The general consensus seems to be one of overall satisfaction regarding Irish examinations. Students, at both levels, were happy after Paper One.
Then yesterday the sometimes daunting Higher Level Paper Two left many students with a sense of relief, with the widely anticipated poem 'Colscaradh' appearing. Questions on the poetry section were fitting and followed the layout students would be familiar with from sample papers. Prose saw the return of the general essay question and both questions were character-based and were very workable.
With regards to the comprehensions, I felt that the complexity of language used was considerably more advanced than in the previous two years. To balance this, however, the questions were suitably worded and answers were in sequence. The genre question made its grand return in 6(b), a question students will have been expecting.
I imagine that ordinary level students will have been thrilled to see two biographical reading comprehensions, about Rory McIlroy and Hillary Clinton.
In the literature section, the poetry was fair and predictable, while students may have found the questions on the prose a little too specific. It must be mentioned also that many students may not have been expecting these two particular prose stories, given that both were examined last year. It may have been disappointing for students who chose to ignore these stories in the final revision the night before the exam.
All in all, no major surprises to the Irish exams. Themes were topical, suitable and relevant - while certain areas were duly challenging.
Samantha Hogan is a teacher at Yeats College, Galway