Saturday 29 April 2017

Exam diary: It was as good as a maths question could be

Ellie Walsh is a pupil at Ard Scoil na nDéise, Dungarvan, Co Waterford

WITH the combination of geography and maths, yesterday saw the majority of Leaving Cert candidates embark on their first full day of exams.

But I was one of the few fortunate ones who had a whole morning to cram for maths paper one. Last-minute cramming, however, was in vain because a thoroughly mixed bag was on the cards.

The short questions were a delight. Well, delight is probably too strong a word, but as delightful as a maths question could be.

A few of the old reliables were missing, however, with no nice simultaneous equation to settle the nerves or derivations that could be memorised.

All in all, section A was forgiving apart from a few head-scratchers, which was to be expected. Section B was on the trickier side, but thankfully absent were some of the obscure questions we had come to expect during Project Maths' teething days.

The question on logs was straightforward enough, although the ending had me stumped. I found the sequences and series question quite onerous, but then again, the exam was never going to be a walk in the park.

My friend Emma gave the geography exam a lukewarm six out of 10 (despite the excitement of Dungarvan making an appearance as the sketch map). The short questions were no picnic and the choice was a bit limited on the long questions but all in it was do-able.

Now that the first week of Leaving Cert fever has passed, we have a whole weekend to recharge those mental batteries for the next few hurdles.

I don't know about you, but I'll be spending my weekend dancing around a pyre of maths material, but only half of it of course, we still have paper two to endure. It will sure enough be a weekend of intensive study while attempting to milk the last bit of parental sympathy from the folks.

Monday will start with a dark cloud over most Leaving Certs' heads with the concluding part of the maths paper in the morning, followed by Irish paper one in the afternoon.

If it wasn't already hard enough to try and get into the trigonometry zone, a quick costume change into seanfhocails-galore is then expected. But after Monday we'll have the back broken on most of the exams and celebration plans can start in earnest.

Now it's time to bury myself in next week's hot predictions in the hope of making it out the other side. A whole two days to devour two years' worth of course work? Challenge accepted.

Irish Independent

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