Ailbhe (Higher Level English)
Nerves attacked this morning. I didn’t know what do to with myself. Surprisingly Elbow’s, One Day Like This, actually helps a lot! Somehow I found myself at the exam hall. My desk was over by the wall. Great something to prop me up and not many distractions. Answer booklet sitting on my desk. Seconds diminishing towards 9.30 on the clock. Students in various forms of panic/calm around me. Get paper. Open paper.
Flick immediately to the essays. Gosh darn it I couldn’t conveniently slot in my prewritten composition. I scan the titles muttering prayers under my breath. First one: acting, theatre. Might as well have been on Mars for all I knew about it. Second prospective candidate: neighbors. I’m not even on first name terms with mine. Scrap that. Getting slightly panicked. Third title: short story. Automatic sensors in my brain scream “AVOID AVOID, ABORT MISSION!!”.
And then the fourth one arrived. The beautiful uncomplicated essay on freedom. Wow perfect!
So off I trot a bit of brainstorming here and there, you know yourself! Stick in a few quotes, they’ll do the job. Happy out!
The question B was even better. The importance of reading. I couldn’t have asked for better.
Comprehension, little tricky, but I think Al Gore and I saw eye to eye in the end!
All in all, finished the paper with an hour to spare. Paranoid I had forgotten to do some vital component I went through the paper in a bit of a frenzy. But no I had successfully completed English Paper 1. I sat there in a vague sense of happiness, pen in hand happily illustrating my essays with comas apostrophes and other fun things like that that had escaped my in my vigour for getting my ideas on the page unscathed.
It’s over now. Congratulations!! Here’s hoping for Eliot to pop in for a chat tomorrow!! 😀
Owen (Higher Level English)
Wow finally D-Day has come… the official start to exams, now one step closer to FREEDOM!
After having a slightly restless sleep due to the nerves and excitement of finally getting started, I was up early and raring to go.
I had myself focused and was feeling confident about millin’ these exams out of it! All my hard work had come down to this, now it was time to show them what I was made of… although of course the old nerves were still in there somewhere!
Well em… so I had a bit of hiccup with the paper, I was given paper 2 instead! Haha… only joking we all got paper 1 and a fairly nice paper it was too, I have to say and so everyone who sat the paper in Lucan Community College would agree. I found it had a great deal of variety that left plenty of room for your own individual take on things.
I, myself chose the Section A about Al Gore, as I find myself experienced in speech writing having taken part in the Concern Debates for the past 2 years. I then moved on to Section B of Text 3, the radio talk about the importance of books in our lives and today’s world. I enjoyed this piece as it gave me a chance to add in some humour. Lastly, I chose the composition piece on the speech to one’s graduating class which required me to encourage my audience to be optimistic about the future, again putting my debating skills to good use so I thought it went fairly well.
Timing seemed to be a bit of an issue and I gave myself a little fright when I ended up only finishing my Section A at 10:45! However, I did manage to make up time and finish the exam with just enough time to give the paper one quick read over and correct any mistakes.
The overall consensus from my exam centre was one of satisfaction, self-confidence and success… a good start to the Leaving Cert of 2010, I think. Well, so I hope anyway!
Now off to study for paper 2…. my poor hand!:(
ISSU Commentary (Higher Level English)
Thousands of students across the country can now breathe a sigh of relief as many have at least one completed paper under their belts.
Higher Level English paper 1 was handed out FACE-UP in all exam centres this morning thankfully avoiding a repeat of last year’s exam leak! Its theme, “The Future”, could be said to have instilled a feeling of optimism in students as they began to tackle the paper, giving them some indication of light at the end of the tunnel and life after the Leaving Cert. The first comprehension text was based on an interview with Seamus Heaney; the Nobel Prize winner was tipped to appear on the paper in some form following the celebrations of his 70th birthday in 2009, while Al Gore’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech and an extract adapted from Ray Bradbury’s, Farenheit 451, featured in the second and third texts respectively. The Section A questions were definitely manageable although tricky in places while the Section B questions were very approachable across the board with students given the option of writing a letter or the text of an interview or radio talk.
The composition section had some comparatively difficult titles to offer students when past papers from recent years are taken into consideration. However as usual students were given titles that spanned various writing styles so there was bound to be something to suit everyone.
Keeping in mind its theme of “The Future”, students that may not be so sure that their efforts will be as fruitful as they had dreamed shouldn’t lose hope – no matter what happens over the next few weeks, with perseverance and determination, goals can still be reached!
ISSU Commentary (Ordinary Level English)
Students up and down the country sat down to “Facing Danger” glaring up at them as the theme of this morning’s Leaving Cert Ordinary Level English paper 1 – they couldn’t be blamed for feeling slightly uneasy about what kind of questions faced them over the page with a title like that greeting them!
However Section 1 brought comprehensions on the adventures of international athletes, an extract from Tim Severin’s, The Brendan Voyage, and a question based on four images without any particular deadly surprises. The Question A parts of all questions were straightforward providing students engaged well with the texts so nothing too alarming here or in the Question B parts which gave students the option of writing the text of a talk, a competition entry or a promotional piece for a website. Having made it through Section 1 unharmed, students were left with the choice of seven titles for the composition section. However this shouldn’t have proved to be too treacherous as a nice variety of titles were given allowing plenty of scope for the imagination.
Overall, students should have made it safely through paper 1 and will just have to wait and see what dangers face them on paper 2 tomorrow….