Apart from Irish, Spanish for me was that one subject in which I wanted to do my best. My favourite subject by far so really the biggest pressure in these exam situations are self inflicted by trying to reach your full potential…but I think I remained calm enough, only to be greeted by fairly manageable reading comprehensions accompanied with the often dreaded synonyms questions that didn’t pose too much of a problem for me.
I chose the dialogue instead of the formal letter, as it’s more straight forward and less time consuming. Funnily enough, they asked phrases that had come up many times before such as;
“abair go bhfuil tú ag foghlaim Spáinnise le cúig bliana” / “say you have been learning Spanish for five years”
And also there were plenty of subjunctive uses and I think I handled them well enough, but who knows…not mad about post mortems in exams!
The oral exam work is NECESSARY to know. Many aspects of the dialogue and note/diary rely on knowledge of what you could have said in the oral exam. Luckily for me, I had vocabulary for watersports from that, and the dialogue asked for “say you love watersports and swimming”, fifth years (now sixth years) take note!
The essay titles were difficult for most;
“La vida puede ser sencilla”
“Hay que hacer más para los demás”
Okay…I heard plenty of whispers saying “JODER” and “MIERDA” around the room in English when people flicked over the page…but luckily I had prepared enough on world issues to do the second question. But I wrote too much!!!..entre 80-150 palabras was ignored (‘go hard or go home’ probably didnt help me, but no rules against writing more). In my attempts to make a flowing answer…this could have been a big mistake, but who knows, I think my grammar was okay so I can’t lose too much!
The listening was tough enough from the onset…but I answered all questions with some confidence bar from the bizarre last announcement…anyone have a clue what was going on really? Watching a film ‘Ahora o nunca’ on Netflix last night certainly helped!
Overall, a lot of topics were covered, even a flying minion on a motorway in Dublin in the listening, most students would have had enough knowledge to do reasonably well, so fair play to anyone who took Spanish. Make sure you use that perfected language on your trip to Santa Ponza and Ibiza!!
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.
Zeminar is an event for Generation Z, particularly those aged between 15 and 19, and their parents, teachers, mentors and coaches. It will take place from 11th – 13th of October 2016. For more information see www.zeminar.ie