Jessica – Higher Level


After nervously waiting for the longest five minutes of my life to pass I raced straight to the poetry section. I couldn’t stop smiling after finding Bishop, Plath AND Mahon! I was spoilt for choice! I went with Mahon having spent far too long deliberating. I felt it was such a nice question!
Next I turned my attention to the dreaded comparative. I was however happy see both theme or issue and cultural context! I chose the first question of theme or issue. I was intrigued by it as none of the past questions were anything like it!
I went to Macbeth next to find a character question and couldn’t have been any happier!
I had just about enough time for the unseen poetry which I found to be quite hard but it’s only 20 marks so I refuse to get bogged down over it!
Over all it was a very fair paper and I’m happy 🙂


Jenny – Higher Level


What a Paper 2! I think everyone was dreading to see what would come up on the paper today especially which poets would make an appearance. As we all rushed to open the paper and look at the names of the poets there was an immediate sigh of relief throughout the room. Two women poets! (And Mahon and Hopkins)… Who would have thought!?
With a weight off my shoulders and circling the number beside Bishop, I returned to the first page and began the paper.
Our single text was Macbeth and the questions didn’t seem too bad. I chose the question on the significant insights we gain into Macbeth’s mind and how its critical in shaping our understanding of his character. For the comparative study I was delighted that Theme or Issue appeared as I wasn’t entirely prepared for Cultural Context or Literary Genre.
The unseen poem didn’t look too bad at first but I think I may have interpreted it wrong… still they can’t say my “personal response” was wrong can they?
And then finally I moved onto the last question and started my essay on Elizabeth Bishop. I thought I had my timing right but I found myself rushing at the end and ending it quite abruptly.
Altogether I thought it was a quite nice paper. Everything I had studied came up thankfully and although I think I made a few mistakes, it feels good knowing that I’ll never have to do an English exam ever again. Now time to go and burn those books… and prepare for maths of course!


Dylan – Higher Level


I am alive and mentally stable. You’ve guessed it, I have been in luck. The beautiful Sylvia appealed to the reader once again and came up on today’s paper two. I was so nervous before today’s paper. Not to the extent of overdosing on rescue remedy or puking in my exam hall but I was still questioning the fairness of SEC after last year’s disaster! Once I received the paper there was a shuffle to the poetry section to find out which pets came up. Julie Johnson you are a legend of a teacher, covering five poets with us and all four came up. You say you’re a betting women and now I agree.
After my moment of excitement my focus shifted to the Macbeth question of which I completely waffled through. I made it personal, I put a few big words in the right context in and I used the keywords of the question. Did what I was writing make sense? I don’t think so however, it is my friend in the SEC that will decide that. Will he read my question vigorously or will he scan and look for keywords, structure and key points? I will know on August 14th.
As I jumped on to the Comparative, I chose the Theme and Issue question which was the long 70 mark question. I am too lazy to do the 40 and 30 mark question. It’s too annoying. The question I answered was about a theme that enables a reader to form both personal and universal reflections. Why did I answer on it? I don’t know. I really don’t.
Seven pages later I finished up with a sweaty hand and a mixed opinion. My big time to shine came. I turned the page and was greeted by the legend Sylvia. Her provocative imagery and intense emotions came up so armed with my pen and a mind full of ideas I began to write and pretty much verbally seduce the work of Sylvia for a good four pages discussing how she was the first person who made people realise they could relate to a piece of literature and how she connected with me. We really do have a connection. I promise.  Five pages of adoring good aul Sylv and feeling extremely sorry for her, I moseyed onto the Unseen section. Spirits were high, my favourite poet came up and every other poet I had studied so I was excited. Sadly I got too excited whilst writing on herself when noticing that I had seven minutes to write my unseen ramble. What was that poem? Why was the punctuation so poor and why wasn’t there any basic techniques.
One more thing that I really need to ask is WHY WASN’T THERE A PERSONAL RESPONSE QUESTION IN PART 2 LIKE THERE ALWAYS IS. That just sickened me. With seven minutes to go I barely read the poem and started completely bluffing about how the poem had a huge influence on me and how I conencted with the poet. I don’t even remember who the poet was or to make things better I didn’t even read the poem. It’s sad but it’s true, you are not able to write on an unseen poem in 7 minutes. As I was scanning the poem looking for obvious techniques the time was up and aul Betty was on her way around to collect the papers. I wasn’t finished. I wasn’t nearly finished. I started writing more but that didn’t work. The paper was pulled from me and it was all over. What a daunting experience.
Maths tomorrow I hope they ask my opinion on climate change like last year. Put a bit of JC Geog to the test. Until my next blog!!!

Nathan – Ordinary Level

So Paper 2.  Well it went better than I expected to be honest. Section 2 threw me off a little bit but other than that I don’t think i could have asked for a better Paper 2.
Everything I had studied for came up so I don’t have too much to give out about.  I’ll blog again tomorrow


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.