Rebecca Dunne, a Dublin-based student, submitted this piece to IDK after a full week of exams. Her generous effort is appreciated!
My name is Rebecca Dunne. I am deaf, with a cochlear implant. I have just finished my Leaving Certificate exams and found them really challenging, as everybody does.
Because of my deafness I was exempt from the Irish and French aurals which helped reduce the pressure and hopefully will help with my marks! I was allowed an extra 10 minutes in French, Maths and Business which really benefited me in the exams.
Personal Exam Tips
I found I could concentrate a lot more if I switched my implant processor off during the exams, but I would warn those who want to do this to be very careful as it is important to tell your supervisor that you will be turning off and that you will not hear anything at all as you will then miss the time warnings and could end up not finishing the paper on time.
My supervisors came up to my desk to give me the time warnings as I told them I would be able to lip-read them, which was fantastic. The supervisors I had were great and made sure that I knew exactly what was going on.
One in particular was great as he knew exactly what I was supposed to be doing and what I needed, while the other one had no idea until I told him!
The papers in all the subjects I did were fine except Ordinary Level Project Maths Paper 2 which I found difficult.
Looking back – I thought the Irish essay topics on the Higher Level paper were quite difficult. The exams went well overall and I was pleased with how the procedure went. However, I do find it very difficult to reflect on exams so we will just have to wait until the results!
Things a deaf person should consider when sitting exams:
- Sit up at the front of the exam hall so that your supervisor will not forget about you.
- Tell the supervisor before each exam that you will be turning off your implant processor and that he/she must come up to you to give you the time warnings.
- Try at home yourself to see if you concentrate better with your implant processor on or off (I found it a lot easier with it off).
- If you want, you may be able to sit the exams in a separate room on your own, but you need to arrange this well ahead of the exams.
- Discuss with your teacher/s, and apply for any exemptions you may be entitled to.
- If you are doing languages, think carefully on whether you should do the orals/aurals, as you can get exemptions from these and still sit the written paper.
(compiled by Rebecca Dunne)
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