Leaving Cert Irish 2018: Studying for Paper 2
Aside from revision and exam prep, one of the best ways to prepare for this year’s exams is to analyse those of recent years; to look at trends and patterns set in previous exams and consider how these might develop.
So, based on the leaving cert Irish 2017 exam papers, how should you study for 2018?
‘Familiar’, ‘accessible’, even ‘easy’ were words used to describe last year’s higher level Irish exam papers – meaning this year’s are likely to be more challenging.
Paper 2 continued Paper 1’s pattern of familiarity. Most students would have recognised the content of the first comprehension, Fiche Bliain ag Fás, which dealt with the foundation and development of TG4.
The second comprehension, titled An Cogadh sa tSiria agus Géarchéim na nDídeanaithe (on the war in Syria and the plight of refugees), may have proved slightly more challenging. Students who are up to date with current affairs would have had a better chance of understanding it, but it was still quite manageable.
Both pieces of comprehension were accompanied by a considerable amount of questions, many of which were divided into a number of sub-questions.
Expect another domestic, i.e. Ireland-based comprehension, and one dealing with foreign affairs.
In terms of the studied texts, An Gnáthrud, a short story set in Belfast, would have been widely anticipated but didn’t feature. Éilís Ní Dhuibhne’s 2006 novel about three Leaving Cert students Hurlamaboc appeared instead.
The question asked was based on the main character Lisín, and students were asked to discuss her control of her life, family and home. Better-performing students ensured their answer covered all three of these aspects-life, family and house.
Maybe this is An Gnáthrud’s year?
Meanwhile, poetry-wise, Géibheann, a poem by Irish writer and activist Caitlín Maude, was the focus of Question 3. This poem was expected to appear, but its accompanying question, on contrast, was described as “by far the simplest that has appeared to date.”
The section also featured a personal question, asking students about the impact the poem had on them and a question on the identity and life of the poet.
Prepare for a similar question format this year: the first part on style/theme and the latter a personal response.
One of the shorter poems, Éiceolaí, regarded as the easiest of the 5 poems, featured in the paper’s final section of the paper, with contrast again a question focus. When revising poetry, we advise you to forget about Éiceolaí, or at least leave it until last. Prioritise the three poems that didn’t appear last year, followed by Géibheann.
Finally, the An Trial question was either very narrow or specific, depending on your worldview, given that it focused on just one character. We bet on a broader question appearing this year.