The Junior Certificate examination includes three different parts:
- The listening comprehension
- The reading comprehension
The written expression
Section I Listening Comprehension
(140 marks = 44% of the exam!), 40 minutes.
The Listening Comprehension takes place immediately before the Written Paper. Each of the sections might involve, for example, a conversation, a news item, or a radio item. The questions are in English and you must answer this section in English.
Section II Reading Comprehension
All nine questions must be answered and they involve multiple-choice and information retrieval. You must answer this section in English.
Allow 60 minutes
Section III Written Expression
You have to do two assignments (Answer (a) and (b)) and each assignment will involve specific instructions and items you must include.
- Letter (50 marks)
- Note / postcard (30 marks)
Divide your time carefully between the two assignments, leaving yourself some minutes to check over your work.
Allow 40 minutes. (Allow 10 minutes to read over your work)
- Do not panic if the listening comprehension appears difficult. You will have plenty of time to answer the questions and each extract will be played three times.
- The first time around, listen attentively to the whole extract to familiarize yourself with the topic and with the way the questions relate to it. (Usually the questions follow precisely the order in which the information is given on the tape.) Some students are tempted to write answers during the first listening, but this is a mistake as they aren’t able to follow the extract while they’re writing.
- Use the suggested time plan above to ensure that you have enough time to answer all of the questions on the written paper.
- If you do not finish a question you can always return to answer it during the 10 minutes you have allowed at the end of the exam to check over your work.
- For the listening and reading comprehensions, all the instructions are in English, so you must answer in English.
- Ensure you read the questions very carefully, that you re-read your answers as well and make sure you use the right tense.
- Use capital letters for multiple-choice questions to avoid confusion for the examiner.
- Use a biro rather than a pencil.