Tuesday 27 September 2016

Leaving Cert final day: Some final hurdles - but it's all over now

Published 25/06/2016 | 02:30

The last day of Leaving Certificate 2016 brought a mixed bag for the estimated 4,000-5,000 candidates in exam halls. Stock Image: PA
The last day of Leaving Certificate 2016 brought a mixed bag for the estimated 4,000-5,000 candidates in exam halls. Stock Image: PA

The last day of Leaving Certificate 2016 brought a mixed bag for the estimated 4,000-5,000 candidates in exam halls.

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Teacher Michael Purcell from Colaiste Einde, Salthill, Co Galway, and ASTI, said the Religious Education Higher Level paper would have been welcomed by candidates.

However, Applied Maths Higher Level presented some challenges, according to teacher Christy Maginn of St Declan's College, Cabra, Dublin, who said the paper opened well with Question 1, and some questions continued the trend of "the refreshing new approach" evident in recent years.

But, Mr Maginn said Question 5 was a bit of a "curveball" and students were a "bit perplexed by Question 10 (b)".But, overall, he said it was a well-designed paper.

Hilary Dorgan, of the Institute of Education, thought that more than the usual number of questions on the Higher Level paper had "that extra twist". Question 2 would have "caused a lot of trouble to a lot of students", while Question 5 (b) had a "very unusual twist", he said.

Mr Dorgan also believes too much is asked of students in the time available.

"Some of the questions were very long - especially 1, 3 and 4.

"If a student takes a wrong turn in one or two of the questions, there is genuinely a huge pressure to get six questions done in the available time," he said.

Seamus Walshe, a teacher at Presentation College, Askea, Carlow, described the Technology Higher Level paper as more demanding than those in previous years.

"The examiners are pushing out the boundaries with questions on new technologies, and students would be advised to keep up with trends," he said.

He said students to whom he spoke liked to paper, "but they needed all the time they had".

Meanwhile, ordinary level students were happy with a paper that included topical issues such as music streaming and drones, he added.

There was little complaint from teacher Robbie Cronin about the Italian Higher Level paper, which he described as "good".

He said, as usual, the articles were very interesting. His only quibble was the unseen prose, about a teenager with very demanding parents and who had no friends at school.

"The language was very difficult here and students would have found it tricky," said Mr Cronin, of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

But he said the studied prose was "very good and fair" and would have been positively received by students.

Mr Cronin said the written expression was a "very interesting" essay/opinion piece on Irish students and their attitude to learning languages, and there was a "very good question" on a working holiday in Italy.

And he described the formal letter about either a complaint over products that had been purchased online or booking a holiday for a class reunion as a "very practical and laudable exercise".

About 330 candidates also sat Leaving Cert Japanese yesterday.

Irish Independent

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