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  The Exam Papers

Leaving Cert Music - Teachers chime notes of contention in higher paper
Teachers in Dublin chimed with colleagues in Donegal on the notes of contention in the higher-level Leaving Cert (listening) music paper.
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Leaving Cert Accountancy - Students indebted to balanced paper 
Teachers are hopeful that the traditionally high failure rate for Leaving Cert accounting will decline this year after yesterday's papers were well received.  biggest challenge presented to students on this year's higher-level Leaving Cert business exam was the applied business question.
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Leaving Cert Italian: Higher-level Italian more difficult than last year
The higher-level Italian Leaving Cert was more difficult than last year, according to Ms Maura McCarthy, president of the Italian Teachers' Association. 
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Leaving Cert Engineering - Students and teachers welcome fair paper
Students and teachers have welcomed yesterday's higher-level Leaving Cert engineering paper, describing it as fair. 
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Leaving Cert Physics - Gravity pulls Leaving Cert numbers up
Leaving Cert: Physics: Sometime during the lifetimes of the current generation of Leaving Cert students, magnetic fields within the earth will dramatically shift so that North becomes South and South becomes North. 
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Leaving Cert Art History - Honest paper pleases mixed students
Art history is mainly taken by girls, who make up two-thirds of student numbers. Yet at Dunshaughlin Community College, Co Meath, art is not considered a girly subject, and boys make up 70 per cent of the class. 
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Junior Cert Home Economics - Predictable papers present few difficulties
The home economics papers appeared to present few difficulties yesterday. Teachers said the exams at both higher and ordinary level were predictable. 
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Leaving Cert German - Modern and Accessible Paper Welcomed  
Some 9,000 students sat their German exam yesterday, an exam which was described as "modern" and "accessible".  
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Leaving Cert Chemistry - Questions asked not on syllabus
Chemistry students were left reeling yesterday when they were asked a question which is not on the Leaving Certificate syllabus. Kathryn Holmquist, Education Correspondent, reports.
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Leaving Cert Applied Maths - Students exhausted in last Leaving Cert Exam
Applied Maths Students were exhausted doing their exam yesterday. Along with Greek, it was the last exam in the Leaving Certificate, and ended at 5 p.m. 
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Junior Cert Science - Harsh reaction to difficult paper
The science course for Junior Cert students was strongly criticised by students yesterday. Teachers and students complained that some aspects of the higher level paper, specifically in the chemistry section, were unduly difficult.
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Leaving Cert Technical Drawing - Students draw on learning for user-friendly paper 
The 7,000 students who opted for technical drawing in the Leaving Cert received a fair and user-friendly paper, according to teachers.   .
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Leaving Cert Spanish - Honours paper fair, closely spaced
The honours paper was fair, but insufficient writing space for comprehension questions caused a problem yet again. On the front of the paper, as with many, students are told that they may use extra sheets of paper.
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Leaving Cert Accountancy - Accountancy papers seem to have got the balance right
Teachers are hopeful that the traditionally high failure rate for Leaving Cert accounting will decline this year after yesterday's papers were well received. By Julie-Anne Barnes, The Irish Times.
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Leaving Cert Technical Drawing: A good paper for the logically-minded
The 7,000 students who opted for technical drawing in the Leaving Cert received a fair and user-friendly paper, according to teachers.
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Junior Cert Science: Chemistry section unduly difficult
The science course for Junior Cert students was strongly criticised by students yesterday. Teachers and students complained that some aspects of the higher level paper, specifically in the chemistry section, were unduly difficult.
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Junior Cert Technical Graphics: Time a big constraint in demanding papers
This year's Junior Cert technical graphics paper was regarded as difficult by students and teachers.
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Leaving Cert Biology - Scaring the natural life out of the students
The third slap in "an outrageous triple-whammy" is how Mr John MacGabhann, education and research officer of the TUI, has described yesterday's honours Leaving Cert biology paper.
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Leaving Cert Business - Text of question 'long-winded'
The biggest challenge presented to students on this year's higher-level Leaving Cert business exam was the applied business question.
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Junior Cert Business Studies - Doing the business for higher-level students
Yesterday's Junior Certificate higher-level business studies paper was similar in style to previous years. However, some of the questions were challenging.
