Louise Loves! The Irish Leaving Cert Oral- tips to ace the ‘béaltrial'

Louise Loves! The Irish Leaving Cert Oral- tips to ace the ‘béaltrial'

Over the last five weeks Louise Cantillon has been producing and presenting a new educational show on SPIN

IN keeping with imeachtaí Seachtain na Gaeilge, I have put together some top tips for Leaving Cert students ahead of their Irish oral exams.

Over the last five weeks I have been producing and presenting a new educational show on SPIN. It's been an opportunity to couple my love of education and teaching with the fantastic platform that is radio.

With the help of subject experts from Kilmartin Educational Services here in Limerick and lots of special guests including Professor of Immunology at Trinity College Dr. Luke O Neill, Author Stefanie Preissner, Gaeilgeóir and Sports Broadcaster Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh and most recently Aeronautical engineer Norah Patten, we have created a podcast series and online resource for secondary school students.

SPIN ar Scoil looks individual Leaving Cert subjects in detail, arms students with tips and tricks to ace their written papers or accumulate the best possible predictive grades, plus advice and insights into careers in specific subject areas. To listen to previous episodes just search "SPIN Ar Scoil" on Spotify, iTunes or the GoLoud app.

Last Wednesday's episode was a ‘Béaltriail’ special, I spoke with Múinteoir Gaeilge Tomás Ó Madagáin who shared this advice:

“The Béaltriail is an opportunity for Irish students to acquire almost half their final grade, it's worth 40% of the final mark. This year students have an added advantage with only 10 Sraith Pictúirí to learn. The exam will take place in schools with Irish teacher either on site or from neighbouring schools coming in to examine students. There are four key areas to focus on if you want top marks”


There are 5 marks up for grabs here. This is a guarantee for students. Be able to tell the examiner your 'ainm, aois, seoladh bhaile agus scrúduimhir" plus how to correctly answer the examiner's greeting e.g. "Dia dhuit'/ "Dia is mhuire dhuit'/ "Dia is mhuire agus Pádraig duit"

POETRY 35 marks

This section is one that student can really prepare well for. The aim is to read one of their five studied poems competently. Students can bring their poetry lyrics into the exam and underline key pronunciation areas or even write in phonetics in to help. Remember this reading is worth more than the written poetry and prose! Top tip is to watch poems online and listen to them repeatedly, check out @Gaelport videos on YouTube.

CÓMHRA 120 marks

This is the longest section of the oral exam, lasting between 5- 8 minutes. The examiner will start by asking simple questions like “Inis dom fút féin - tell me about yourself?” giving students an opportunity to direct the conversations to subject they would like to talk about. Prepare to speak about topic like: ‘Do Chlann’ ‘Do Scoil’, ‘Caitheamh Aimsire’ ‘Tar éis an Ardteist’, ‘Daoine Óga’ ‘An Pandéimeach’. The trick here is understanding, conversing competently and to the best of your ability. Don't stress over small grammatical errors focus on having a natural conversation.


Students have 10 sraith pictúir to prepare for this section. You have 3-4 minutes to talk the examiner through a series of images. Make sure you have decided the tense you are telling you story in - (aimsir chaite nó aimsir láithearach) Write down a story for each sraith and record yourself reading it. Listen to the recording and continue to practise your pronunciation and key verbs. I would recommend reciting a sraith aloud daily. Don't forget to also prepare ‘ceisteanna' to ask your examiner- the questions are worth 10 marks alone. Tips on "Spin Ar Scoil' the podcast for questions that will cover you on each sraith.


Imeachtaí - Events
Seoladh bhaile - Home Address
Scrúduimhir - Exam number
Do Chlann - Your Family
Do Scoil - Your School
Caitheamh Aimsire - Pastimes
Tar éis an Ardteist - After the Leaving Cert
Daoine Óga - Young People
An Pandéimeach - the Pandemic

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