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Saturday 10 December 2016

Long wait over as pupils rise to Leaving Cert test

Alice Burgess & David O'Connor
Alice Burgess & David O'Connor
Shannon Talbot, 18, left and Michelle Brack, 18, looking over their leaving cert English paper 1 which they sat at O'Connells School, North Richmond Street.

Exam time has kicked off, with students tackling their first Leaving Cert and Junior Cert papers.

Students at the renowned O'Connell School on North Richmond Street in Dublin emerged from their first day with a mixture of hope and relief having got their opening test over and done with.

"I wasn't nervous at all," said Shannon Talbot (18).

"I'm not looking forward to the Irish exam, but I've prepared well for history and I'm looking forward to that," said Shannon, who hopes to study nursing at Trinity College, Dublin.

Both Shannon and her friend Michelle Brack (18) felt they "did great" in the exam. Michelle intends to study midwifery at Trinity.

READ MORE: Leaving Cert Diary: One of the first things I noticed was Bono staring out at me

While 38 pupils were sitting their Leaving Cert for the first time at the school, 70 other pupils had enrolled in the school's specialised repeat programme.

Principal Gerry Duffy said the repeat pupils came from Counties Meath, Louth, and Kildare as well as Dublin, and were more mature.

"Their attitude this time is that they are 'taking on' the Leaving Cert rather than the Leaving Cert 'taking them on'." Mr Duffy explained.

Laura Rowe (20) felt she did "really well" on the English paper and enjoyed tackling the short story question. She would like to study astrophysics at Maynooth University.

READ MORE: Junior Cert Diary: Mum's stressing too, but she's doing a good job hiding it

Adam Kavanagh (17) said he felt nervous the night before the exam.

"But this morning my adrenalin woke me up and pushed me through," he said.

His pal Adam Atouani (17) added: "I was feeling pressure, but as soon as I started writing, I was okay although - I was exhausted at the end."

James Vaughan (18) said he was running out of time on the last section of the paper.

He hopes today's English second paper contains questions on the poets John Montague and Robert Frost, particularly his favourite poem - Mending Wall.

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