News Exams

Tuesday 30 September 2014

Exam Diary: Novelty wearing off as exams start to seem 'normal'

Laura Gaynor

Published 12/06/2013 | 05:00

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YESTERDAY morning my dad asked me what time I needed to be at school. I said "the usual". The novelty has started to wear off. Exams have almost become "normal" to me.

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In a bid to enter what I dub as "Irish-mode", I opted for the TG4 player in the car. It's a great way to pick up a few extra phrases without delving through textbooks. The only danger is you can wind up logging on to Facebook without thinking.

Like most teenagers, I was constantly told how Facebook would never help with exams. Now that I am doing them on a computer, I beg to differ. My "experience" of typing instant messages has finally become useful. Yet I do have to exercise caution and make sure not to include convenient abbreviations such as LOL and BTW in my essays. After all, I don't have a spelling exemption.

While Irish paper 1 had only one question, paper 2 had five. Most of these required essays. Monday's exam left me with enough time to leisurely look out the window. Yesterday, I was writing until the three hours were up.

Overall, I thought the paper was challenging but fair. The course is comprehensive and there were lots of topics we could have been asked. It included a comprehension on Steve Jobs, an essay on Tir na nOg and a questions on a quirky love poem.

However, the 'Ursceal' question was the rogue of the day. The question focused on a character that was only in about three chapters of the book. Nonetheless, the man in question was a chauvinist so we could spin an essay from that aspect alone.

Above all else, my favourite thing about Irish paper 2 is the tone you take in essays. It is probably the only Leaving Cert subject where you can be rewarded for talking like a typical caller on 'Liveline'.

When writing an Irish composition, it is best to be cynical about everything. After mastering that, throw in a "seanfocal". Before you know it, you've hit 500 words. Then it's time to move onto the next question.

Last night, I turned to studying for business. It's probably my favourite subject on the Leaving Cert. Mainly because of the practicality of it and partially because of the banter in our class.

With three core subjects behind me, I realise I could throw out my Irish notes if I wanted to. However, after the toil they took to make, I might sell them. Only one hour studying business and already, I'm enterprising. Lovely.

Laura Gaynor is a student at Ursuline College, Sligo.

Irish Independent

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