Students object to six hours of almost continuous writing

SIX hours of almost constant writing is too much for anybody, according to disgruntled students who took two English Leaving Certificate papers yesterday.

Ian Cusack and several of his tired classmates at Christian Brothers College in Cork City declared that examiners should break up the subject into separate days.

“I think today will be the worst day of all the exams because of that. It’s a bit ridiculous to have double English on the first day,” Ian said yesterday evening.

He thought the higher level Paper II was standard and had no trick questions.

Fellow CBC student Dave Kiely said the afternoon paper was lovely, although the unseen poetry was difficult. “There was a good spread of poets. It is unfair to have to write for six hours, in fact it’s a bit tortuous.”

His cousin, Eoin, who was also sitting the exam, said he really didn’t have an idea of what was going on in the unseen poem. “It certainly didn’t appeal to me. To be honest I thought it was rubbish, but the Macbeth question was brilliant.”

In Limerick, Laurel Hill Leaving Certificate student Michelle Daly thought the essay titles in the higher level English paper were ‘a bit different’. She said: “There was less scope than I had expected, but there was nothing too surprising overall.”

The 18-year-old from the city’s North Circular Road plans to study medicine at University College Cork if everything goes to plan.

Another Laurel Hill student, Sarah Hayden from Raheen said she did an essay on how she would change the world. “It went fine and I am pleased at the start of the exam, I’m doing seven honours subjects,” said 18-year-old Sarah, who plans to do actuarial studies at University College Dublin.

Her friend Hilary Flynn said the first English paper went fine.

“I didn’t find anything too surprising in it. No shocks. I hope to do medicine and I’ll need to get 580 points from my seven higher level subjects,” she said.

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