Exams: Troika and pylons feature in topical, fair test
WITH topics such as mortgage arrears, Ireland after the Troika and pylons, higher level candidates needed to be up to date.
Teachers' views varied on the scale of the challenge that students faced.
Pat Collins, of CBS, Dungarvan, Waterford and the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI), thought it a fair and topical paper, that would reward students who kept abreast of current affairs.
Emma Blake, of Yeats College, Galway, said while the short questions were based heavily on theory, they were fair. The long questions were student friendly.
Jennie Harrington, of the Business Studies Teachers' Association (BSTAI), thought it fair but challenging.
Ray O'Loughlin, of the Institute of Education, regarded it as very challenging," with some very high-end questions, bordering on third level standard.
He said students were required to have knowledge of a wide range of topical issues outside of their textbooks.
Mr O'Loughlin said candidates would have required considerable independent knowledge to respond to the question on the implications of emerging from the Troika Bailout to the Irish economy .
There was a better choice in section B, he said, although "some students would have been unnerved by the question in which they were asked to apply the concept of consumer surplus to market equilibrium." Mr Collins said the ordinary level paper was also topical.
LC DESIGN & COMM. GRAPHICS
THE distinctive cap of a celebrity perfume, in this case Reveal by actress Halle Berry, provided some of the inspiration for candidates sitting the higher level paper. The question related to intersecting planes.
Sporting themes also featured and overall Michael Horan, of St Brigid's Secondary School, Killarney, Co Kerry and the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI), was happy with the papers, at both higher and ordinary level.
BOTH papers were very accessible, according to teacher Miriam Ross, of Alexandra College, Milltown, Dublin.
Ms Ross, a subject representative with the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI), said they tested both students' prior knowledge as well as their ability to apply their general listening skills.
She said students seemed happy with the appearance of Bizet's 'Farandole' in Q.2 for both ordinary and higher level.
And for those doing higher level, songs from musicals and operas would have been a welcome choice, she said.
FAIR but testing was how teacher Kieran Christie described the higher level paper.
Mr Christie, of St Attracta's Community School, Tubbercurry, Sligo and the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), said section A had a good selection of short questions that ranged widely across the syllabus.
He thought the questions in sections B and C were well chosen and he particularly liked the electronics, mechanisms and control systems questions.
Similarly, Mr Christie said the ordinary level paper was pitched at the appropriate level.