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Leaving Cert History - FF trumps Blueshirts in lengthy but broad paper
Fianna Fáil fans sitting the Leaving Cert higher level History paper had much to be pleased about, with questions weighed heavily towards the republican party.
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Leaving Cert Economic History - Phrasing of questions criticised
Leaving Cert students who kept a close watch on past papers will probably have judged this year's higher-level economic history paper to be a bit on the tough side.
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Junior Cert History - A fair paper, mystery man aside
Guesses on the identity of the mystery man in the pictures section of the Junior Cert higher-level history paper ranged from Arthur Griffith to Pat Rabbitte.
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Junior Cert French - Questions challenging but fair
"A very manageable paper overall," said Ms Máire Ní Chíarba, member of the National Committee for Curriculum Assessment and chairwoman of the ASTI education committee.
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Applied Leaving Cert - Students not asked to design room
A Leaving Cert applied paper asked students a question involving the use of computers even though students in some schools have never used them.
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Leaving Cert Maths, Paper 2 - Anxiety as maths questions don't add up
Maths teachers described their students as "agitated" and "distressed" after the higher-level Leaving Cert Paper II. At the High School in Rathgar, Dublin, top students were crying in the toilets and this reaction was repeated at other schools.
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Leaving Cert Geography - Off to a good start with 'text-book' map question
A sizeable proportion of higher- level Leaving Cert students will have been pleased by the first question on the geography paper, which was described as "textbook" - provided you had the right book.
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Junior Cert Maths - Teachers welcome new formula at foundation level
The foundation-level Junior Cert offered an innovation that, maths teachers say, should also be introduced on the ordinary- and higher-level papers.
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Junior Cert Geography - Mistakes on papers criticised
Mistakes on the Junior Cert geography papers at both higher and ordinary level could have thrown many students, said ASTI geography spokesman, Mr James Staunton.
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Leaving Cert Irish Paper 2 - General relief after 'ridiculous' first paper
Yesterdays' honours Irish paper II was a welcome relief after what is increasingly being regarded as a "ridiculous" first Irish paper on Thursday. By Louise Holden, The Irish Times.
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Leaving Cert Home Economics - Subject known as easy option 'very long and testing'
Home is where the Hoover is - at least according to the lower level Home Economics (Scientific and Social) Leaving Certificate exam which is taken by 98 per cent of those who choose the course.
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Leaving Cert Arabic - Questions not on syllabus, say students
It was a tale of Arabian oversights when students in at least two secondary schools opened their higher and ordinary level papers in Arabic yesterday.
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Junior Cert Irish Paper 2 - No great surprises but themes were limiting
Yesterday's second honours Irish paper for Junior Cert was regarded by students and teachers as a reasonably engaging, if predictable, exam.
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Junior Cert Civil, Social and Political Education - Fair paper with range of hot topics
All Junior Certificate students sat the common Civil, Social and Political Education (CSPE) paper yesterday afternoon. They were treated to a range of hot topics including the Special Olympics, the Sellafield threat, cuts in health spending and the debate over incinerators.
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Leaving Cert Maths - USI wants revamp of maths courses
As 55,000 students sat the first of two papers in their maths Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations yesterday, the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) called for the current mathematics curriculum in schools to be revamped to include "the spirit of innovation and creative problem-solving". By Kathryn Holmquist, The Irish Times.
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Leaving Cert Irish - Time to move on from navel gazing
Yesterday's Irish paper 1 was deemed utterly irrelevant to the interests of 18-year-old Irish students, and more importantly, did not give them any opportunity to use Irish in a contemporary or natural way, according to some sources. By Louise Holden, The Irish Times.
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Junior Cert Irish - Fat Boy Slim jazzes up afternoon
Junior Certificate Irish cast off its báinín geansaí this year in favour of a hipper, more contemporary feel. Celebs Fat Boy Slim (Buachaill Romhar Romhar) and Jennifer Aniston found their way onto yesterday afternoon's ordinary-level paper, while the honours paper gave students a chance to talk about fashion and text-messaging.
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Leaving Cert English - Papers were both challenging and easy
When 57,000 students saw their English Leaving Cert papers yesterday, most soon realised that they had nothing to worry about. By Kathryn Holmquist , The Irish Times.
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Junior Cert English - Teen friendly paper with plenty of scope for creativity
There was a mixed reaction to yesterday's Junior Cert English papers at all levels, writes Louise Holden, The Irish Times.
