THOUSANDS of students across the country will sit down to their first Leaving Cert and Junior Cert exams today.
Some 118,000 young people will sit the exams over the coming weeks.
For all Leaving Cert students proceedings will begin with English paper 1.
Those studying Home Economics will return to the exam hall in the afternoon for that paper.
Meanwhile, Junior Cert students studying ordinary-level English will have one paper today while students studying the higher-level course will sit a second.
However, as people settle into exam mode ASTI President Philip Irwin has warned students to keep things in perspective.
"It's normal that you would experience some stress during the exams period," he said.
"However, it is important to keep things in perspective - these exams do not define your worth as a person. Just as in life, you may have good days and not-so-good days.
"The important thing is to move on and put extra effort into looking after yourself," he added.
Mr Irwin advised plenty of sleep and exercise - and to keep last-minute cramming to a minimum.
"Take plenty of breaks and make sure to build in time to organise yourself for the following day.
"Being organised is another way of minimising stress on exam days.
"Avoid post-exam analysis and keep looking ahead to the next exam."
Meanwhile, Minister for Education Jan O'Sullivan also wished good luck to those starting their State exams today.
"Best of luck to everyone starting the State exams today, it's a significant milestone in a young person's life," she said.
"Thousands of students across the country have worked incredibly hard to prepare for these exams and I sincerely hope that everyone sitting the exams gets the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge."