Categories 2016 Exam BlogJC Blog (2016)

Junior Certificate English

Shane – Higher Level English Paper 1 & 2

Shane Macken

English! My favourite subject. I’m a massive fan of reading and writing stuff so I went in today with high hope.

Paper 1: Let me start by saying I loved this paper! I started off paper 1 with my personal writing. I did the speech and was delighted with the motion, I went against the motion ‘Ireland is no longer the land of A Hundred Thousand Welcomes’. I was so delighted that I wrote 5 pages… I talked about Mary Robinson’s ‘candle in the window’ along with various other things, ending on an encouraging note to love everybody to get marks sentimental. Then I did functional writing, choosing the letter. I went back to the start and did the comprehension. I loved this comprehension because it was actually fun. When everyone in my centre opened the paper, they all laughed. Then I chose question one on media studies, talking about keeping up to date on news and Hillary’s democratic nomination.

Paper 2: I always thought I’d do better in Paper 1 than 2. That was until I got 89% on paper 2 in the mocks. So I went in to paper 2 confident. I started answering on my studied drama, The Merchant Of Venice, doing question 2. I thought it could have been better (I really wanted one on themes), but hey, you have to work with what you’re given. Then I did the first studied poetry question using two of Wilfred Owen’s pens. I moved on to section 3 and did the second fiction question on To Kill A Mockingbird. Then I worked backwards, doing Unseen Fiction first. In the end, I had about fifteen minutes left to do my unseen Shakespearean Drama, and I have never written so fast.
All in all, I am extremely happy with English and feel really good about it. I hope you all feel the same as me! Best of luck in Irish tomorrow!

Philip – Higher Level English Paper 1 & 2 Philip Crowe. Abbey CBS

Paper 1: I started paper 1 with question 1, not because it was question 1 but because a comprehension seemed like a good starting point. I can now honesty say, I have a much more indepth knowledge on the subject of emoji than I ever expected. Next I did the media studies question. I did question 2 the one with the cartoon and the 1950s and present day comparison pictures. That was…..strange, but I think I did ok. Well I finished it. Third I did functional writing. I did the letter question, mainly because I wasn’t really sure what the other one was asking. Was it a blog? Anyway in the letter I said they should buy equipment not hire someone. Last but not least I did the personal writing. I did the “a Door into the Dark” question. I think I did well enough. I took “inspiration” from a creepy pasta. I changed a good bit though. So that was paper 1.

Paper 2: In paper 2 I did all the unseen questions first and those were in order. I didn’t think the options were great for the drama. I really didn’t like the poetry. But I thought the fiction was okay. I did the interview question and the “do you think their friendship will last” question. I said it would. Then I went back and did the studied drama. I did the “character relationship” question for Shylock and Antonio in the Merchant of Venice. then I did poetry. I answered the first question, the one where you were given a statement like “a play can change how you think and how you feel” I answered with Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et decrum est”. God I repeated myself SO much. Finally I did the studied fiction question. I answered on Goodnight Mr Tom and I answered the question with the “pick two from this list” thing. Anyway at least English is over that’s where your most under pressure for time I think. Good luck with Irish tomorrow everyone!

Joe – Higher Level English Paper 1 & 2 Joe Mee - Scoil Ruain

Paper 1: I woke up this morning with a combination of excitement, worry and a small amount of fear fuelled by my cram studying technique and lack of sleep the night previous.

The exams itself wasn’t as bad as I first anticipated. I enjoyed the reading of the emoji passage and found the questions relatively easy. I was very fortunate with the questions that came up for both personal writing and functional writing. A short story I had prepared earlier in the year fitted the criteria of a story with a “eureka moment”. With the functional writing a letter was an option and this was the only functional writing piece I was confident with. In media studies I picked question one based on “Types of news consumers”. I was quite unsure how to answer it correctly and was fairly confused by it.

Over all the paper wasn’t to bad and I was happy with how it went.

Paper 2: After my reasonable success on paper one I was more confident about jumping this second hurdle.

Unfortunately I did not do as well on this paper. I did the studied drama, poetry and fiction first as I knew they would be my strongest answers. Unfortunately I liked the questions that came up too much and wrote a large amount for all three. This had the knock on affect of making me have to rush the unseen questions and I was writing to the very end. The unseen fiction and drama questions were straight forward enough and I answered reasonable well. For the unseen poetry I didn’t like the poem in the exam paper and was unsure about my answers.

The time restraints for paper two were difficult to contend with particularly with my slow reading speed. I however got it all done and over all my questions weren’t perfect but we’re ok and all finished.

Chloe – Higher Level English Paper 1 & 2 Chloe Griffin. Scoil Ruain

Paper 1: At 9:30 am I couldn’t believe how relaxed I was, we were about to begin our first Junior Certificate exam and honestly you would never have known! I’m not sure if that was a good or a bad thing!

I went in chronological order, not changing the order of the questions up or anything and so reading was up first! I was quite happy to see a piece about emoji on the paper I must admit! The questions, I thought, weren’t too bad but they need some thinking.

Okay so I had learned an essay word for word over the last couple of days and I prayed to the high heavens that it would work for me. It did! I can’t describe how happy I was! I chose option 4 which was adding in a small phrase ‘….but tell them I was here all day’ or something like that I’m not 100% sure.

Functional writing was next and honestly, I had had an inkling that a letter would appear. At this stage I had the last reading section question still to finish and I was under time pressure for sure! Letter writing is definitely one of my stronger points so I was buying time with this question as it was actually quite similar to one I had seen before

Oh media studies! I completed question A which was about news consumers and at this stage I was writing so quickly I thought my hand was going to fall off!

At the end of the day I felt paper 1 was a lovely paper, obviously it contained some tricky pieces but what exam doesn’t!

Paper 2: At 2:00pm we entered the exam hall and I can’t describe how I was feeling when the paper lay in front of me but I didn’t feel ‘into it’ I was praying that I’d boot into work mode asap and thankfully I did half way through the first drama.

It wasn’t a surprise to see a question about stage direction laced in here as they had been coming up quite a lot but still I opted for the comparison question along with the first drama one, as to be honest I really hate questions on scene direction!

Again I steered clear of the stage like question for the studied drama and focused my answer on question 2 which I chose ‘an unexpected event’ and ‘contrasting characters’ I found these fair enough to answer. I had studied The Merchant of Venice.

I loved the poem in the unseen section but the questions were slightly more difficult especially the question on the ‘narrators impression of the woman encountered on the tube’ as I felt there wasn’t much info in the poem to delve into and so, I struggled with this.

So, I’m kind of obsessed with ‘The Lake isle of Innisfree’ and again, this is one that I was hoping would suit the question. I chose question 2 and used it as a poem suitable for a wedding. I know, sounds odd but I made it work!

This fiction section was so ugly I absolutely hated it, I couldn’t follow it properly or anything maybe this was because I was rushing to finish the whole fiction in 30 minutes or maybe you guys thought so too!

The studied fiction also wasn’t my best friend but I completed question 1 and decided to choose Atticus Finch to join me on the desert island and also choosing to leave Bob Ewell behind.

Overall paper 2 was okay but I definitely didn’t find it easy by any means.

Hope all of you guys got on okay, I’m sure you all did it great!

Anois, Gaeilge!

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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