The general vibe as we head into the first weekend of the Leaving Cert is that everyone is glad it's here!
As we wrap up the first week of the exams we want to say thanks again to our friends at The Irish Second-Level Students' Union (ISSU) for linking us in with their members.
And a MASSIVE thanks to all the students for contributing to the Leaving Cert Diary. Thanks for taking the time with so much else going on right now.
In the latest entry David sent a video and sharing his thoughts on Maths Paper 1 along with Jane who also wrote about it. Matthew tells us how the Geography exam went for him below.
Matthew was happy with Higher Level Geography
It would be fair to say that every Geography student sitting the paper today let out a massive sigh of relief as soon as we opened the paper. All our predictions, our last minute-studying, our desperate prayers were answered at 9.30am this morning!
The changes to the exam meant that Geography students could potentially leave out half of the course, answering just three questions from four sections (two questions being able to be answered from the same section).
For me, I focused on Regional Geography and the Higher Level option - Culture and Identity, as well as the mandatory short questions.
The short questions were quite nice and fair, covering various topics like weather maps, graph interpretations and plate tectonics. Glaciation didn't feature too heavily in the short questions - a topic I had learned off three minutes before the exam.
Both the Regional and Option sections were similarly fair. I answered Q4 and Q6 from Regional and Q20 from the Option, and was quite happy with all my answers.
Overall, I think Geography went very well, and was definitely a big confidence booster for the days ahead!
Jane has Maths Paper 1 done: "We've made it to the weekend!"
That paper was definitely a lot more doable than I was anticipating. Maths is far from my strong point, so I was extremely nervous in the run-up (one highlight of my preparation was a nightmare last night in which I was told I received a grade of "NG").
As usual, algebra and complex numbers appeared as relatively straightforward short questions. Area & Volume was a surprise twist, but the predicted question on proof by induction was doubtless welcomed.
Even though it suited me, as we never covered the topic, I was surprised when financial maths didn’t appear as normal as a long question. While I imagine it’ll make an appearance on Paper 2 to compensate, it’s been a Paper 1 certainty for years and was definitely unexpected.
The abundance of calculus on the paper was also interesting, but I feel that the questions were generally accessible. Q8 - the long question on the rollercoaster - was great, and Q9 was relatively manageable as well.
Overall, I liked the paper. The changes meant we had to answer a reduced number of questions, and this meant we could play to our strengths insofar as possible.
David is looking forward to Maths Paper 2 on Monday
Maths Paper 1 is over now and what a relief. I was surprised by the paper having so many functions and calculus questions. That was the main takeaway from people I was talking to after the exam. Nearly all of Section 2 in the exam were functions and calculus which almost took away the illusion of choice for us.
Opening Section 1 was quite intimidating as the questions did seem to be more difficult than usual. We only had to do four questions out of the six in that section but in my opinion the choice made the exam more difficult. I was sitting there spending my time on whether I should do a complex numbers question or the sequences and series instead of actually doing the questions.
In the end I actually found Section 2 of the exam to be easier as the answers linked to one another which gave me clues that I was on the right track. I was pleasantly surprised when I got to this part of the exam.
Overall, I am really happy with the paper this year and I am looking forward to Paper 2 now that I understand how to tackle choosing the best questions to do for me!
On Monday it's Maths Paper 2. David and Jane are going to tell us how the higher paper went for them.
Monday also sees the first Irish exam, so Tammy will be telling us the scéal that evening.
Have a great weekend and if you want any tips on how to relax we have you covered...
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.