‘It wasn’t bad or brilliant, but there were a lot of surprises’ Irish Independent reporter Sorcha O’Connor and past pupil writes in the Irish Independent about the biology and Irish paper.


‘It wasn’t bad or brilliant, but there were a lot of surprises’

Ashley Abbedeen (17), Doireann Dullaghan (18) and Nicole Doherty (18) sat their Leaving Cert biology exam at Our Lady’s College, Drogheda. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sorcha O’Connor

There was an air of relief among Leaving Cert students in Our Lady’s College, Drogheda, Co Louth, as they left their biology paper yesterday.

Many were glad to see the back of a “difficult” paper and are now into the home stretch of their exam schedules.

The general consensus from those sitting the three-hour paper was that it was very different to past years.

Nicole Doherty (18), from Duleek, Co Meath, said she found core parts of the course had been left out of the exam.

“I thought it was going to go much better – it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t brilliant either,” she said.

“There was no sexual reproduction in humans, no sexual reproduction in plants, there was very little on photosynthesis, and then any questions that there were on DNA and genetics, they were small, shorter questions, I was expecting that to be a big one.”

Niamh O’Connor (18), from Tenure, and Rachel Ledwith (18), from Termonfeckin, from the Greenhills college. Photos: Tony Gavin22

Ashley Abbedeen (17) admitted: “Because you’re so used to doing the past papers it was a bit of surprise today. It was a bit of a hard paper.”

Head girl at the school Niamh Tester, from Drogheda, said her teacher had her well tutored ahead of the exam.

“It was a tough paper, a lot of detail was needed. I was quite nervous going in too because you just want to do well, for yourself, and for my teacher Ms Conway too! I put in my best effort – what more can you do?” she said.

Irish Paper 2 also received a mixed reception at the all-girls school in Greenhills, Drogheda, earlier in the day.

The biggest surprise to students was the appearance of short film ‘Cáca Milis’ in the prose section of the paper.

“There was a lot of surprises on there, ‘Cáca Milis’ wasn’t due up and in poetry ‘An Spailpín Fánach’ was maybe less of a surprise but still not what I expected,” said Roisin McArdle (18), from Togher, Co Louth.

Niamh O’Connor (18), from Tenure, Co Louth, said that while it was tougher than she expected she was happy enough with the questions.

“It is my favourite subject so while I was disappointed not everything I wanted came up, I think it worked out all right overall,” she said.

Next up is French this morning, with history later.