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Tips And Advice For English Paper 2

Tips And Advice For English Paper 2

Anna Powell

English Paper 1 is over and done with, now it’s time to look ahead to the next.

The Leaving Cert English Paper 2 is a great opportunity to show off what you have learnt throughout the past two years. Below I have laid out my list of tips and tricks to help you through English Paper 2 2022.

Exam Papers

As the exam approaches, it is really important to do as many past and sample exam questions as possible. 

Practising exam questions allows you to…

  • Practice formulating a response to different styles of questions
  • Allows you to look at your text from a multitude of viewpoints. This not only aids in your understanding of the text but it also helps you to formulate your opinion of the text.

I would recommend creating detailed essay plans for as many questions as possible. This allows you to save time by not writing the full essay while not avoiding formulating and wording key points for your answer.

In the final study before the exam go over these and your notes and forget the books.


I believe showing off your understanding and ability to use different words is key to getting a good grade in Leaving Cert English. There is nothing worse than repeating the same few words over and over again in your writing. I believe it is a very good idea to practice using different words in your writing before the exam.

I would advise you to…

  • Pick keywords out of an exam question, for example “Chaos and confusion are used to great effect throughout Shakespeare’s play, King Lear.” The key words to me in this question are chaos, confusion, used, effect and play. 
  • Practice replacing your keywords with other suitable words by making a list of all the words you can think of to replace that word. Using an online thesaurus can be really helpful when you are practising before the test.
  • Practice forming different ways in which you can start new paragraphs. Each paragraph should not begin the same way with the same words.

The Single Text and The Comparative Study

It is important to have a good understanding of the texts that you have done as part of your course. Before the exam, you should have a good understanding of the plot and possible characters in the text. Practising exam questions will help you to figure out and analyse what you need to know from each text.

Main Points to Remember

  • Quotes do not have to be very long in order to be counted as quotes. Instead of quoting incorrectly from the text, you are much better off to only quote a few words that are correct. 
  • Every paragraph and key point in your answer should include references to your text. This is your time to show off how you can use examples from what you know about the text to answer the question
  • Be very careful not to just summarise what happened in the text. The examiner has already read the text themselves and doesn’t need the whole story explained to them from start to finish.


  • It is really important to have an understanding of each poetic technique that is used in each of your poems.
  • Before the exam begins, you should have a substantial amount of lines learnt off from each of your poems. 
  • You should understand what each poem is about and know some background information to the poem. A lot of the poems on the leaving cert course are written about historical events.

In my opinion it is a good idea to have a general idea of the questions you wish to answer on the day. Naturally, some of the questions are going to suit your style of learning and writing better as a person. However, It is not a good idea to rule questions out completely as there is no guarantee that the questions that appear on the paper will suit you. I would advise focusing on the questions you wish to do while also putting a bit of time aside to have a general understanding of the other section.

See Also


Timing is just as important as it was in the first English paper. It is essential that you allocate enough time to plan and complete each section. If you are in the midst of answering a question but your time runs out, move onto the next question and return to it at the end. This is why a plan is vital during the exam as it helps you to not lose your train of thought for your answer.

The most important thing to remember during the exam is that the examiner is there to help you gain marks and isn’t out to make you fail the exam. As long as you make a genuine attempt at answering each question in a coherent manner you will be absolutely fine. Just remember to do your best!

Best of Luck

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