Leaving Cert diary: ‘I’m ecstatic with that history paper’

I’m probably in a minority this year, sitting all my exams - I wanted to cover my bases, writes Tori Douglas.

Tori Douglas from Castlecomer Community School in Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Everything I'd studied for in history came up including Stalin and the Sunningdale Agreement. A hundred years after the foundation of Northern Ireland, a lot of my classmates expected to see a question on the Anglo-Irish Treaty and were glad it showed up.

Given the focus on Black Lives Matter over the past year, we were glad to see the Montgomery bus boycott appear in the document question.

French, however, served up the most challenging aural comprehension I have ever done. I could understand the majority of it, but section B caused students a lot of problems because the speaker went so fast.

The paper itself was grand, though the first comprehension was harder than the second. A lot of us expected Brexit or racism to come up, but they didn’t. And the diary entry was difficult, with students asked to react to getting a record deal after playing a concert.


Earlier, I was particularly happy with maths paper one. And although I sat the higher level English paper, I was impressed to see Hatsune Miku (a singing voice synthesiser with a Japanese anime character) appear – it’s quite a niche interest, so there must be someone in the State Examinations Commission who knows about anime.

I’m probably in a minority this year, sitting all my exams – I wanted to cover my bases because I’m hoping to get into Law and French at Trinity.

But sitting two Leaving Cert exams was definitely not how I intended to celebrate Bloomsday. Last year, I read Ulysses and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and I really loved them.

Never mind, because I’ve only one exam left – art history and appreciation – and then I get to sleep and maybe have a belated Bloomsday celebration. I honestly don’t know how I will handle the world post-Leaving Cert. No exams? No cramming? No school? A summer of sleep and reading – and then college? I can’t wait.

* Leaving Cert diaries from Castlecomer Community School are now concluded

Tori Douglas is a Leaving Cert student at Castlecomber Community College in Co Kilkenny