Junior Cert English

 Mark – Higher Level

So today was the first day of the exams and first up was English papers 1 and 2. Paper one is generally easy enough and allows you to be fairly creative with the personal writing section in particular. I decided to go straight into the personal writing section of paper 1 and as per usual did the speech, opposing the motion that said sport brings out the best in people. I generally like speeches as they allow you to use humour whilst getting logical points across and I also managed to save a bit of time from that one too. I decided to do the functional writing next choosing to write a leaflet for a school talent show and that was easy again. Media Studies was no bother either and the newspapers question wasn’t any trouble to answer on. The Reading Comprehension was okay and there weren’t any troubles there either. Paper one was grand and I was in a good mood heading into Paper 2.
paper two is always tight for time but I had worked on it so I wasn’t in too much trouble with it. I had plenty of quotes prepared for my studied drama (Romeo and Juliet), my poetry (Sonnet 29, also by Shakespeare, and also a few war poems just for choice) and my novel was Of Mice and Men by John Steinback.  So at the beginning of the second paper I had the choice between an unstudied Shakespearian drama or another unstudied. I chose the other which was an extract from Educating Rita by Willy Russell and I quite liked it and was glad to have a choice of two of the three questions on it. For the studied drama question I chose the first choice regarding a character. I answered on Friar Lawrence and it really suited the question on my impressions of him and then how this progresses further on in the play. Poetry was my least favourite section of the paper but I think I still did well in it.   For the fiction section we were given The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and I enjoyed reading it so I’ll have to look at it over the Summer!   Overall English Paper 2 was easy enough although my hand feels like it will fall off after all of that writing! Day one finished now I’ll have to get ready for Irish. 🙂

Asha – Higher Level

Well my hand is dead. For a subject I seriously dislike it was quite fair to be honest. Paper 1- I found the reading section easy enough, Qt 1 and Qt 2 were really clear all answers in the text. Qt 3 threw me a little, I had difficulty naming the characteristics but I managed in the end. The personal writing was very nice. I was hoping for a good topic for a descriptive essay but in the end settled for topic 4 which was loosely based on the first paragraph in the reading section. I wrote a personal essay incorporating school, motorways and dogs. Don’t ask me how, I haven’t a clue. But it was good I think I did well enough. Functional writing.. If you knew the review layout you were safe home. I went for the flyer though. I chose Qt 1 for the media studies. (a) was really nice, literally just the differences in copy, language, pictures etc. (b) was sort of confusing I wasn’t sure if they were referring to the elements of a newspaper or otherwise. In the end I did both. My article for (c) could have been better.

The paper was fair and there was a very broad range of things that was asked for giving everyone a choice and a chance to play to their strengths. Paper 2- Didn’t even look at the Shakespeare drama having never looked at Shakespeare, straight to the other drama. I liked that they linked it with the reading section from paper 1 by taking a play from Anton Chekhov. I did Qt 1 and Qt 3. Qt 1 was tricky.. was something going on between Frank and Rita? I don’t know, I wrote about what I thought may have been jealousy on Franks part and about the clear tension between the two. Opposing personalities and that. Qt 3 was grand. I had done a similar question in class. Same main aspects, lighting, posture, positioning and they way the spoke (intonation, emphasis). For the studied drama I did Qt 1 on the Bull. At the start he was arrogant and intimidating, later on he was remorseful, violent and his clear love of his son and the land show. Unseen poetry was cute 🙂 I really liked it. I felt the parent was supportive with a fear of losing her child but also proud. I thought that it was like a metaphor or something for her growing up from childhood and/ or her decision to leave home. The title didn’t surprise me at all. I rambled about poetic devices and commented on how the poet ended the poem. Studied poetry I did Qt. 2 The examiner is probably going to hate me after I did Midterm break but oh well.

I had considered doing Qt. 1 but was glad I didn’t because when I got home I saw they were looking for two poems. I chose people and spoke about growing up before their time and stuff. Don’t remember exactly what I wrote but I’m confident enough. Is it just me or was there an overwhelming theme of despair, loss and fear this year? That’s what I thought anyway. Especially after the Unseen fiction. What was that? Seriously. What was that meant to be? ‘It’? Scary clowns and all that jazz. I did Qt 1 and Qt 2. First one was grand no tricks, it was clear how his opinion differed. Second one was just a commentary on descriptive writing and other effective writing devices. My studied novel was, ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.’ I think it is safe to say I hate that book at this point. I chose Qt 1 as the better of two evils. I think I ended part a with something about how, yes I found that world unfair and unfortunately it is this one. At least I kept with their theme. For (b) I spoke about how Bruno betrayed Shmuel and Kotler was a bully.

Generally people are a big issue. So yeah that was English 😛

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.


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