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The following tutorials and sample answers are written to guide all students.

The tutorials and tips are meant to complement and enhance your school-work, while the sample answers direct you towards developing your own style and voice.

They do not claim to be perfect; rather they are accessible answers for all students who seek to improve their responses in the English Junior Certificate Examination.

They will give you the confidence to find your own writing style, develop your own voice and help you towards an analytical response. Then you will be able to write even better answers!


Exam Time Management and Reading

Have your Edco Exam Papers at hand as you read the following:

  • Because students read and write at different speeds, one can only suggest an outline on how to approach English exam papers.
  • English Higher Paper I requires a lot of reading.
  • You should familiarise yourself with the exam paper and time your responses to questions (both in reading a section and writing your responses).
  • Note that some sections are more important than others in English Paper I
    (Section 2 carries the most marks: 70).

Duration of Junior Cert. English Higher Paper I: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Number of sections: 4
Each section must be attempted.

Section 1: Reading

Marks: 40

Time: approx. 25 minutes

Section 2: Personal Writing

Marks: 70

Time: approx. 75 minutes

Section 3: Functional Writing

Marks: 30

Time: approx. 25 minutes

Section 4: Media Studies

Marks: 40

Time: approx. 25 minutes

Total Time = 150 minutes

  • The above time suggestions should be amended to suit you.
  • Sometimes the Reading Section might require a little longer, the Functional Writing Section a little less time, etc. (depending on the task involved).
  • Watch the clock regularly throughout the exam and remember you must attempt ALL sections!


You need to consider the following when answering this question:

  • Always underline the important terms in the question. This will help you focus on what you have to do.
  • The question has asked to support with evidence from the first paragraph only support from other paragraphs will not give you marks.
  • Having read and underlined the questions, re-read the text at least twice. Underline important parts of the text.