It was a very exciting day for one of our students today and it serves as a reminder to always triple-check the timetable! It all worked out OK in the end.

Another day is over for the Leaving Cert class of 2021 and we've another Leaving Cert Diary with thanks to The Irish Second-Level Students' Union (ISSU).

Eva, Eiman and Akeno are back to share their thoughts on English Paper 2 and Saskia has written about the Engineering exam too.

Thanks again to the students for taking the time to contribute to this diary during this stressful time. Once again, Eva has recorded a special video and she is happy Seamus Heaney appeared today.

Read on for the thoughts of Eiman, Akeno and of them nearly missed the exam!

All of the poets Eiman studied came up!

Eiman is happy with English Paper 2

English exam is done and overall I'm quite happy. I chose to answer the Single Text on King Lear and Poetry. I think a lot of students would have been put off with the King Lear question asking to discuss the significance of Kent and the Fool.

I had prepared a question on it as a similar question came up a few years ago also asking about the significance of two minor characters in Hamlet. So I found it quite doable and was able to use quotes I learnt off.

For poetry, I was lucky that 4 out of 4 of my studied poets came up. All the Irish poets were my personal favourites and I opted for the Boland question to discuss narrative elements of her work to discuss a variety of themes.

I find it hard to tell whether I’m being purposeful in my answer compared to King Lear essays so I can’t be too sure how I got on in the studied poetry section. However, I think the question was quite broad and straightforward compared to last year’s Boland question.

For unseen poetry, I normally never understand what the poem is about and the same can be said for this one titled "How to Construct an Albatross" by Louise Greig. I do think my waffling skills came in handy to conjure up an abstract response to the poem.

Very glad my first subject is out of the way and happy that I liked both papers. I think I’m slightly more worried about Maths tomorrow!

Akeno had an eventful day before the exam even started!

Akeno almost missed the exam!

What a day, to put it simply. I won't lie, I almost missed my exam today! My mother and I thought the exam started at 2.30pm, but in reality, it started at 2pm!

By pure coincidence, I checked the schedule at 1.53pm…My jaw dropped. I shouted downstairs, and we were in the car at 1.54pm. Luckily, I arrived only one minute late. Thankfully, my supervisor shared the same look of relief that was plastered on my face. I'm writing this blog post almost five hours later, and it is still sinking in that I almost missed my second English exam.

Besides all of the excitement, I was relieved when I saw Heaney, Plath, and Durcan in the Poetry section. I studied all three of these poets, so I was spoiled for choice! I quite liked the unseen poem How to Construct an Albatross, by Louise Grieg.

I thought it was an easy and enjoyable poem to answer questions on. I didn't do any Comparative Study questions but I did have a brief look through the cultural context part. The questions seemed quite doable and I was pleased with the great amount of choice.

For the Single Text section, I answered a question regarding the Shakespearean tragedy, King Lear. Both of the questions were beyond manageable. One prompt was about the chaos of the play, but I answered a significantly different question. The question I answered consisted of a hypothetical situation where the Fool and Kent were emitted from the drama. This question caught my attention immediately, and I was delighted to ponder it.

Despite the whirlwind of today, English Paper 2 went well. I think I got lucky with my choice of poets. I hope I'll be lucky for the rest of the Leaving Cert!

Saskia tells us about the Engineering exam

I won't lie, I wasn’t happy with the exam at all, I did my best and answered an extra question to be safe but I have to say I’m glad it’s over now. The special topic was an interesting one this year and I answered that question but the exam as a whole was awful, some questions made no sense at all. I’m glad I sat the exam but I’m also glad it’s over now.

Click here to see more Leaving Cert Diary articles!

Tomorrow we will have...

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.