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2019-06-01 13:27:26 -

By Jessica Ní Mháirtín


As the State examinations are upon us, most students will be racing through exam papers trying to predict this year’s questions.


Even though making exam predictions is not recommended, we’ve all been there and tried to have a guess on what’s coming up. But relying heavily on your own predictions to avoid memorising an entire two-year course for six or more subjects can go horribly, horribly wrong.


The honest answer as to how an extremely stressed student can avoid all this is simply to study.


To fully prepare for the exams, in every subject, students should look at the contents pages of their books used to learn the curriculum over the past two years. They should learn chapter by chapter with a quiz after each one. Then students should progress to the past papers and once they can confidently complete the papers they should time themselves as though in an official exam.


By constantly going over the exam papers you should learn that there is a pattern in the questions asked and this will definitely enhance your understanding of exactly what the marking scheme is looking for. If you struggle with the terminology, write a list of all the Irish questions and phrases that come up over the years to familiarise yourself with them.


For those of you doing the Leaving Certificate, here are a few tips and tricks to getting the best out of your Irish papers.


Paper One

- Underline the key words of all questions, most importantly the cluastuiscint.

- Use pencil to answer the cluastuiscint as you can jot down as many words as you like and change it at the end, when you’re sure of the answer.

- On a rough page, write out all the arguments or points you could make in your ceapadóireacht. Also write out key words and phrases you’d like to use in this section. This will save you loads of time and you can flick back to the page as you write to take note of anything else you suddenly remember as you go.

- You should have plenty of time to complete the ceapadóireacht section so try to manage your time wisely.


Paper Two

- The answers to the léamhthuiscintí are mostly in accordance to the layout of the questions. For example, the answer to question three will most likely be in paragraph three.

- Question 6 (Ard Leibhéal) can be slightly tricky sometimes (and is an exception to the point above as it must be answered in your own words) so don’t be afraid to get back to the rough page again and write out all the possible answers, such as writing styles or tenses. Also use this page to translate the question if needs must.

- Prós agus filíocht – While studying for the exam, draw out a grid writing the authors’ name, some information about the author, title of work, a synopsis of the work, key themes and related quotes. This will be your quick study guide until the exam.

- Run through the past exam questions to ensure what you have in your grid is sufficient information to answer the questions adequately. Also use colours in the grid to help you memorise the different sections. The grid can then be re-written in the exam on your rough-work page if you’re struggling with the questions.

- Litríocht bhreise (Ard Leibhéal) – Using the same approach in the style of learning for the prós and filíocht, draw out a grid for the pieces you have studied for this section. The quotes must be more in depth and support the theme as much as possible.

- Don’t be afraid to add more sections to your grid such as important characters, sounds, imagery, metaphors, etc. These will all help in the exam.


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