The LC English Paper (HL)

The Leaving Cert. English Paper

-Higher Level-



In this blog post, we will be establishing the layout, timing and length of the Leaving Cert. Paper in English at Higher Level.

*Paper One has an overarching theme. It is important to acknowledge this as the three texts presented in the paper will all share this theme (see fig.1 below which displays location of the paper’s theme).

fig. 1

1. The Layout:


Paper One – 200 marks


Two Sections:             (i)  Comprehending

                                     (ii)  Composition


Section One:                   Comprehending

Question A                        50 marks

Question B                        50 marks


Section Two:                 Composition

(Essay Writing)                100 marks


Paper Two – 200 Marks

Three Sections:            (i) The Single Text

                                         (ii) The Comparative

                                         (iii) Unseen and Prescribed Poetry


Section One:             The Single Text                                  60 marks

Section Two:             The Comparative                              70 marks

Section Three:          Unseen and Prescribed Poetry   70 marks


2. Timing


Paper One – 2 Hours 50 Minutes

*Take 10 minutes to read the paper 


Section One:                Comprehending

Question A                        40 minutes

Question B                        40 minutes

Section Two:                Composition

(Essay Writing)                   80 minutes


Paper Two – 3 Hours 20 Minutes

Section One:             The Single Text                                     60 mins.

Section Two:             The Comparative                                70 mins.

Section Three:          Unseen                                                  20 mins.

                                    Prescribed Poetry                                50 mins.



3. Length


Paper One

Section One:                Comprehending

Question A                        3 pages

Question B                        2 pages

Section Two:                Composition

(Essay Writing)                4 pages


Paper Two 

Section One:             The Single Text                                   4 pages

Section Two:             The Comparative                               4/5 pages

Section Three:          Unseen                                                1 page

                                     Prescribed Poetry                             3/4 pages








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