Exam Review: English Paper 1

By Yeats College English teacher Sinead Caslin Cregg

English Paper One was a very fair and enjoyable paper with a lovely variety of questions.

Students were very happy with the range of essay titles. The personal essay on “some aspects of life you find puzzling” will likely be a popular choice among students. There was also an “article” on “the connections that enrich teenagers’ lives” and a nice “speech” on the “accelerated pace of modern life.”

The three texts in the Comprehension posed no major difficulties in terms of language and comprehension. Paul Murray’s novel “The BeeSting” featured in Text 2 and the questions were accessible and similar across the three texts.

The Question B tasks contained a few surprises; a dialogue and a proposal were options that students might not have been expecting. But the third option was “a series of diary entries” on “travelling” so this will likely prove a popular choice.

Overall, the English Paper One exams at both Higher and Ordinary Level were very fair and enjoyable with lots of scope for creativity.