Dia gach duine, san alt seo beimid ag féachaint ar scrúdú Gaeilge an teastais shóisearaigh. Tá codanna éagsúla sa scrúdú. Tá an chuid léitheoireachta, an chuid scríbhneoireachta agus an chuid éisteachta.

Tá dhá churaclam éagsúla ann agus mar sin tacair éagsúla scrúduithe don Ghaeilge timthriall sóisearach. Táimid chun díriú, áfach, ar an scrúdú gnáthleibhéil, do scoileanna T2.

Mar sin, bí liom le haghaidh miondealú tapa ar gach cuid den scrúdú Gaeilge ar an teastas sóisearach.

Hello everyone, in this article we will be looking at the junior certificate Irish exam. There are different parts to the exam. There is the reading part, the writing part and the listening part.

There are two different curricula and therefore different sets of exams for junior cycle Irish.  However, we are going to focus on the ordinary level exam, for L2 schools.

So join me for a quick breakdown of each part of the Junior Cycle Irish Exam.

"There's more to life than passing exams, and paper qualifications can only take you so far. A lot depends on luck, and on being in the right place at the right time, which was certainly true in my case."

Terry Wogan

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What is it in the Junior Cycle Irish Exam Paper?

The first part (Roinn A) of the junior cycle Irish exam is listening comprehension, this takes about 15 mins you listen and answer at the same time.

The second part of your exam (Roinn B), or the written exam takes around 1 hour 45 minutes and is broken down into our selection of reading comprehension and writing tasks.

Each task touch should take you about 15 to 20 minutes, apart from the essay which may take up to 30 minutes to write 600 words.

Irish comprehension
By being confident in your ability to read a language you will naturally be more comfortable in exams Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Cluastuiscint, JC Listening Comprehension

During the listening section of the exam, you'll be asked to listen to different recordings which are referred to as Cuid. There are usually about three Cuid in your Cluastuiscint (Trial Chluastuisceana,  Tá trí chuid sa trial seo).

Each of which falls into one of the following categories:

  1. Cainteoir (Speaker)
  2. Comhrá (Conversations)
  3. Fógra (Announcements)
  4. Píosa Nuachta (News)

While each of the above recordings is playing you will have a sheet with questions, some of these questions are multiple-choice others ask for a specific answer, all of which you will have heard about in the recording.

My advice is to write down the words you've understood on the first listen, then when their plate again try and figure out the words around them. This will make it much easier to answer the questions.

Now more than ever is it easier to practice for your aural exam. Before the last couple of years, students could only practise for their aural exam in the classroom when the teacher played a CD or tape. But now, you can find samples both in PDF format and MP3 to practice when and where ever you want.

Many people practice using their tablet so they can listen while also answering or even on their laptop, if you have a laptop and headphones I recommend you go to studyclix for you can listen to samples of the recordings and see the questions. What is really beneficial when it comes to practising for this part of the exam.

Irish listening comprehension CDs and tapes
In previous years students were only able to practice for their will exam in the classroom, but now thanks to the Internet you can practice whenever you want - Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

Junior Cycle Irish Reading Comprehension

The reading comprehension consists of a text with five questions to be answered (you will be given an article, diary entry or short story to read and answer questions on).

When it comes to answering this section there are a couple of things I would definitely recommend doing.

Firstly, use a couple of your own words. Even if you don’t have great Irish you should try and focus on re-wording the answers rather than repeating the text by just changing a couple of words (Cúpla focal) your answers will be different to everyone else has. A small change in wording is all you will need to get more marks. But remember, if you need to it’s better to quote directly from the text than leave an answer blank.

Next, and possibly the most important piece of advice for this section of the exam is to always read more than once. First, read the questions. Next, read the comprehension. Using a coloured highlighter, highlight the sentences where you think the answers are. Then reread the questions, which will tell you which paragraph the answer is in. Look closely at that paragraph and the question.

"The more you practice and study, the better you are... so I still practice and study all the time."

Cyndi Lauper

Junior Cycle Irish Exam Writing

irish essay writing
Writing is one of the most important exercises related to language learning and a very effective way of putting the vocabulary into context - Photo by Kyle Gregory Devaras on Unsplash

In this section,  you will be asked to write a story/ essay and then either a postcard, letter, job application or newspaper article.

When it comes to the essay, usually there will be options to write about the play or novel to which you have studied in class however there is usually also a creative writing piece.

My advice is to stick to what you have learnt. The simple reasoning for this is your already familiar with a lot of the vocabulary and grammar are used in the novel or a play. Therefore you will gain valuable marks confusing words you are familiar with and your wording will make sense.

In general, for the written part of the exam, I recommend that you pre-prepare sign-offs or closing statements. How you close a story, letter, postcard or formal piece of writing is important not only because you can demonstrate your vocabulary and grammar but also because it adds to your word count.

Sample sign-offs include:

  1. Tá súil agam cloisteáil uait go luath, dea-mhéin, Sean. - Hope to hear from you soon, best regards, Sean.
  2. Gach dea-ghuí a sheoladh chugat, go dtí go labhróidh muid arís le mo chara, Orlagh - All good wishes to you, until we speak again to my friend, Orlagh
  3. Ag deireadh an lae, is é sin an fáth nár thaitin liom é. - At the end of the day, that is why I did not like it.
  4. Agus ba é sin mo thuairim ar an ábhar - And that was my opinion on the matter
  5. Is fada liom uaim thú agus táim ag tnúth le tú a fheiceáil nuair a thiocfaidh mé abhaile! Le grá, Aine  - I miss you and look forward to seeing you when I get home! With love, Aine
  6. Mar a fheiceann tú, sílim gur chuid an-tábhachtach den Úrscéal / Dráma é sin - As you can see, I think that's a very important part of the Novel / Play
  7. Táim ag tnúth le bualadh leat ag an agallamh. Maidir le Con. - I look forward to meeting you at the interview. Regards Con
  8. Ní féidir liom fanacht go bhfeicfidh mé sibh go léir arís! Beidh mé abhaile go luath. Mo ghrá go léir, Eimear. - I can't wait to see you all again! I will be home soon. All my love, Eimear.
  9. Ag deireadh an lae, bhain mé taitneamh as an úrscéal / dráma a léamh sa rang - At the end of the day, I enjoyed reading the novel/play in class
  10. Bhain mé an-taitneamh as, ach ní dóigh liom go léifidh mé arís é. Ní maith liom leabhar a léamh ach uair amháin. - I really enjoyed it, but I do not think that I will read it again. I only like to read a book once.

Now that we come to the end of the article, all that's left for me to do is wish you the best of it as you study for your junior cycle Irish exams.

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Maureen

Hey, I'm Maur/Mo, I'm a writer from Ireland. I've written a novel and a lot of poetry and fiction. Currently, I work as a content writer at superprof