How important are the pre’s, really?

My pre’s start tomorrow. Either I haven’t realised it yet, or they really aren’t that much of a big deal. Unfortunately I think it’s the former. How important the pre’s are seem to be a complete mystery. On one hand they’re a great way of judging how you’re doing and how much work you have covered blah blah blah but on the other hand they are absolutely useless as they aren’t the leaving cert, which will be completely different. Confusing? I think so.

Some of my teachers have been urging us to prepare for the pre’s as if they were the leaving cert, and some have been telling us to do our best but remember that the actual leaving cert is the ultimate goal, and not to tire ourselves out, and to remember that the orals start two weeks after. Again, confusion. Through all of this I have drawn my own conclusions. I’m planning on using the pre’s as a means of figuring out just exactly what we have to do on each paper, how long it will take, and just how exhausting it’s going to be. If I get my points then fantastic, if I don’t then no big deal. “They’re only the pre’s, they don’t count for anything.” (Or do they.) Also I think they’re an opportunity to see just how much I can omit from the whole revising process. Take higher level English poetry, for example. There are eight poets and four poetry questions, yet we have been told to learn six or so poets. Every single year there is a question on a female poet and a question on an Irish poet and so one could get by quite happily by just learning the two female poets, and perhaps the Irish one’s for ‘security’. Why go to the trouble of learning six poets only to be spoiled for horrendous choice on the day? Besides, Derek Walcott is “due” to appear and so himself, Rich and Bishop should suffice.

Then there’s the Irish poetry. I don’t even know how many poems there are, and most of them seem to be about Islands. Although there seems to be lots of choice on Irish Paper 2, it’s actually an optical illusion. There are so many questions that we aren’t actually supposed to answer that I think they’re put there just to make us flick through the paper for twenty minutes looking for a question which we recognize. I just remembered An Triail, I haven’t ever done a question on An Triail. Oh dear lord I need to revise.

I intended for this post to be something like “why the pre’s really don’t matter” but instead have scared myself into thinking that they do.

June 17th is sure to be the happiest day of my life.

6 thoughts on “How important are the pre’s, really?”

  1. I’d like to just learn the two female poets, but if I have to write about Adrienne Rich I’ll stab someone.

  2. RE the Irish Paper.
    How incredibly right you are! There’s about 10000 pages you’re not even meant to look at! The poor trees.
    And ALL the poetry is a horrendous “I love islands and nature and lovers and stuff” load of balls.
    The only one I can stand is an tOileain, and that’s only because I get a good chuckle out of writing about how the poet compares her body to moist glens and what have you.
    Luckily I’m mature.

  3. Zenith Quinntendo

    Not very important, i cheated on most of my pre’s by acquiring the papers on Boards dot ie , and ended up getting 305 points. I got 440 points in the real thing with not much work.
    For english id reccommend writing out 4 open essays for the poets that are likely to come up!There’s always an open poet question that you can write about any themes/subjects.
    I’d also reccommend writing and rewriting a 3-5 page essay and memorize it as best you can. Make the essay as interesting to yourself and as enjoyable to read as you can. This can be given to your english teacher and he can correct mistakes you make. You can then adapt this to one of the essay titles you’ll be given in Paper one. I personally wrote the same essay for the leaving as i did in the mocks, just adapted it slightly, and got 90/100 or whatever amount it was..
    The essay question part usually has an open title, id reccommend going for this,
    sometimes it gives pictures to be picked and written about. THESE are very useful as you can just adapt your story and stick in the picture even if it doesnt seem relevant.

  4. Psh. If someone said “moist”, physical properties of various parts of human anatomy in a certain state would be that last thing I’d think of.

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