Another fine Irish writer, Belinda McKeon (see our short review of her novel Solace here) also featured in the comprehension section, with this piece from the Irish Times on the centenary of the opening of Grand Central Station in New York. The third choice was less literary - Emily Nussbaum's article 'Tune in next week - the curious staying power of the cliff-hanger' (film and television mostly) from the New Yorker. Again, the questions were straightforward, with information retrieval, opinion and style to the fore. The B questions included a topic which could do with freshening up - a talk on the role of radio and television in the lives of young people today (at least allowing candidates to point how these media are in relative decline).
The composition questions followed the trend of recent years, in becoming more defined, especially in narrative options (this year, a short story about a reunion, and another in which a central character is manipulating or being manipulated). The wording of option 5 might have challenged borderline candidates (the tension between 'the everyday treadmill and the gilded promises of life'). 'The storytelling evidence in music and song and its impact on you as a listener' is also pretty defined.
Ordinary level candidates should have sailed through their paper - comprehension pieces by Des Bishop about his father, by Gary Larson on The Far Side and another by a comedian, Michael McIntyre's Life and Laughing. The composition titles will have scared no-one.
And so on to the literature paper tomorrow. Click here for plenty of Macbeth revision resources.