Friday 28 October 2016

Leaving Cert Diary: I was a bit nervous - but Phys-Chem was easy

William Murphy
William Murphy

Phys-Chem was long.

It took me the full three hours to do the exam. I was a bit nervous going in but I did a good bit of study over the weekend and I'm very relieved to have it out of the way.

The paper is split into two sections, physics and chemistry, and you do three questions out of six from each section. I was familiar with all of the questions that I picked.

There wasn't anything surprising in it, I was happy with all of it.

I found it easier than past papers.

Last year's questions were more difficult. One came up that had difficult wording but there was nothing like that in yesterday's exam.

The paper is very broad and includes topics such as electricity, the periodic table of the elements, chemical bonding and quantum numbers.


There's always a question on motion in the physics section, and I did that because I had prepared for it.

Acids and bases and titration usually come up in chemistry so I did those.

There were two questions that I chose where I had to write up experiments.

The principle of conservation of momentum was one; it was handy because I knew that off by heart. We also had to draw the experiment apparatus and explain the procedure.

There was also a graph about the acidity of different compounds, that wasn't too bad.

The short questions were probably the hardest part, the two sections have 15 and you have to do 11.

Some of them I didn't know or understand because they covered sections that we didn't do in class, like fusions and data particles. I answered 13 anyway just in case.


We covered two more sections in class than we actually needed to so we were safe going into the exam.

I'm going to use the next three days to revise for Italian on Friday, I'm not going to worry about it too much.

I find the reading comprehensions the hardest because the grammar is difficult.

You have to figure out what they're asking you and then answer in Italian. We also have to write an A4 page essay and answer questions on a novel we read.

William Murphy (19), from Cabra, is a student in St Paul's CBS

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