It's finally all over! The 2021 Leaving Certs can sit back and take a well-earned summer break and plan for the future. And, we bring you one more Leaving Cert Diary from students in their own words.

Massive thanks to all the young people who contributed to the Diary over the past few weeks and to The Irish Second-Level Students' Union for linking us up with their members sitting the exams.

In the final installment Lizi tells us about the PE exam but first, Tammy and Beth have written about Politics and Society.

Tammy was delighted with the essay question in Politics and Society

I ended my exams on a high note! Politics and Society is my favourite subject, so I'm delighted that the paper went my way!

The Section A short questions (worth 50 marks) were great! The changes made to the papers allowed us to answer 10 out of 15 questions, but I decided to answer them all in order to give myself the best chance of success! Some of them were quite tricky but I think I got them right!

The Data Based Question (worth 150 marks) was a little tricky but nothing out of the ordinary! I liked how modern the topics discussed were, Covid-19 and the media. I think I spent a little bit too long answering the shorter questions as I ended up rushing through the 40 mark question at the end of the section. Overall though I’m very happy how I handled this section because I generally find them tough!

Finally, I tackled the dreaded essay question, worth 100 marks. I was so worried about this section, and spent all morning drilling data and key thinkers into my memory! I was hoping that some form of patriarchy essay would appear, and it was just my luck that one showed up! I was absolutely delighted and dove straight into it.

The title was: Discuss whether the gender pay gap is a complex issue, which goes far beyond the issue of equal pay for equal work.

I was writing for the full two and a half hours, I have absolutely no idea how students in previous years had to write two full essays!

It really showed me how valuable the changes made to the paper actually were, I’ve no idea how I would’ve gotten on if they weren’t there!

Beth is looking forward to the summer after finishing up with Politics and Society

And we're done! After a very long 20 days, I’ve finally come to the end of my Leaving Cert with the Politics exam! Politics was an exam I was looking forward to but with a slight bit of apprehension, particularly around what essays would come up.

Overall, the paper was very fair and managed to cover most elements of the course. The short questions were based largely on opinions, which is a bit of a change from previous years but was a great opportunity to apply wider skills and engage with topics like the digital divide.

The DBQ this year was based on false information surrounding COVID-19, which was really thought-provoking and relatable for students in the context of social media. I found that the essay section had a good amount of choice.

I went with discussing how global inequalities and discrimination present a threat to life, and there was a wide range of other options from the pay gap to the climate crisis!

I’m really glad to have had the chance to do politics, and I’m looking forward to the summer and next steps!

Lizi's race is run after PE today

I am finally done! I sat my last exam. I feel I have accomplished a lot after such a long time and once and for all deserved this peaceful ending. I couldn't wait to finish the exam but sat until the last minute, because I did some extra questions.

I wrote nine questions in Section A, all the questions in Section B (as required) and three in Section C. It was an amazing paper. The choices given provided a great opportunity for us to do our maximum. I was worried about the case study because I wasn’t familiar with it before but it was especially accessible and easy to understand.

During my course we discussed media coverage of feminine/ masculine sports in social media, stereotypes and impact of 'body image’ on levels of physical activity and when I saw many questions about it, I was extremely excited.

I found that topical on social media, overall, I am delighted that we already started to find solutions for breaking the stereotypes in sports. The test was interesting and it motivated me to plan work out sessions for summer.

I realised the extent of the knowledge I have in this field and that I should totally write programmes to improve my own level of physical activity which has not been happening frequently for the last months.

I hope everyone has an incredible summer, we all deserve the rest so enjoy it to the max!

Click here to see more Leaving Cert Diary articles!

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

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

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.