'Engaging' German exam for Junior Cert students as rogue pigeon finally leaves Dublin exam hall

An “engaging” German exam heralded the much-anticipated end of exams for many Junior Cert students across the country today.

And there was also a collective sigh of relief from students at St Mary’s College in Dublin after a rogue pigeon which infiltrated their exam hall on Thursday afternoon, eventually departed.

The uninvited visitor had prompted fears that their German exam would have to be relocated.

“The candidates today whose RE papers were deposited upon by the pigeon will not lose marks for poor presentation,” the school said on Twitter on Thursday evening.

However, by Friday morning the lone invader had vacated the hall.

The Rathmines school tweeted: "The pigeon has left the building. We wish it a long and happy summer."

An accessible higher level paper, with a topical journalistic text and well-paced listening tape, would have held few surprises for the well-prepared student, according to Pamela Conway ASTI spokeswoman for German.

The head of the German Department at Skerries Community College said: “The letter, with topics like school uniform, hobbies, holidays and weekend plans, held few surprises and was similar enough to previous letters that students should have found it do-able.”

However, the second literary text would have proved more challenging, Ms Conway said adding that students may have been left “stumped” by some expressions such as wedding ring and anniversary.

The short note which would have included vocabulary relating to chemists and colds was a challenge, she added.

The listening tape was well-paced and clear, getting progressively more difficult. Most of my students came out of the exam feeling positive.

When it came to the ordinary level paper, only the “jumbled dialogue and the notes at the end caused difficulty for some students," Ms Conway said.

Reading text continued the theme of holidays with one text about ‘Camp Rock’ and another about a class trip to Paris.

"The vocabulary throughout the paper should have been familiar to Ordinary Level students.”

Meanwhile, 262 students sat their Latin exam this afternoon, with a further 709 students also sitting their exams in Classical Studies.

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