Sunday 4 December 2016

Music ends on a good note, but not all in clover in agriculture

Published 24/06/2016 | 02:30

Movement III from Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major came up as the main question in the listening paper
Movement III from Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A major came up as the main question in the listening paper

For Leaving Certificate candidates who finished their exams yesterday with music, it all ended on a good note.

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Teacher Siofra Cox of Convent of Mercy secondary school, Roscommon town, and the ASTI said the higher and ordinary-level papers were "very straightforward".

Movement III from Mozart's Piano Concerto in A major came up as the main question in the listening paper, and students should have found it a manageable question, she said.

However, Ms Cox thought they would have been reasonably challenged by some sections of questions 3 and 4 in the listening exam, which required them to compare excerpts of music with music which was not played in the exam, testing their familiarity and aural memory of the overall works.

The composition paper featured a choice of questions in major and minor keys which Ms Cox described as "quite manageable and students should have had no problem in attempting these skills-based questions".

Susan McCormick, a teacher at the Institute of Education, Dublin, described the higher-level listening paper as "nice".

She commented that dictation, which appeared in question 1 and is an area that students usually struggle with, was nice and straightforward.

Earlier in the day it was agricultural science and, according to the Irish Association of Agricultural Science Teachers (IASTA), the consensus was that while the higher-level paper was very challenging in parts, well-prepared students should have found it manageable.

IASTA spokesperson Willie White said a lot of students and teachers were confused by the first question asking for the phylum of clover and most presumed it was meant to be the family of clover .

"It did throw a number of students off," he said.

Mr White said the genetics question, part (c), on the sub indices of the Economic Breeding Index (EBI) system and the factors that determine them, was very technical and many students would have struggled with it. But he said overall "there was a good mix of all the main areas on the course and most should have been able to answer six questions as required".

The IASTA view was that the ordinary-level paper was quite difficult and many students would have struggled.

"As with previous years, teachers felt the language used and the general standard of the paper is more difficult than it should be for students that choose ordinary level," said Mr White.

Donal Power of the Institute of Education, Dublin, thought well-prepared, higher-level students should have been "very happy". He noted a full question on beef in question 3/option 2, which is rare.

He said the paper was "completely in sync with previous years".

Irish Independent

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