It's time for another entry in our Leaving Cert Diary series where we hear from students sitting the exams in their own words.
As always, thanks to our friends at The Irish Second-Level Students' Union (ISSU) are linking us up with the students who are sharing their thoughts..
We're here with Mutiat who recorded a video diary and wrote about how her last test, Chemistry, went today.
Maeve and Eiman also wrote about Chemistry while James reflects on his Spanish.
You can read the diary entries below starting with Mutiat on Chemistry
All the waiting for Chemistry, finally ARGON...I finished off the Leaving Cert with Chemistry today.
As expected we were given lots of choices. The first three questions were the experiments and in my opinion they were very doable. I was happy when I saw the questions because the strategy plan I had created included these experiments and questions.
Question four also gave us internal choices within the questions and some in Section B. They were fair and accessible.
Overall it was a nice paper and I'm quite happy on how it went. So that's a goodbye to the Leaving cert 2021 for me as Chemistry was my last paper, but I wish everyone who still have exams in the next few days, the very best of luck.
I have to say the first two weeks flew by!
Maeve had Chemistry today and finishes with Physics tomorrow
Chemistry ended up being one of my best exams yet! The two years of the course have been a bit of a roller coaster when I found the course really tough (and often felt the information was useless). However, the large workload led to me feeling very prepared for the exam.
The exam started at 2pm and lasted three hours, much to my surprise. The time flew by during that exam. I couldn't believe it when I only had half an hour left! The changes to the paper were very helpful. We could do any six questions from the paper and could avoid the experiments if we so wished.
My two least favourite experiments came up, along with my favourite, the soap preparation. It always seems very applicable to the real world. I did the second question (the soap question), which always has the experiments for organic chemistry at Higher Level.
I actually did the rest of the long questions. I had extra time, so I used it to do extra questions (eight in total). I enjoyed most of them, to be honest. I did, however, find the way in which some of the questions were phrashed to be very odd.
Many of them relied on logic being applied to concepts that we were familiar with. I did all of the organic chemistry questions, the atomic structure question and the question on acids and bases. I also did the final two questions, with multiple parts and more options.
I did the molecular shapes and rates of reactions parts of question 10 and the ethene preparation and electronic structure part of question 11.
Eiman enjoyed Chemistry today
Overall, I actually enjoyed this exam. The changes did help to reduce the pressure of this exam and I felt that I could feel relaxed and not rush questions. I’m really looking forward to finishing up with Physics tomorrow!
With the new changes to Chemistry, we could answer any six questions, there was plenty of time to complete the paper. I managed to attempt seven fully.
The titrations question was a standard question. I avoided Organic chemistry on the course so I didn't answer the second question. The third question was about the Flame Test experiments, but I found the questions quite tricky so I moved on.
I was able to answer eight parts of Q4 which focuses on short answer questions from all parts of the course. Question 5 and 6 are usually The Periodic Table, Atomic Structure And Thermochemistry, three of my strongest chapters.
The rest of the paper wasn’t too bad. I thought the questions were generally quite challenging and asking things that never came up before. However, I was able to make a good go at all the questions and overall I’m quite happy with the paper.
I have one more exam left, Economics on Friday and then I’m done!!
It was todo bien for James en Español!
I'm really glad to have Spanish done and dusted. I thought the exam was surprisingly nice this year, definitely made easier with the changes.
I skipped the prescribed literature and went straight to the Journalistic text (as I imagine 90% of the country did) and was really happy with the text provided. For Question 2 of Section A I answered the second reading comprehension. I won't lie I thought I must have been missing a question as it seemed like a particularly short reading comp.
Section B was undoubtedly more difficult and I spent a lot more time on it. The opinion pieces provided were broad enough but I'm not sure the addition of a third prompt really made much of a difference to me as I felt they were all a bit similar. I answered "Ser volountario es una experencia fantástica". I just tried to get as many of my tenses in as I could while still making a coherent essay.
Section 3 was a lot easier thanks to the changes to the exam. I answered the diary entry question and spent the rest of my leftover exam time combing over my opinion piece for mistakes. I found the listening test to be surprisingly hard as it's usually one of my stronger points on the exam. The questions seemed particularly long with almost every question asking you to give full details.
I'm not sure whether I’m happy with the exam or whether I’m just happy it's over but all in all I think it was a grand paper even if the listening was a bit beyond me.
Massive thanks to the students who gave their time to record and write for us.
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.