Leaving Cert English 2017: Studying for Paper 1 in 2018

Author: Dan Keating/18 December 2017/Categories: Leaving Cert, English

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What can you learn about English Paper 1 in 2018?

Leaving Cert English 2017: Studying for Paper 1 in 2018


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.

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So, based on the leaving cert English 2017 exam papers, what should we expect in 2018?


Should we expect anything based on 2018?


Not that we can think of, but perhaps you and your classmates can; perhaps something to do with the World Cup (to be held in Russia in 2018), particularly if Ireland qualify.


The variety and colour of genres assessed is likely to continue. Expect a broad range of texts in Question A. Our outside bet is something regarding Mike McCormack’s novel, Solar Bones – Ireland’s ongoing literary success story – especially if he wins the Man Booker Prize.

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Paper 1’s reference of poetry continued the trend of Papers 1 and 2 being dovetailed. If we follow the trend of Shakespeare (typically a Single Text) in 2016, poetry in 2017, then a comparative element is possible in 2018.


Although, an actual comparative question may be a stretch for examiners and students alike; perhaps something based on film and cinema?


Question B, meanwhile, continued to be imaginative and more detailed in its descriptions of students’ tasks. These included an article explaining a poetry display (as outlined above), an opinion piece on the impact of online media and communication, and the text of a themed radio broadcast, i.e. a script.


Thus, in the last two years, students were assessed on their choice of speeches, pitches, blogs, articles, opinion pieces, and broadcasting/script-writing. Expect more of these varied writing styles to appear.


Section II, meanwhile, remains the most straight-forward if crucial (it’s worth 25% of your final grade). 2017 offered more variety than 2016: students could choose to write a discursive essay, descriptive essay, speech, short story, dramatic dialogue, personal essay, or an article.


Expect the same variety in 2018, with one or two nuanced options, a la the dramatic dialogue.


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