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Information & Advice

The Department of Education has recently changed the Junior Cert Cycle to focus on continuous assessments on written, spoken and listening skills.

The aim of Junior Certificate Irish is to improve your ability to communicate through Irish. You will focus on improving your language skills through four areas:

  • Oral skills through speaking
  • Aural skills through listening to others, CDs etc.
  • Written skills through writing in Irish
  • Reading skills through reading passages, poems and stories written in Irish.

What will I need to do for the Irish Junior Cert Exam?

1. Develop your skills of communication through Irish
2. Use the Irish that you already have and continuously add to it
3. Develop your skills in listening, reading, and speaking in Irish
4. Develop your written skills through letters, postcards, essays, and stories in Irish

How can I improve my Irish Oral, Aural and Writing skills everyday?

Here are some small things that will prove to be extremely beneficial for you:


  • Participate in cultural activities that your school has organized such as singing, dancing and drama.
  • Make use of the Irish language you already have and continuously.
  • Make sure you participate in “Seachtain na Gaeilge” events.
  • Avail of the ICT software and the Internet resources on offer to develop your language skills.
  • Organise to work & study in groups to help each other.
  • Speak Irish in class, in school and try use some “Cúpla Focal” outside of school too.
  • Tune into TG4 for some Irish TV programs.
  • Watch the news in Irish on RTE or TG4.
  • Listen to radio programs presented in Irish.
  • Get to know Irish words and phrases by looking at street signs.
  • Always ask your teacher for advice.

What is the structure of the Irish Junior Certificate Exam?

The Junior Certificate Irish Exam is divided into three different sections:

  1. Oral Exam – This consists of a conversation between you and your examiner. This will place a special emphasis on topics linked to the student’s own life, surroundings and current affairs.
  2. Aural Exam – A CD will be played and you answer questions based on what you hear. This will focus on your listening skills through Irish.
  3. Written Exam – Your reading & written skills will be tested in this section through articles, questions, letters, postcards, essays, and stories in Irish

What is the breakdown of the Irish Junior Cert Exam?

Paper 1 – Higher level

Roinn I – Cluaistuiscint

Roinn II – Léamhthuiscint

Roinn III – Trialacha Teanga comhthéacsúla

Roinn IV – Ceapadóireacht

Roinn I – Cluaistuiscint: This is the listening comprehension.

Roinn II – Léamhthuiscint: These are unseen reading comprehensions you will be required to answer questions on the text.

Roinn III – Trialacha Teanga comhthéacsúla: This section requires you to rewrite a piece in a particular tense and is a test on grammar and verbs.

Roinn IV – Ceapadóireacht: This section requires students to write an essay, story, debate or an article.

Paper 2 – Higher level

Roinn I – Prós

Roinn 2 – Filíocht

Roinn 3- An litir

Roinn I – Prós: You will be made answer questions on an extract from the story. Than you will also be asked about a story you have studied. Make sure you support your answer with references. Us the correct grammar as this is what they are testing here.

Roinn II – Filíocht: You will be made answer questions on an unseen poem. Than you will be asked to discuss a poem you have studied. Make sure you support your answer with references. Us the correct grammar as this is what they are testing here.

Roinn III – An litir: This section will require you to write a letter and will test your ability to write, as well as your grammar and vocabulary. Make yourself fimilar of common letter themes throughout pervious years. It is very important to get the structure of the letter correct: Date, address, greeting, the body, and the sign off of the letter in the right way.

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