Dylan – Higher Level
Today was one of my brighter days when it comes to comparing this bleak Leaving Cert period. I am just about half way there!! I opened the French paper to be greeted by a reading comprehension on hitch hiking. It was a handy text and most answers were easily found in the text. The following journalistic text was also very approachable with basic vocabulary littered throughout the text. The one thing that really appeals to me about French at Leaving Cert level is the fact that it is more of a test of your basic French skills and knowledge of the language rather than a memory test. I really enjoy French as a subject and found that anyone who could write in all tenses and had basic vocab would have found this a very paper fair. I am sure like every other student when I first saw the written pieces on ‘The Gathering’, ‘The Horse Meat Scandal’ and ‘The Influence Celebrities have on us’ I absolutely died inside. If anyone in my exam noticed me, I was more or less rubbing the exam paper off my head to try and get ideas. I wrote so much on each written piece, basic, accurate French with a few phrases here and there. As I completed the paper with twenty five minutes remaining(bit of a personal best), I decided to read over everything. What a smart move that was as Dylan had stupidly answered the diary entry in the future tense not realising that it required your thoughts of the party after you had organised it. I started to doubt my worthiness of being in Higher Level English not to think about Higher French as I changed everything to the past tense. Passé Composé you are a life-saver!
As I finished correcting my stupid mistake, I left that question messy. With scribbles and brackets all over that question, I hoped that Hedwig would fly in the classroom door and drop a Tippex pen on my table. Sadly I was severely mistaken. It killed me to see a question so messy, I hate scribbles on a question, it makes me feel sick. I had ten minutes left on the clock having looked over everything so I decided to continue my track record of writing to the end and began to answer another written piece. The Horse Meat scandal it was as I spoofed my way from start to finish and wrote the seventy five words required. Sadly I am not one to stick to the word count as I wrote over 150 words for each piece(I’m not bragging, I promise!) but this one was an exception. Maybe I might get more marks for this clean, structured, word count perfect question than the messy ‘journal intime’ on my Project X House Party last Friday. I felt so cool writing it but as I think back, I should have been studying. Will he(I always assume its a man, no offence all my fellow French scholars.) take marks from me for that? August will tell.
The Listening Comprehension was a bit of a surprise. I thought there might have been an outbreak of drama when the CD wouldn’t start, I was expecting RTÉ News to be in helicopters outside the school but eventually it did and I didn’t get to make a reappearance on the television tonight! The Aural was fair but tricky in parts. The career mentioned wasn’t the usual engineer, lawyer, teacher or nurse but a civil servant. Overall it was a lovely paper and I am very happy with it. Lets hope Monsieur SEC will be too. Until tomorrow!
Sheila – Higher Level
I had been so nervous for history today that I somewhat neglected french for the night and decided to get up at 5 and study it instead. Well I’m wrecked now I can tell you. But french was a subject that I have worked on a lot this year because the mocks gave me a bit of a shock. I thought I had done a great mock until I got the result and got a c3 so I realised I had to step it up if I wanted a B in the actual leaving (even to scrape a B would be great). I have been getting grinds all year and the paper I had been dreading was actually okay 🙂
Well in a surprise twist the second comprehension the literary one was easier than the first which had never been the case for me in the past. The texts were easy to understand and the English questions at the end gave a little tip as to what both were about which was great (especially because i didn’t know they were hitch hikers in the first one to start.) Also a first appeared on the paper with the imperatif as the grammar question which had been predicted to come up.
The written pieces.. these are what brought my grade down every time but today I was so happy to see a need for a degree and education because I managed to bring in all of my recession and emigration notes. The journal was so good this year a slightly humorous one and in it you could show off your negative and positive phrases. The last written piece for me was my weakest I would say I went for the celebrity one. But they used every possible word in relation to the icons they are and the bad influence in the question so it was difficult to find new words and avoid repeating the question but over all a fair paper.
The aural was great! It could have been so much worse as it had been other years but it wasn’t. some one was feeling kind this year. The odd question was hard to catch the first time round but after the third playing it was manageable to answer all questions. Question five which usually consists of some fella speaking really quickly in a strange french accent but this year that changed. It was as easy as section one with China and Hier Soir almost over emphasised. But I am not complaining that’s great for us!
So glad to only have one more exam.. 8 days to wait… great!
Jessica – Higher Level
I couldn’t have been happier upon opening the French paper yesterday, it was by far the fairest paper I’ve seen! The comprehension questions were easy to understand and the answers were simply found. I always find them quite difficult and seeing as their the most marks on the paper, 120 combined, I think there’s a lot of pressure to do well but these ones were very fair! Something that interested me was question 1 part (a), now if my knowledge of French serves me right it was about writing a story real or imaginary, about your first hitch-hiking experience? I have never seen writing a sort of story as a qu’en pensez vous before! However, I opted for part (b) which was about the necessity of university for the world of work where I put all my good education system phrases to work!
Next the trusty diary entry was there which I loved. It was about you having a party when your parents are away, all my phrases about young people drinking sufficed there! There was a wide range of choices for question 3&4 which was great! Friendship, the gathering, celebrity culture and well, the house meat scandal! I don’t think anyone in the entire country could have predicted that one to make an appearance but the little cartoon of the horse saying “je me suis pas le beouf” provided much entertainment…or was I the only one laughing to myself?? I chose the celebrity culture one although before getting stuck in to writing my 75 words I spent 10 minutes (you have plenty of time for the exam!) trying to figure out who the second celebrity caricatures in the picture was, it will forever linger in my mind as to who it is!
All in all it was a very fair paper and I couldn’t have been happier with it!
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.