Wednesday 24 January 2018

Only the little matter of physics lies ahead

Waking up yesterday morning, I got my first sense of what was in store for the rest of the summer. An exam-free day lay ahead and after a breakfast reading the Irish Independent and tuning into Jeremy Kyle to see what problems people were having apart from the Leaving Cert, it was time to hit the books.

Well, I say hit the books, but rather 'find the books first' among the reams of paper and other handouts that made my room look like a paper factory had exploded in it.

A quick spring clean (or should that be summer clean?) was needed. The last two subjects I have are the two I hate the most -- physics and applied maths. So, with graph paper at the ready, it was time to tackle the practice experiment questions. Rusty does not define my knowledge of physics or applied maths, and, at this stage, even the rust has disintegrated into a pile of dust. But I am convincing myself I'll be in tip-top shape for Monday morning.

At lunchtime, I checked in with Claire who had come out of the exam hall for the last time. She and the other German candidates were very happy.

The reading comprehensions were very topical, with a solar-powered cinema coming up and not proving too tricky. A letter on what plans candidates had for the summer proved popular with the students in Monaghan, with some stating it was the best German paper they had ever seen.

The last I saw of these happy students, they were skipping off into the sunshine and I wished I, too, was finished and could enjoy the fine sunny weather.

So back to the books for another three hours and then the texts came flooding in regarding the DCG (design and communication graphics) exam. I talked to my friends Conor and Cillian and the general consensus was that DCG was very easy compared with last year's inaugural paper.

It wasn't all plain sailing, with an "awkward roof" in question 1 causing problems for some. Section C was, again, apparently very simple, with higher-level candidates given details they would usually have to work out themselves. It made me wonder if I could have taken this exam and still managed to pass!

So, it's all systems go as we head into the final countdown and most of us with exams left are wishing we had studied "normal" subjects so that we would be finished. It makes me wonder if next year the timetable should be decided by a Lotto draw. Imagine Japanese and ancient Greek on the first day and English Paper 2 the last exam!

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

Irish Independent

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