work from 8 until 10, that's still four hours studying which is a lot, but taking 2 hours off and finishing at 10.
Also make a list of all your subjects, and all the main topics in each subject. Then when making your timetable, say what you are going to study at each time you intend studying, there is no point wasting half the time when you should be studying deciding what to study!
In the example i gave, there were two two-hour blocks. for that you should take a 5-10 minute break in the middle as it is hard to concentrate for two hours straight and you wont be as focused on what you are doing at the end of it.
Tip #2 Don't forget to have a life!
Yes the leaving cert is important, but it is not the be all and end all! Do not give up your life for it. If you play sports, continue playing them, if you do music, dance, art, drama, or any other hobby, keep it up. it will be better for you in the long run as it will help you relax and it is important to keep doing things you enjoy or you will just get stressed out.
Okay so yeah, if you play sports and have training 2 hours a night, 5 nights a week, i would say cut back a bit, as you do have to work hard as well, but just dont give up completely. You need to keep a balance between th two.
The leaving cert also does not mean you have to stop going out. In fact t is better for you, as you can relax enjoy yourself. Forgetting about the leaving cert and just having fun for a night is great as it will help prevent you from getting stressed out about studying. Say if you want to go out Saturday night, well if you worked from 10-1 and then 2-4 on Saturday then there is no reason you shouldn't go out and enjoy yourself that night. Once again though, like with hobbies above, don't be going out ALL the time, but every so often, there is nothing wrong with it.