Here’s an overview of the different sections on Paper 1 and links to the relevant sections on this site that you might find useful.

Paper 1

Section 1: Reading Comprehension – HALF AN HOUR – 40 marks

Most of the advice for answering comprehensions is the same as for Leaving Cert but you only have half an hour so the questions are easier and your answers can be shorter and less detailed. They tend to ask one style question.

Section 2: Personal Writing – 1 HOUR – 70 marks – choice of 7 or 8 titles

Most of the advice is the same for essay writing and for specific styles such as short stories, personal essays, speeches, articles, dialogues and diary entries.

However, in the leaving cert they will tell you what style to write in, whereas in the Junior Cert it says at the top of the page “Except where otherwise stated, you are free to write in any form you wish e.g. narrative, descriptive, dramatic, short story” (as if ‘dramatic’ is a style! who sets this paper?)

Section 3: Functional writing – HALF AN HOUR – 30 marks

The range of questions they can ask is huge. Generally speaking you are using formal, informative language but not always. Don’t freak out if you think you couldn’t do some of the tasks below – you always have a choice in the exam.

Questions have included asking you to write a

Section 4: Media studies – HALF AN HOUR – 40 marks

Again the range of questions is quite broad. You can be asked to discuss

  • an ad (target market/audience, visuals, effectiveness, compare ads)
  • a magazine (contents page – layout)
  • an editorial
  • a review
  • posters
  • cartoons
  • media (radio, television, newspapers, internet) as a force for changing people’s opinions
  • talk-radio (type of show that appeals to teenagers / difference between local & national radio)
  • television (watershed & classification of programmes, difference between radio & television, advantages & disadvantages)
  • newspapers (broadsheets v’s tabloids, layout of front page)
  • a news story (newsworthiness)
  • news sources – newspapers, radio, television, internet (effectiveness to deliver info and to promote products/services)
  • designer labels

Or to write a


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