'Unpredictable and surprising' with Brexit and US election notably absent
Students and teachers alike gave the 2016 Leaving Cert English Paper One a cautious welcome.
Leaving Cert pupils at Mitchelstown CBS in Cork admitted the paper was "unpredictable and a bit surprising", but overall said they were satisfied with the questions that came up.
Principal Mary Hannon said her experience was that English and Maths were two of the critical exam subjects each year.
"English because it is the first exam and students are usually very nervous.
"Maths is also a key exam because it is the one subject that teachers and students always watch very carefully," she said.
English teacher Michelle O'Keeffe described the Higher Level English paper this year as "unpredictable".
For students, the biggest surprise was how topical issues such as the 1916 Easter Rising centenary, Britain's imminent EU exit or 'Brexit' vote and the US Presidential election were effectively ignored on the exam paper.
"It was quite surprising given that there was nothing much about Easter 1916. Everyone suspected it would crop up," student Michael Lewis (17) said.