French and History

For many students, today was a long and gruelling day, with many having to face both French and History. I was one of these pupils (sad times!)

Let’s start with French. The exam was from 9:30 until 12:00, with a ten minute break before the aural exam began. Overall, I would say that the Higher Level paper was moderately challenging. The first comprehension was quite straight forward and easy to answer, but the second one was quite challenging.

The written passages for Higher Level were better than previous years, with students having to write about reasons for young people to be happy in Ireland today amongst other topics. I quite liked the topics – it’s rare to get a chance to just write entirely about your own opinions in French.

The aural could probably be described as fair… although that doesn’t say much considering the aural at Higher Level is generally quite difficult. The questions certainly weren’t more difficult than previous years though. Overall, the paper wasn’t bad. I think I failed. How did everyone get on with the paper?

And now for History. Ah History, how wonderful you are! What an exam it was. Luckily it was nothing like the fainting, vomiting and mysterious combusion that took place in English Paper 2 – quite the opposite, in fact, as students became aware that the Indian Case Study came up for the Document question. This seemed to be the topic that most people wanted, resulting in gasps of delight through the room.

The Irish History questions were also very good. In the Partiton and Sovereignity section, we were asked to discuss the significance ofthe Eucharistic Congress of 1932 – a question that I would imagine most students did, it being a Case Study. Other questions includedHow did the threat and use of physical force affect Ireland during the period 1912-1923.Overall, it was a good section.

My second option was Northern Ireland – a section that was also very good with a question involving not one, but two case studies on the Coleraine University Controversy and the Apprentice Boys of Derry. We were asked to talk about the significance of the two, quite a nice question in my humble opinion.

Lastly was Europe and the Wider World. This was quite a good section, but I’d say it was a more challenging aspect. Most students probably did Dictatorship and Democracy. Students were asked about the challenges facing France 1920-1945, the characteristics of Stalin’s rule in Russia, to what extent Hitler’s Foreign Policy was responsible for the outbreak of World War 2, and how did Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust affect Europe from 1920-1945.

The questions all had a little bit of a twist, but if students were prepared they shouldn’t have had too much of a problem. I answered on Hitler’s Foreign Policy, it was a nice but also challenging question.

So how do you think it went? Leave a comment! And when do you finish? Good luck everyone 🙂

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