Day one of Leaving Cert 2021 is over, so let's hear from the students with our Leaving Cert diary.

Over the next two weeks RTÉ Learn and The Irish Second-Level Students' Union (ISSU) are bringing you reaction from young people on the day's exams in their own words.

Massive thanks to the students who contributed to today's diary. Eva and Racheal recorded videos following their exams while Eiman and Akeno wrote about how English Paper 1 went for them.

Eiman is all set for English Paper 2!

Eiman tells us about her English Paper 1

The first exam can make or break the confidence of a student for the rest of their exams so I'm glad my English Paper 1 went well. I answered Text 3 Q. A for Section 1. I found the first part to be quite typical. However, the wording of the question put me off but I think I managed nonetheless.

Part two was also something I suspected would come up as it has in recent years; a question that isn’t related to the text and more of your opinion on a more general issue. I was able to talk about how purpose allows me to have goals and dreams and has led me to meet like minded people to share the same purpose as me. Did it entirely answer the question? Probably not lol.

Part three was a typical style question on the language of persuasion and I found the speech to be filled with examples of the language style. So overall, no surprises in Section 1 which is always nice.

For the composing task I was banking on the personal essay. I read the first question about birthdays and their significance and released a sigh of relief. I found I had a lot to talk about and filled six pages.

Overall, a nice paper, bring on Paper 2!

Akeno is relieved to have English Paper 1 done

Day one is done, and what a relief! This year's paper was a wee bit different than usual. I felt relieved knowing that I only had to answer one question from Section 1.

Section 1 had three very engaging texts; I was honestly amazed by the range of topics addressed. The overall theme of the texts seemed to be time. Text 2 discussed bees, and I did Question B, an open letter about animal rights.

Admittedly, I did not read Text 1, but apparently, it was about trains. A short story in Section 2 related to trains, too, if I had realised it at the time, I could have written a revised version of the infamous Cáca Milis! For the first time ever, we were given a chance to write a fairytale in Section 2. This was a surprising and refreshing addition to the paper.

Three personal essays, a fable, a speech, a short story and a discursive essay: these were the seven options that covered a broad range of issues. I chose the speech question, which was to speak against stereotypes. The prompt originated from Text 3, an extract from a speech by the late Chadwick Boseman.

Today was a marvelous start to the Leaving Cert and a remarkable confidence booster. I am excited to see what other surprises appear on the exams.

The ISSU Exam Blog has more subject by subject reaction here!

Massive thanks to the students who gave their time to record and write for us and thanks to all at ISSU.

Click here to see more Leaving Cert Diary articles!

Still to come this week...

Thursday, 10 June

Engineering with Saskia (H)

English Paper 2 with Eva (H) and Eiman (H)

Friday, 11 June

Geography with Matthew (H)

Maths Paper 1 with David (H) and Jane (H)

About the ISSU

Founded in 2008 and now in its 13th year, the ISSU is the longest running national second-level representative body in the country, representing over 500 member student councils.

They represent Irish second-level students on a local, regional, national and international level.