Helen – Higher Level
I was quite comfortable with Irish Paper 1 as I had learned my list of phrases for my scéal/eachtra so I was ready! I find with the scéal section that no matter what the title is, you are able to twist it into a story about a fire. Quite handy! I found the listening quite alright as the places mentioned were ones that come up quite a lot. Time wise, I felt confident as I had at least ten minutes to spare to review what I had written. The comprehensions featured a lot of opinionated questions and carried on through to paper 2.
I have to say, at first glance of Irish Paper 2, my heart dropped as themes such as grá, bás or brón didn’t come up. I decided to go with ‘misneach’ and my chosen pros was Imithe by Ruaidhrí Ó Buaille Aagain I was a bit thrown when I saw the themes for the poems, I chose ‘tuismitheoir’ and wrote about Subh Milis by Séamas Ó Neill. Luckily I was able to slant both of my studied pieces to fit into the themes. I think I must have quickly scanned through the options for the letter as I realised after finishing the exam that I hadn’t written it in the prescribed tense. However, I was pretty happy with the way the exam went.
Gearóid – Higher Level
Firstly with the aural: it started off well with Cuid A however Cuid B didn’t go so well. Cuid C went off “okay”. The two comprehensions were doable. I knew about Lorde already so I knew one or two answers of the questions before. The grammar section went good. They put it up to us translating present to future tense! I finished off with 45 minutes for a story. I wrote about sitting outside the principals office and there were a few deaths in my story, a bit too morbid! Overall I liked this paper, nothing that surprised me. Thank be to God.
With the written exam, I started with the letter, which I usually find hard. I done the first choice (A) as I felt that going to the cinema was easy. I quickly went onto the seen poetry, which I wrote about a poem Faoiseamh a Gheobhadsa and the subject of country life. I swiftly went onto the seen pros. I felt the themes were extremely hard, not like other years (grá, brón etc.). I wrote about Gleann seo an nDeor, it fitted in with “cineáltas” or kindness. Onto the unseen pros, the comprehension was difficult in my opinion but I tried my best! The unseen poetry were the last thing I done and I only had 10 minutes left in the exam. They didn’t go the best either but I may have got half marks. Overall I enjoyed the letter but the unseen literature let me down.
Art – Higher Level
Irish Paper One: Personally, I have to say I found this year’s Listening to be easier than most in the exam papers. Fortunately, we were not hit with a harsh Donegal Gaeltach accent! On from there, section two began with the Comprehensions; one on Lorde and the other or Oireachtas. I found the first one easy but overall they both seemed relatively doable. As for the Grammar, I didn’t find the transformation from present to future too difficult, though I’m not so sure about the other part. Finally, we were blessed to be given two reasonable options for the Scéal; outside the principal’s office and unsure why or else something that happened when you went shopping with your friend. I chose the shopping one and sort of roped in pieces from a missing person and a robbery, mixed with phrases and hopefully it’ll get me through. Overall, I was relatively happy with paper one, as Irish is not a strong for me.
Irish Paper Two: I nearly had a heart attack when I opened the paper to find a pretty tricky selection for the Studied Prose. I ended up using a theme from the given prose to work for mine; ainmhithe. The unseen itself I found rather challenging and I don’t think I answered it too well. I then moved on to the Studied Poem where I used ‘tuismitheoir’ for Teilifis and sort of improvised from there. You could get away with reading one given poem if you were caught for time (which I was). Giving an opinion on The News poem wasn’t impossible, though again not for the fainthearted. Finally, the letter to a friend was on a trip to the cinema. Not too bad. Overall, I found paper two a struggle and I felt demoralized heading into the final half hour. Hopefully it won’t drag the grade too far down!
Jane – Higher Level
I was fairly happy with paper one. The listening comprehension was very easy in comparison to my pre, or other comprehensions for other years. The reading comp was good I think…. I can’t really remember what it was about now though. The grammar sections were okay… I was freaking when I saw the future tense but it was actually grand once I got down to it. The heading of the eactra put me off definitely. Because Irish is not my strongest subject I like to get notes from my friends in other schools who have amazing teachers and just learn them off. It worked for me in the pre but today I hadn’t prepared anything in that fit into the titles perfectly. However I managed to slot in a couple of the best parts from all the essays I had learnt off into one. I was pretty pleased at the end but thinking back now I think it might be all over the place… It was like three pages long and had about a million seanfhocals! I hope my examiner appreciates all my wise old words of wisdom.
Ahhhh paper two. Well first of all I spent all of the two hour break cramming for this, but I did pretty well in the studied work. I thought the headings for studied stories were strange… Usually grá or brón will come up but they were more complex this year. Lots of the girls in my year didn’t even attenmpt this question as they didn’t have a clue what the words meant. I quite liked this question because it made me look at the story. I had studied, Calua, and see it in a different light. Shoutout to the SEC there! Unstudied fiction didn’t go so beautifully, I found the passage to be pretty wordy and the questions seemed to require long answers when there wasn’t that much information there in the first place. I didn’t mind poetry too much, although I didn’t comprehend the complete meaning of the entire poems I could decipher what the question wanted. The letter was pretty okay too!
Thankfully I’ve already done my Irish oral, so I have forty per cent out of the way! In conclusion, I think after finishing my gaelige Junior Cert course, that I now regard continuous assessment to be even more imperative to the Irish education system than I did before. I spent a huge amount of time cramming for this exam so I could get a good mark, from studying late at night to get up early this morning. I’ve been studying for Irish like this for the last half year, but it’s the nature of the long blocks of text to require constant review. I wish I had a teacher for Junior Cert who would have taught me to understand the language rather than speel out pages and pages of text which I didn’t understand, but would get me an A.
Please note: Blog posts reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union.