Junior Certificate English

Shane - Higher Level English Paper 1 & 2

Shane MackenEnglish! My favourite subject. I’m a massive fan of reading and writing stuff so I went in today with high hope.Paper 1: Let me start by saying I loved this paper! I started off paper 1 with my personal writing. I did the speech and was delighted with the motion, I went against the motion ‘Ireland is no longer the land of A Hundred Thousand Welcomes'. I was so delighted that I wrote 5 pages… I talked about Mary Robinson’s ‘candle in the window’ along with various other things, ending on an encouraging note to love everybody to get marks sentimental. Then I did functional writing, choosing the letter. I went back to the start and did the comprehension. I loved this comprehension because it was actually fun. When everyone in my centre opened the paper, they all laughed. Then I chose question one on media studies, talking about keeping up to date on news and Hillary’s democratic nomination.Paper 2: I always thought I’d do better in Paper 1 than 2. That was until I got 89% on paper 2 in the mocks. So I went in to paper 2 confident. I started answering on my studied drama, The Merchant Of Venice, doing question 2. I thought it could have been better (I really wanted one on themes), but hey, you have to work with what you’re given. Then I did the first studied poetry question using two of Wilfred Owen’s pens. I moved on to section 3 and did the second fiction question on To Kill A Mockingbird. Then I worked backwards, doing Unseen Fiction first. In the end, I had about fifteen minutes left to do my unseen Shakespearean Drama, and I have never written so fast.All in all, I am extremely happy with English and feel really good about it. I hope you all feel the same as me! Best of luck in Irish tomorrow!Philip - Higher Level English Paper 1 & 2 Philip Crowe. Abbey CBSPaper 1: I started paper 1 with question 1, not because it was question 1 but because a comprehension seemed like a good starting point. I can now honesty say, I have a much more indepth knowledge on the subject of emoji than I ever expected. Next I did the media studies question. I did question 2 the one with the cartoon and the 1950s and present day comparison pictures. That was.....strange, but I think I did ok. Well I finished it. Third I did functional writing. I did the letter question, mainly because I wasn't really sure what the other one was asking. Was it a blog? Anyway in the letter I said they should buy equipment not hire someone. Last but not least I did the personal writing. I did the "a Door into the Dark" question. I think I did well enough. I took "inspiration" from a creepy pasta. I changed a good bit though. So that was paper 1.Paper 2: In paper 2 I did all the unseen questions first and those were in order. I didn't think the options were great for the drama. I really didn't like the poetry. But I thought the fiction was okay. I did the interview question and the "do you think their friendship will last" question. I said it would. Then I went back and did the studied drama. I did the "character relationship" question for Shylock and Antonio in the Merchant of Venice. then I did poetry. I answered the first question, the one where you were given a statement like "a play can change how you think and how you feel" I answered with Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et decrum est". God I repeated myself SO much. Finally I did the studied fiction question. I answered on Goodnight Mr Tom and I answered the question with the "pick two from this list" thing. Anyway at least English is over that's where your most under pressure for time I think. Good luck with Irish tomorrow everyone!

Joe - Higher Level English Paper 1 & 2 Joe Mee - Scoil Ruain

Paper 1: I woke up this morning with a combination of excitement, worry and a small amount of fear fuelled by my cram studying technique and lack of sleep the night previous.The exams itself wasn't as bad as I first anticipated. I enjoyed the reading of the emoji passage and found the questions relatively easy. I was very fortunate with the questions that came up for both personal writing and functional writing. A short story I had prepared earlier in the year fitted the criteria of a story with a "eureka moment". With the functional writing a letter was an option and this was the only functional writing piece I was confident with. In media studies I picked question one based on "Types of news consumers". I was quite unsure how to answer it correctly and was fairly confused by it.Over all the paper wasn't to bad and I was happy with how it went.Paper 2: After my reasonable success on paper one I was more confident about jumping this second hurdle.Unfortunately I did not do as well on this paper. I did the studied drama, poetry and fiction first as I knew they would be my strongest answers. Unfortunately I liked the questions that came up too much and wrote a large amount for all three. This had the knock on affect of making me have to rush the unseen questions and I was writing to the very end. The unseen fiction and drama questions were straight forward enough and I answered reasonable well. For the unseen poetry I didn't like the poem in the exam paper and was unsure about my answers.The time restraints for paper two were difficult to contend with particularly with my slow reading speed. I however got it all done and over all my questions weren't perfect but we're ok and all finished.

Chloe - Higher Level English Paper 1 & 2 Chloe Griffin. Scoil Ruain

Paper 1: At 9:30 am I couldn't believe how relaxed I was, we were about to begin our first Junior Certificate exam and honestly you would never have known! I’m not sure if that was a good or a bad thing!I went in chronological order, not changing the order of the questions up or anything and so reading was up first! I was quite happy to see a piece about emoji on the paper I must admit! The questions, I thought, weren't too bad but they need some thinking.Okay so I had learned an essay word for word over the last couple of days and I prayed to the high heavens that it would work for me. It did! I can’t describe how happy I was! I chose option 4 which was adding in a small phrase ‘….but tell them I was here all day’ or something like that I’m not 100% sure.Functional writing was next and honestly, I had had an inkling that a letter would appear. At this stage I had the last reading section question still to finish and I was under time pressure for sure! Letter writing is definitely one of my stronger points so I was buying time with this question as it was actually quite similar to one I had seen beforeOh media studies! I completed question A which was about news consumers and at this stage I was writing so quickly I thought my hand was going to fall off!At the end of the day I felt paper 1 was a lovely paper, obviously it contained some tricky pieces but what exam doesn’t!Paper 2: At 2:00pm we entered the exam hall and I can’t describe how I was feeling when the paper lay in front of me but I didn’t feel ‘into it’ I was praying that I’d boot into work mode asap and thankfully I did half way through the first drama.It wasn’t a surprise to see a question about stage direction laced in here as they had been coming up quite a lot but still I opted for the comparison question along with the first drama one, as to be honest I really hate questions on scene direction!Again I steered clear of the stage like question for the studied drama and focused my answer on question 2 which I chose ‘an unexpected event’ and ‘contrasting characters’ I found these fair enough to answer. I had studied The Merchant of Venice.I loved the poem in the unseen section but the questions were slightly more difficult especially the question on the ‘narrators impression of the woman encountered on the tube’ as I felt there wasn’t much info in the poem to delve into and so, I struggled with this.So, I'm kind of obsessed with ‘The Lake isle of Innisfree’ and again, this is one that I was hoping would suit the question. I chose question 2 and used it as a poem suitable for a wedding. I know, sounds odd but I made it work!This fiction section was so ugly I absolutely hated it, I couldn’t follow it properly or anything maybe this was because I was rushing to finish the whole fiction in 30 minutes or maybe you guys thought so too!The studied fiction also wasn’t my best friend but I completed question 1 and decided to choose Atticus Finch to join me on the desert island and also choosing to leave Bob Ewell behind.Overall paper 2 was okay but I definitely didn’t find it easy by any means.Hope all of you guys got on okay, I’m sure you all did it great!Anois, Gaeilge!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.ieZeminar cover image