Exam Time at the Institute


06. exam in progress.jpg

For thousands of students (and their parents) June is exam time.  For us, and our students, there are a few months: May, September, January when the pressure is on. 

This May, 6,963 of our members sat exams with us, covering 86 modules, in 10 venues across the island of Ireland and three locations in Poland.  We’d like to take a moment to acknowledge their achievement.  We know it’s not easy pursuing further education while working and/or juggling family commitments. 


That’s why we put a lot of consideration, time and effort into making things as easy as possible for our students when it comes to exam time. The person in charge of this mammoth organisational (and nerve management) feat is Anne Cullen, Head of Registry. With her tight team of six people, Anne thinks about everything from pens to parking.   When picking venues she considers the lighting and temperature of the room.  And on the day, Anne and her team are ready for any eventuality – from facilitating breast feeding to counselling people who turn up on the wrong day or for the wrong exam. 

Anne has been overseeing exams at the Institute for over 26 years.  As you can imagine, over that time, she has seen and heard quite a lot:  from the gentleman who went to the country to ‘revise’ and was soon found (out) on the local golf course, to the lady who went into labour in the exam hall.  Anne recalls one very determined lady ‘who stopped to get petrol en route to her exam and spilled a scalding black coffee over her hand. An ambulance was called and she was treated on the forecourt of the petrol station.  With her hand bandaged up she drove herself to the examination centre, sat her examination and passed it!’

Her one piece of advice for all exam students:  read your exam attendance notice.  Carefully compiled by her team, this document gives students all the information they need - module name, date and time of examination, and exam centre/room.  She also recommends a little forward planning: to know the route to the centre in advance and how long it will take to get there. According to Anne the most common problems she encounters during exams are: people sitting at the wrong desk and forgetting to bring a calculator with them.  

Sage advice from the woman who has seen tens of thousands of students safely through exams over the years and who will do so again this September and, hopefully, for years to come.