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 exam centre - junior cert   « back 

Exam Guide | Model Answer

Exam Paper Analysis - JC English (H)

a) Exam Structure & Strategy

Level Higher

Paper 1
Paper 2
Time 2 hours 30 minutes (150 minutes)
2 hours 30 minutes (150 minutes)
Marks 180 marks
180 marks
Structure Section 1 Reading (40 marks)
Answer all the questions which follow the extract.
Allow 30 minutes
Section 1 Drama (60 marks)
Answer question one and question two
Allow 45 minutes
  Section 2 Personal Writing (70 marks)
Answer 1 of 8 exercises on Composing.
Allow 60 minutes
Section 2 Poetry (60 marks)
Answer question one and question two
Allow 45 minutes
  Section 3 Functional Writing (30 marks)
Answer 1 of 3 questions
Allow 30 minutes
Section 3 Fiction (60 marks)
Answer question one and question two
Allow 45 minutes
  Section 4 Media Studies (40 marks)
Answer all questions (choice offered 2001)
Allow 30 minutes
Allow 15 minutes at the end of the exam to check over your work


Exam Strategy

There are two papers in the Junior Cert Higher level English exam. The first paper examines your language skills by getting you to analyse texts you have never seen before and to complete some creative and functional writing tasks. Media Studies is also examined on this paper. The second paper assesses your knowledge of texts you have studied in class.

  • Before you sit the examination you should make sure you know exactly what questions you will have to answer on each of the examination papers. The exam structure above should help you. If you are in doubt, consult your teacher.

  • Think of each question as a task that you must perform. Before you begin writing make sure you are as clear as you can be about the task, about exactly what you are being asked to do. Locate the key term/s of the question. Spend some time planning your answer. Where appropriate, use specific detail and textual evidence to develop your answer as fully as is required. The language you use in your answer should be appropriate to the task, and you should take care with punctuation, spelling and grammar.

  • Allow adequate time for each of the questions you are required to answer on. (See the exam structure above for the recommended time for each section.)


(b) Walk-through the paper (Question by question)


PAPER ONE

Section 1 – Reading

  • In this section you will be given an extract to read. You will be asked questions on this extract.

  • You are expected here to show a good grasp of its content and to give your own response to it.

  • At this level, you are also expected to show an understanding of the writer’s style and technique.



Section 2 – Personal Writing

In the ‘Composing’ section you will be given eight composition options and you are expected to do one. Except where otherwise stated, you are free to write in any form you wish e.g. narrative, descriptive, dramatic, short story, etc. You will be rewarded for:

  • A personal approach to the subject

  • An appropriate style

  • Liveliness and a good choice of words

  • Organisation and accuracy



Section 3 – Functional Writing

In this section you must choose between one of three functional writing tasks. These may include a letter /speech /newspaper review /reference /brochure /picture /fax etc. You will be rewarded for:

  • Well-structured answers

  • Clarity of expression

  • An appropriate tone

  • Good grammar, spelling, punctuation and correct use of capitals



Section 4 – Media Studies

In this section you must answer all of the questions on a particular aspect of media studies (In 2001, students were offered a choice between two questions, but this is not usually the case). These questions may include an advertisement /radio or television schedule /newspaper review /cartoon/etc.




PAPER TWO

Section I – Drama

You must answer both Question one and Question two.

Question one: Unseen Drama

You have a choice between (a) Shakespearean drama or (b) Other drama. You will be given a short extract to read and will be required to answer two of three questions on the extract. These questions tend to focus on aspects such as character, atmosphere, direction, and stage setting.

Question two: Play you have studied in class

You can choose one of two questions on the play that you have studied in class.

  • N.B. You must give the name of the play that you choose. You may not choose either of the scenes quoted in question one on the examination paper as the basis for your answer.


Section 2 – Poetry

You must answer both Question one and Question two.

Question one: Unseen Poem

The focus here is on your ability to respond to a poem that you have never seen before, to grasp the main ideas and to comment on some of the issues of style (use of language, imagery, etc.) in it.

  • It is a good idea to read through the poem a few times before attempting the questions. Firstly, read it fairly quickly to get its overall sense. Then perhaps you should read the questions – in fact, the questions themselves will often provide you with some hints for interpreting the text. After that you should go back over the poem with greater attention to detail.

  • Don’t be put off by words or phrases you do not understand; remember the focus is on your general response to the poem.


Question two: Poetry you have studied in class

You can choose one of two questions on the poetry that you have studied in class.

  • You may not use the poem given in question one on the paper.

  • You must give the title of the poem you choose and the name of the poet.

  • You may be asked to compare two poems by the same poet.

  • You will be rewarded for well-structured, well-written answers.


Section 3 – Fiction

You must answer both Question one and Question two.

Question one: Extract

You will be given a short extract to read and will be required to answer the questions
on the extract. The questions tend to focus on such elements of the extract as character, atmosphere, and notable features of style.

Question two: A novel /short story you have studied in class

You can choose one of two questions from on the novel /short story that you have studied in class.

  • N.B. You must give the name of the novel or short story that you choose.

Exam Guide | Model Answer

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