This post contains my suggestions for timing for the Leaving Certificate Higher Level and Ordinary Level Spanish. Timing is essential for every state exam, not just Spanish. You need to know your timing and you need to stick with it strictly.

Very often when my students tell me they ran out of time in an exam, they have wasted time trying to find the answer to a 4 mark question instead of moving on to a new section which is worth another 20, 30 or 50 marks. Be smart. Don’t do that.

Make sure your timing has (as mine does below) 5 minutes built-in to the end and start of your Leaving Cert Spanish exam so that you have time at the end to go back and see if you can find that answer.

The maths below is the time available in the exam divided by the marks on the written paper. The first time is what it would be according to the maths, the second figure is the time I think you should allocate each question. Know that timing, know it well and stick to it.

 LEAVING CERTIFICATE SPANISH Higher Level

Total for written = 220 marks over  150 minutes: .68/min

Section A 

1. Long comprehension 50 marks > 34 minutes —- 30 min

2. Short comprehensions 20 marks > 13 minutes —- 15 min

Sect. B

1. Comprehension 50 marks > 34 minutes — 30 min

2. Opinion Piece 50 marks > 34 minutes — 30 min

Sect. C

1. Dialogue 30 marks > 20 minutes — 20 min

2. Note 20 marks > 13 minutes —  15 min

__________

Totals: 148 mins —-  140 minutes

Following the timing I recommend gives you 10 minutes to split between the beginning and end of the exam to scan at the beginning and write down any words/ideas you want to and to read over and correct/polish/finish questions at the end.

DON’T LEAVE EARLY!!!

Timing – LEAVING CERTIFICATE SPANISH OL

Total for written = 220 marks over  150 minutes: .68/min

Sect. A 

1. Spanish comprehension 50 marks > 34 minutes —- 30 min

2. Short comprehensions X 4 110 marks > 75 minutes —- 65 min

Sect. B

1. Letter 40 marks > 27 minutes — 30 min

2. Note 20 marks > 13 minutes —  15 min

__________

149 mins           140 minutes

Following the timing I suggest gives you 10 minutes to split between the beginning and end of the exam to scan at the beginning and write down any words/ideas you want to and to read over and correct/polish/finish questions at the end.

Realistically, you will go through the comprehensions that you answer in English faster than within an hour. I would dedicate that extra time to the Spanish comprehension, the letter and the note.

DON’T LEAVE EARLY!!!

Best of luck!

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