Sunday 17 December 2017

Exam diary: Farewell my inner biologist ... now for date with Newton

With Darwin and Wallace fresh in my mind and the surgical gloves ready in my pocket in case the exam paper was an actual sheep's heart, I was ready and raring to go in the strongest of my science subjects.

Watching others doing a last bit of cramming was a bit unnerving as the biology course is huge, but my teacher's predictions about the bankers (not Fingleton or FitzPatrick, but rather photosynthesis, enzymes and human reproduction) made it very do-able.

A sneaky multiple choice question on genetics on the probability of Dalmatians being brown, flies having long wings, and the chances of having a ginger child may have thrown a few candidates but, apart from that, the short questions were very approachable with swine flu making an appearance, too.

Next up were the experiments, and question 8 was lovely as during my last few weeks in school, every chemical and piece of apparatus was covered. I answered the questions on heart dissection and my diagram would make Da Vinci look like an amateur (I joke!).

The long questions were nice, the only problem being the phrasing of some but with perseverance, all seemed manageable.

After leaving the hall at 12.30pm and a quick chat with my teacher, I gave a look of envy to those who are now finished their Leaving Cert.

I went for a quick swim to relax, relate and communicate with my inner biologist for the last time.

I returned after 4pm to get the reaction to the Art History Paper. "Newgrange went and did a Boland" (doing a Boland is now the phrase used to describe a banker question not coming up after Eavan's absence on English Paper Two) was how my friend Darragh greeted me. Apparently Newgrange was predicted by 99pc of art teachers.


Matters weren't helped by a gallery question which caused confusion. My cousin Meabh thought the question on Georgian art was "a bit of a stickler" but both found solace in writing on Romanesque painters in the European section.

There was a "lovely" question on Raphael and an excellent one on Pierro della Francesca, Meabh said.

While others tackle German, design and communication graphics today, I'll have a lie-in before making an appointment with Newton and his laws of gravity for physics on Monday.

Peadar Ó Lamhna is a student at St Macartan's College, Monaghan

Irish Independent

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