Saturday 3 December 2016

Students face new approaches and different question styles

Exam papers fair, writes Katherine Donnelly

Published 21/06/2016 | 02:30

At the best of times, particle physics can be a pretty elusive subject, and so it was on the Leaving Certificate Physics Higher Level paper
At the best of times, particle physics can be a pretty elusive subject, and so it was on the Leaving Certificate Physics Higher Level paper

LC Physics - At the best of times, particle physics can be a pretty elusive subject, and so it was on the Leaving Certificate Physics Higher Level paper.

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Teacher Ger Curtin of Beneavin College, Finglas, Dublin, and the ASTI, said students would be expecting the topic as a choice in one question and as a full part of another, but it only appeared as a half part.

But Mr Curtin said that modern physics did turn up a lot on the paper, with much overlap of topics in different questions. He said it is a lesson to all not to count on predictability in papers. Mr Curtin said Section A was fine, and despite the unexpected nature of some questions in Section B, overall the paper was doable.

Pat Doyle of the Institute of Eduction said the difference in style and presentation of the paper this year would have thrown students.

However, he said if they kept their cool and read carefully through the questions, they would have realised it was not as difficult as it first appeared.

Mr Doyle said some of the questions in Section B were very wordy.

Mr Curtin said the ordinary level paper was reasonably student friendly.

More than 8,000 students sat the physics paper yesterday, while about 600 sat the combined physics/chemistry paper.

LC Accounting

Fresh elements to questions in the Leaving Certificate Accounting Higher Level paper would have tested students, said teacher John O'Sullivan of Ashton School, Cork, and the ASTI.

He said all except Question 1 contained theory questions, "which can be a challenge for accounting students who generally prefer the numerical side".

Mr O'Sullivan also said that many students were assuming that Marginal Costing would appear in the Management Accounting section and those students may have been surprised by its omission.

However, a student aspiring towards a high grade would have been happy .

Ray O'Loughlin of the Institute of Education said that there was "a sting in the tail of many of the questions".

Mr O'Loughlin noted an adjustment on Question 1 on manufacturing accounts and said the wording of the question was "a bit ambiguous".

Mr O'Sullivan thought ordinary level students would have been "very satisfied with the choice and the standard of questions".

JC Technical Graphics

A new and refreshing approach to testing students' knowledge of 3D solids and their ability to sketch these solids was welcomed in the Junior Certificate Technical Graphics Higher Level paper.

Teacher Michael Leyden of Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town, and the TUI, said it was a well structured paper but questions would have kept candidates busy right to the end of the exam.

He described the ordinary level paper as "well pitched" for candidates.

JC Materials Technology: Wood

Fair, balanced and topical, was how teacher Noel Scott of Loreto Community School, Donegal, and the ASTI, summed up the Junior Certificate Materials Technology (Wood) Higher- Level paper.

He said students regarded the papers at both levels as "friendly".

Michael Leyden of Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town, and the TUI, agreed, describing higher level as well structured, while ordinary level "covered a wide range of topics".

Irish Independent

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