Thursday 13 December 2018

Relief as the dreaded wait finally ends with exam 'you can't exactly study for'

LEFT: Leaving Cert students Kamila Sadowska, Cathleen Green and Chidera Ifeagwu after sitting English Paper 1 at St Enda’s in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes
LEFT: Leaving Cert students Kamila Sadowska, Cathleen Green and Chidera Ifeagwu after sitting English Paper 1 at St Enda’s in Galway. Photo: Andrew Downes
Stephen Reynolds (18) from Corofin and Francis Paul (18) from Tuam, who sat the English paper at St Jarlath’s College in Tuam. Photo: Ray Ryan
Laura Myers (18) from Portmarnock, Erin Fogarty (18) from Clarehall and Roisin O’Connor (18) from Swords who sat their Leaving Cert Home Economics exam at Portmarnock Community School. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Cian Crossan, Oisin Ryan and Senan Hogan-O’Brien from Portlaoise CBS. Photo: Alf Harvey

Fiona Dillon and Eoin Molloy

Students around the country breathed a sigh of relief as, after months of dread, they have their first Leaving Cert exam done and dusted.

At Portmarnock Community School, Co Dublin, students were, in the main, happy with the higher level English paper, one which offered quite a bit of choice.

Roisin O'Connor (18) said it was definitely better than the mocks. "It was quite straightforward. The short questions were hard, but other than that, it was good," she said.

Raul Gollapalli (18) pointed out: "English paper one isn't the worst exam to start off with, because there isn't a lot you can study for it. It's just your ability.

"We have been practising for the whole year and last year, so it wasn't too bad. It was a good one to start off with."

Rian McCarthy (18) found the English paper was OK. "It was more challenging than I thought it was going to be, but it was still doable."

Emma Doyle (18) said: "I liked the essays, there were a good few choices and there were a good few options I think I could have done, and done reasonably well. I did the descriptive essay. It was about seasons changing. I thought it was a nice one."

However, at St Enda's Secondary School in Co Galway, students had a mixed reaction to the first section of the paper which, for many, contained somewhat of a curveball.

"Section A was quite confusing," said Kamila Sadowska, adding the comprehension came as a "real shock" as it made reference to the comparative section of the course, which is ordinarily in paper two.

That said, the reading comprehensions were deemed "grand overall" by Chidera Ifeagwu (17), who stated that she just "aimed to do her best".

Even though she had not planned on tackling the comparative literature until paper two, she "had been revising it all over the past few days".

"Paper one is difficult to prepare for as you can't exactly study for it and it comes down to how much time you spend preparing answers," said Cathleen Green.

Michael Chal "really liked the exam" and remarked that getting up at 7am to get some extra study helped him to get over the line in terms of his preparation.

With paper one in the bag, the students hit the books again last night ahead of paper two today.

Irish Independent

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