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Reschedule exams, say teachers
The intensity of the first half of the Leaving Certificate exam period has led teachers' unions to call for more humane scheduling. But the State Examinations Commission has admitted that the exam schedule is designed to save money.
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What students are saying
The following are excerpts from the hundreds of e-mails on the skoool.ie discussion forum on the exams. Here, students discuss the big issues in their own words.
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TD asks for Leaving Cert Maths exam inquiry
The Minister for Education, Mr Dempsey, stated last night that he is not responsible for the exam process and that all complaints must be addressed to the State Examinations Commission.
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Exam Preview - Science
Students are deserting science subjects in their droves. Urgent remedial action is required, argues Brendan Butler.
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What students are saying
In their own words, students describe their reaction to the controversial Maths Leaving Cert paper and raise other issues.
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Students easily get to grips with demands of History and French papers
Dundalk Grammar School student Jonathan Keenan was happy with the higher-level French paper: "The higher-level journalistic comprehension was a fairly straightforward assessment and gave no cause for complaint, whereas the literal comprehension was quite challenging. Overall, it was a very pleasing paper."
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Maths exam confused pupils, claim teachers
The State Examinations Commission has defended itself against claims that yesterday's Higher Maths Paper II was unfair, as maths teachers reported widespread distress among students who sat the exam.
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Mixed reaction, and emotions, to exams
Reaction: It was the entire line left out of Question 1 on the higher maths paper that had students at Coláiste Iognáid in Galway talking.
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Unions call for second Leaving Cert for students who are ill
The two secondary teachers unions have called on the new State Examinations Commission to consider the introduction of a second Leaving Certificate for students who fall ill during the exams.
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Exams lead to better breakfasts
The exams have helped the students at Newpark Comprehensive School discover the benefits of eating a good breakfast, writes Catherine Foley.
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Relief all round as exams begin
Catherine Foley of The Irish Times gauges reaction to the start of the Junior and Leaving Cert exams at Tallaght Community School.
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Exam Preview - Maths
Kevin Myers is wrong. Maths is part of what we are, argues ASTI deputy general secretary John White.
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Exam Preview - English
While some things have changed for the better, much of the Leaving Cert English exam paper still requires a radical overhaul, argues Fintan O'Toole.
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Time to Leave the Leaving Behind?
The case for a radical overhaul of the Leaving Cert has been boosted by the biggest-ever online poll of students, parents and teachers.
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Last Minute Study Tips
The job of examiners is to give you marks, not to take them away, but they are powerless to help you if you fall into the most common traps. We list the biggest pitfalls identified.
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  My Leaving Cert

INTO General Secretary, John Carr
Competition for places helped to focus the mind - John recalls the year when pressure on those hoping to get a teacher training place was huge.
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Minister for Education and Science, Noel Dempsey
My biggest fear facing into the Leaving Cert was that I wouldn't be able to balance the books in my accounting exam.
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Tom Dunne
I sat my Leaving Certificate in St James Street CBS in 1066 - at least that's the only date I can remember.
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Ronan O'Gara
I sat my Leaving Certificate in the Presentation College in Cork in 1996. Along with the regular pressures of exams I had to deal with a rigorous training schedule. It was a difficult time.
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   Exam Diary

Cruising through so far, but will the bubble burst?
The first, and worst, week is over. Yesterday was another great day. I only had one exam. It was paper two ordinary level Irish and I aced it. This is too easy.
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Still no stress as the clock ticks relentlessly onward
Still no stress as the clock ticks relentlessly onward towards the weekend. The examiners have been scrupulously fair so far. I have no complaints.
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Friends, sport good for exam stress
Darren Hogan Collinstown Park Community College:  I am 18 years of age and have been a student at Collinstown Park Community College, Clondalkin, for the past six years. I am currently preparing for my Leaving Certificate Exams.
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New worlds open up to adult student Patricia Kennedy
Many of this year's Leaving Cert students have had a path cleared to their exams - no house to run, no mortgage to pay and minimal responsibility. But for students like Patricia Kennedy studying for the Leaving is just one of her roles.
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Applying Yourself
Trish Clinch has already passed her Leaving Cert, so she's feeling pretty confident about the weeks ahead.
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