On the Ordinary level paper, the following are the breakdowns :
Listening – 10 %
Oral – 40 %
Reading Comprehension – 30 %
Written – 20 %
Normally, you have about 20 mins homework to do. Approximately 10 minutes written
work, followed by 10 minutes learning work (Study). You need to
constantly revise and refresh the things we do in class. Vocabulary and Grammar
are built up slowly and steadily. You cannot expect to have a good base if your
study is erratic or infrequent. You do a lot of that work quietly and
individually. A Teacher may not notice your industry until exam time, when the
diligent students will usually shine. The teacher has a part to play but the
most influential person in the equation is you and your dedication to your
Listening ( 10 %) : It is vital that you do some of this
at home on your own, in a silent place, 2 or 3 times a week even for 5 – 10
minutes. It all adds up. Do not neglect this area as it will be the difference
between getting a B Grade or a C grade ( 10 – 15%). The majority of the pieces
we will do come from the student CD which accompanies your text book. I will
also supply you with the ‘script’ , allowing us to read and translate the pieces
when the Listening tests are done.
Reading Comprehension ( 30 %) : When we have completed a Comprehension, we will read
back over it, translating it in full. With the key words written in, this then
allows you at a later stage when doing personal study, to read that piece while
fully understanding it. That reading exercise may only take you 5 minutes but
it is excellent revision for your general vocabulary. While also being very
beneficial, it is easier than learning lists of words off by heart and sometimes
out of context. Try to develop good Irish reading habits.
Written ( 20 % ) :
the most important thing is to be as ‘safe’ as possible. Try to write things
you have learnt or used successfully before. When you are composing ‘fresh’ ,
it is easier to make a lot of mistakes. Writing simply and correctly can be the
difference between 70% and getting a grade D. Answers that get a grade D are
normally brim full of error and guesswork.
These questions are very straight-forward to prepare. A conscientious student
should do very well.
Oral ( 40 % ) : we have been
doing the Oral in its different parts since 1st Year. Remember it is very
important to do as well as possible. (For Leaving Cert it is also 40 % of
Practice speaking out loud, practice using key words and most importantly practice
getting back quickly into the conversation if the examiner has interrupted your
flow. Speech that flows is what indicates fluency. You need to attempt to sound
as natural as possible while speaking as correctly as possible too.
Pronunciation is also very important. While people do and don’t go to the Gaeltacht, for a variety of reasons, it
is in my opinion the best way to improve your fluency.
Question forms : It is vital to be 100 % sure of these. They
affect every area of your paper. If you mix up ‘ Cá, cad, cé ‘ …. once or
twice, then you will suffer through the different areas. Spend 10 minutes
learning them, then revise them every so often.