This year has been the most stressful and difficult year for me. I’m not easily vexed, but this year i’ve been crying, getting numerous headaches and feeling like a failure 24/7. I’m sure many can relate. Obviously i’m just another teenager opposed to the system, so nobody has to listen to my ramblings, call me a drama queen if you like, but so many things make me angry about the leaving cert and i’m sure i’m not the only one.
It’s all up to chance! The majority of students don’t know the whole course of their 6-8 subjects off by heart, and if they did, well, they’d be very lucky. We all learn somethings better than others. We all have different ways of learning. We’re not robots, or circus animals. We cannot be expected to perform so immaculately under such immense pressure. Everything, is up to chance. Twenty sraithpictiúrs and it all comes down to what ONE you happen to pick. You could know 19/20 perfectly and then get the one that you completely forgot to look over. Meanwhile the guy who dossed half the year and knew one sraithpictiúr out of the whole lot gets the only one that he knew and has 80 marks in the bag. Then there’s the conversation, well, it all depends on what question’s you’re asked right? The biology course is huge. You could know the whole book inside out except for photosynthesis and genetics, only to open the paper and see that they’re both long questions of their own. 5 irish poems to learn about under headings such as ‘language’ ‘theme’ ‘meter’ ‘contrast’ ‘mood’ and more, not to mention the biographies of the poets themselves, just in case that happens to come up, but sure, who knows, it’s all chance! Same story for the prose. As for the Aiste, well anything could arise there! What to cover? They say you can’t make predictions. Very well, i’ll just learn Daoine Óga, meáin cumarsáide, Éirí amach na Cásca, seandaoine, drugaí, ól, spóirt, foréigean, cóiriúlacht, rudaí a chuireann déistin orm, na cáin uisca, todhchaí na gaeilge, an córas oideachas, an córas sláinte, an timpeallacht, and god knows what else. Even if one had the capacity to remember so much information, as well as balancing 6/7 other subjects, how can they perform to their best ability when they only get to produce ONE essay after ALL that hard work? It’s the same case with Geography. Two books, various sections, various chapters, approximately 3-7 long questions to learn within chapters? You could just make predictions. But if you do that, it could work put perfectly, but you could also fail. It’s even down to chance when your exams are being examined. Who’s correcting? Are they tough on students or will they sympathize? Do they prefer neat writing? Do they like their job or do they just want to get out of there? Are they tired, or alert? Do they appreciate watercolor still life drawings more than pencil sketches? Have they just given 10 students an A2? (You know yourself, we all have picked (c) in multiple choice when it seems we answered (a) 4 times in a row) Did they start the day with a coffee, or roll out of the wrong side of the bed? Is their personal life going well? I could go on but you get the picture. Don’t even get me started on maths. 25 extra points for higher level. Oh, well ‘it’s way harder, and the course is so much bigger’. Boohoo, i’m sure there’s a big difference between higher and ordinary level English also, but I don’t get extra points for being good at that? You’ll hear ”it gives extra points because there’s not enough people doing project maths”. Bullshit, that’s not the way to go about it, there’s people’s futures and careers on the line, its not something you can tamper with in the first place just to get more people doing a certain subject. Project maths is a farse and should only be neccessary if people need it for their career. ”You need project maths, you’ll always need it in your life” well people have seemed to manage fine up until now? It’s bad enough for people without mathsy brains to do sums, but now we have to figure out first what the question is asking. Some people just can’t hack maths. You’d say something if the teachers were of the highest standard in Europe, but they’re not, at all, and many students have been cursed with the effects of a bad maths teacher. It’s like art, or english. Some people just aren’t good at it and that’s that. It doesn’t mean they can’t go to college, especially if their career doesn’t require trigonometry, calculus, complex numbers and so forth. I want to be a teacher, a primary school teacher. I’m expecting and A in irish and english as well as art and b’s and c’s in my other subjects. Depending on what comes up however I have to worry about not only getting the required points, but also passing maths. It makes me sick that I need to put extra hours into maths, (when I could be maximising my points elsewhere) a subject I wont even be counting because a d3 in ordinary maths is 5 points (and in higher level is 70!) and in a subject that I only need to PASS especially considering that I will most certainly not be teaching the cosine rule, simultaneous equations, conjugates, constructions and the empirical rule to children.
Meanwhile someone who just got C’s and D’s in things like Irish and English and managed to to get an A in higher level maths, gets into my course without any issues.
Well, that’s my opinion anyway. I could go on but i’m honestly exhausted from study. Feeling very angry that the majority of the essays i’ve learnt for Irish, geography, king Lear and comparitives, poetry and an Triail will not be of any use during the actual exams.