Two exams down. Timing abominable, but sure we'll see


EXAM BLOGGER: School/College:O’Fiaich College Dundalk I wanna be a:Watch this space First thing I’ll do when it’s all over:Hit the Big Apple – to work at a summer camp

FIRSTLY, MY hand. If I develop early onset arthritis I’ll be making a claim to the State Examination Commission.

I’ll start with English. The paper on a whole was doable, as the experts like to say. I’d love if, just once, someone described an exam as undoable.

Circle the theme, circle the theme. “Memory”, a theme I would never have ever predicted, but was certainly an interesting one. The choices of comprehensions were definitely testing, I started off with Mary Robinson and halfway through highlighting possible points, scant of patriotism I abandoned it. So a lot of time wasted I moved onto Text 3, “A journey remembered and revisited,” this extract was certainly interesting, challenging, but ultimately feasible. I feel as if I now know Paul Theroux personally, scrutinising every aspect of his personality.

For the B part of the question I did “Personal Memories”. I liked the title and thought Laurence’s autobiographical piece on her hometown had a lot of scope. Consequently it was not too difficult to draw relevant material from.

Finally, Composing Section II. I spent a good five minutes staring blankly at the titles. I had prepared two short stories, knew them both verbatim and was ready to mould them to whatever title. For me, it just wasn’t possible with the titles given: “An inferior rock band howling for fame”, not a typical, generic short story one usually prepares.

As threatened, they really made it hard to bring pre-prepared essays to the exam. I couldn’t find a home for my ready meals anywhere. The second short story title was slightly more enticing; “When I was 18, I couldn’t wait to get out of that town”, but again was constrictive in the sense it was unlikely you had a short story prepared that would have easily slotted in, and hard to fashion a gripping plot in an hour. I thought the personal essay and the speech were both very accessible and welcoming. I did the speech on the importance of literature in people’s lives. Timed it abominably, but sure we’ll see.

The second paper I sat today was Home Economics, “Berocca” fizzling with B-vitamins on the side I bulled into the paper. I thought this paper was quite difficult. The highly anticipated and predicted carbohydrate question was welcome, as was vitamin A for question two.

The questions on the elective were quite trying and really required an awareness of our current economic situation, asking the candidate to compare how geographical location, global economy, demand for goods and service impact upon unemployment. The latter two to my knowledge are not developed elements of the course, so if you had a good understanding of economics in a broad sense, you would have been able to do the question.

The infamous short questions, infamously difficult, they didn’t allow their reputation to falter.

Overall the paper had elements that were welcoming and fair. I found the timing extremely difficult. The last few paragraphs of my elective are on a par with unravelling The Da Vinci Code in terms of my writing deciphering, I just hope my examiner has analytical skills similar to Robert Langdon. Two down. @jameslambert_


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