Aoife – Higher Level
Well that’s it, the last written Irish exam most of us will ever do, an end to the love/hate relationship. After a night full of revising every pros and filíocht, and an Triail I wasn’t too disappointed when I got the paper. It was grand was the general reaction in my school. The comprehensions were manageable; the new format where you can just take the words out of the text makes it a lot easier. However I was slightly surprised to see that they had changed the marking scheme even though they hadn’t mentioned it. Question 6 is now worth 15 marks and questions 1-5 are worth 7 marks. I was delighted to see that Hurlamaboc came up as it’s an easy text to write about. I didn’t feel much the same about an tEarrach Thiar, the questions were still alright. An lastly the an Triail question was good and suited the material that I had. Overall it wasn’t a bad paper it was a long paper however as it’s a lot to write about in the space of time that’s given. I hope it went ok for everyone, Aoife
Hugh – Higher Level
Right, Irish paper 2. Very quick overview:
First Comprehension featured an element of the much-anticipated Olympic Games mixed with biographical material. The 6b question asked for your impression of the attitudes of certain segments of American society and the Olympic organisation body towards “people like” the sportsman Jim Thorpe who was of mixed European-Native American ancestry. These were given in the piece so just required re-phrasing. Verdict = Grand!
Second comprehension was a piece by an Irish journalist on life in the favelas in Brasil. Featured personal experiences, reflections and historical information, 6b asked which genre did the piece belong to and to identify two traits of this genre evident in the piece. Verdict = Grand.
Both comprehensions featured grammar questions, nothing too exhausting, it asked students to pick out examples of certain tenses etc.
Prose question featured Hurlamaboc, this was widely anticipated and the question focused on the central character of Lisín and the insights we get from the extract into modern life.
Poetry was in a slightly different format to the sample papers, but only slightly. It featured An tEarrach Thiar – by Mairtín Ó Direáin and we were asked about 1. The effectiveness of sounds and images in the poem. 2. To write a short biography of the poet, and 3. The effectiveness of repetition in the poem. So no big surprises on that section.
The An Trial question went down well with most students…….except for me….who managed to wrongly translate a word I’ve come across hundreds of times “fimíneacht” which means hypocrisy, in my exam addled brain it meant feminism! Oh well, on to history!
There were some new and ‘tricky’ elements in the higher level Irish paper two this morning; with the much-maligned Stair na Gaeilge consigned to ancient history, the new look Irish paper 2 held no major shocks, although it was challenging. The paper opened reasonably well with a comprehension piece about an Irish American Jim Thorpe Olympian who won two gold medals at the 1923 Olympics. Many described this as interesting.Overall, the questions based on the piece were, “fairly typical,” The final question on the piece was a new addition to the exam this year. Broken into two parts, a grammar question and an opinion piece, the question drew a varied feedback, it was broken into two parts. The grammar segment was “reasonable”, according to many, adding the opinion piece was too taxing. Some raised questions about the amount of time spent learning proportionate to the amount of marks attainable for the ’poetry and prose’ sections. There was a similar line of thought about a ten mark question from the comprehension section Gaeilgeoir Alex Hijmans, a Dutchman appeared in the subsequent comprehension piece which was an excerpt from his book, Favela. Some highlighted that a glossary might have been helpful for some of the more unusual and unfamiliar terms used. Some had problems with question 6, as asking students about the literary genre of the piece was described as ‘”unfair” by some. The prose question, on Hurlamboc, presented no great challenge and the poem, An tEarrach Thiar was anticipated. There were few complaints about the additional literature question.
Ordinary level students had a good start with two “very interesting,” comprehension passages. One featured sports presenter Evanne Ní Chuillin and the other presented tennis player Daithí Ó hEithir. The questions on both pieces were typcal. The prose questions on Hurlamboc were uncommon. Students were asked 6 short questions rather than a ‘summary’ type question.The second prose question about Oisín í dTír na nÓg was more like what we have previously seen.The two poems given were Géibheann and An tEarrach Thiar. These were accompanied by short questions and questions on emotions and imagery. There were little or no complaints about these.
Please note: blog posts reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union. Blogs are updated daily by 6.30 pm on scheduled examination dates.