Friday 28 November 2014

Relief for students as 
first hurdle is cleared

Published 05/06/2014 | 08:45

04/06/2014: Alice Carey, Anna Walsh, Aisling Butler and Linda Mooney had just finished their first english paper in the Leaving Cert at the Presentation Secondary School in Kilkenny. Photo: Pat Moore.
Alice Carey, Anna Walsh, Aisling Butler and Linda Mooney had just finished their first english paper in the Leaving Cert at the Presentation Secondary School in Kilkenny. Photo: Pat Moore.

Students all over the country have been breathing a sigh of relief that the first hurdle is over in the Junior and Leaving Cert exams.

More than 118,000 children began their state examinations yesterday.

In all, 54,933 students are taking the Leaving Cert this year, another 3,042 are in the final year of Leaving Cert Applied and 60,698 in the Junior Cert.

Leaving Cert students started the day with English Paper One. Many of those doing the higher level were left wondering if the presence of Seamus Heaney on the paper means he won’t come up as one of the poets on today’s paper two.

Later in the day the Leaving Cert students sitting the Home Economics paper seemed fairly happy with their lot - although there was a tricky compulsory question at higher level.

At Mount Carmel Secondary School at King’s Inns Street in Dublin’s city centre home economics teacher Eimear Cassidy gave her verdict on the two papers yesterday.

“The ordinary level paper was fair throughout. There was a good choice of questions. Overall, it would have been very manageable for all candidates,” she said.

“At higher level, the short questions were quite difficult and they were very specific to certain parts of the course, 
and students often struggle with these. The question one compulsory question would have thrown a lot of candidates. It was very different to previous years. However, all the 
other long questions were quite manageable,” she said.

Leah O’Keeffe (17) from Usher’s Quay in Dublin who sat 
the higher level home economics paper was happy with it. She said: “It was better than I thought it would be. The 
short questions were easier than they were in other 
years. It was grand,” she said.

Brenda Sandoval (17) from Balbriggan who also sat the higher level paper said: 
“It was okay. Protein came up as I expected and meat also came up. I was happy with it. 
I thought it was fair.”

Maria Murphy (18) from Georges Place said that in the English higher level, the paper was okay. “The essay questions were a bit difficult. I was focusing on more personal essays but only two options came up, and they really didn’t fit in with the ones I planned on writing. But I was happy in the end.

“Seamus Heaney came up in the reading comprehension so I am thinking he may not come up as the poet option tomorrow and I was hoping for him,” she said.

Meanwhile, Bisola Aloba (16) from Coolock sat the English higher level paper and she thought the comprehension section was “really good”.

A total of 42 Leaving Certs began their exams at the school yesterday, along with 59 Junior Certs.

However, there’s no time to rest for students nationwide. The exams continue right up until June 20 for the Leaving Cert class of 2014.

fdillon@herald.ie

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