Wednesday 13 December 2017

Exam Diary: ‘At last I’m studying with tea and not a glass of ice’

Laura Gaynor

JUST as the tar was beginning to melt on the roads, the weather has seen a return to normality. While most people were disgusted at the sight of rain, I'm relieved my attention span will no longer have to compete with people passing by my house on their way to the beach.

I am at last studying with a cup of tea and not a glass of ice.

Maths was my first exam of the day. Overall, it was pretty good! I spent most of the weekend doing geometry constructions with my maths set. They're probably the closest I've gotten so far to art in my Leaving Cert. I thought the exam was easier than Paper 1. There were hardly any written questions, too, which was good. I'm now entirely finished with maths! Hooray for that!

Although it was a cause for celebration, I still had a working lunch. I needed to study for my Irish exam and opted for a vacant lecture hall in IT Sligo. It was then that I encountered my most unusual study distraction to date, against some stiff competition. The building next door was in the process of being demolished. However, despite the occasional turbulence, I managed to keep on task.

Irish Paper 1 has only two questions on it, the aural tape and a choice of essays. Most of my friends spent the weekend learning off general essays on general issues. However, I spent the entire weekend studying the slightly puzzling art of Irish grammar. This allowed me to do what is colloquially known as ‘free-styling' for my essay.

I chose emigration as my topic. The title allowed me to be general and blame everything under the sun for Ireland's problems. After finishing my essay in the first hour, I spent the second proofreading\[d.clancy\] to make sure it had the right amount of and ‘urús'. I also seized the opportunity to rewrite the recklessly written aural answers into something that might be readable for an examiner.

\[Johanna Murphy\]My favourite aspect of the paper was how there was no Ulster Irish on the aural. Due to the revamped curriculum, we only hear the tape twice. Owing to its unusual enunciation, the Ulster dialect is like the calculus of Irish. There were high fives exchanged outside my exam centre afterwards.

Like most people, I'm counting down. I've hit the halfway mark although unlike most of my year, I won't be finished for another 10 days. Today, I'm sitting Irish Paper 2. This involves quite a broad range of prose, poetry and a slightly bleak play called ‘An Trial'. 


Laura Gaynor is a student at Ursuline College, Sligo

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