Monday 26 September 2016

Students had to apply knowledge to unfamiliar situations

Published 10/06/2015 | 02:30

Kate Brady , India Marshall and Orla Molloy ahead of their Biology exam at Salerno College, Galway, yesterday. Photo: Andrews Downes
Kate Brady , India Marshall and Orla Molloy ahead of their Biology exam at Salerno College, Galway, yesterday. Photo: Andrews Downes

LC Biology - Some questions on the Leaving Certificate Biology Higher Level paper required students to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar situations, but, with careful reading, a student who had revised well would have been well able to answer, said teacher Paula Moriarty.

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Ms Moriarty of Bridgetown Vocational College, Wexford, and the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) said that students had plenty of choice and anyone who had covered the syllabus and revised well would have managed.

Dr Corinna Mahoney of Yeats College, Galway, agreed that it was a broad-ranging and manageable paper, though requiring great attention to detail

She said the absence of a traditional genetic cross may have surprised students in Section C, the long questions. The featured chromosomal diagrams may have been off-putting at first, but were straightforward to decipher upon close inspection, she said

Ms Moriarty described the ordinary level paper as "very doable", with a nice range of topics giving students plenty of choice

An 'excellent' paper lived up to students' expectations

LC Irish Higher

All in all, an excellent paper was how teacher Robbie Cronin described the Leaving Certificate Higher Level Paper 2.

Most importantly, the students felt good about themselves on leaving the exam centres, said Mr Cronin, of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin and the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI).

He said the two comprehension pieces, one on the youth organisation, One Young World, and the other on homeless people, were both topical and interesting, with questions that were challenging but doable.

Mr Cronin said the poetry, prose and extra literature question were all what you might expect from this level.

Clare Grealy, a teacher in Dublin's Institute of Education, agreed that students would have been generally pleased.

In prose, she said the widely anticipated film, 'Cáca Milis' appeared, but she expressed surprise that examiners had reverted to the old style of questioning, with one question worth 30 marks being asked, without any subdivisions. Similarly, in poetry, there was the much anticipated 'Colscaradh' - and it came with "nice and accessible" questions.

But Ms Grealy was critical of the additional literature section.

She said 'An Trial' would have been the most popular choice, but "it was a dull, boring question, which was too narrow and lacked imagination. It's a shame the question only focused on three characters, when there are so many other topics that could have allowed students to display a wider knowledge of the play."

Insurance was a banker

JC Business

There was no getting away from insurance for Junior Certificate business students yesterday, according to teacher Denise Staunton of Roscommon Community College and the Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI)

Students may have avoided it on Paper 1, but it appeared again on Paper 2 where they had to demonstrate report-writing skills together with an examination of insurance and its practical application in business.

Ms Staunton said that Paper 1 was nice, but that Paper 2 was no exception to the rule that it is never forgiving to unprepared students.

She described the ordinary level paper as fair with a good balance between the examination of students' literacy and numeracy skills.

A re-run of last year's prose stories was 'a bit sneaky'

LC Irish Ordinary

Students thought it "a bit sneaky" of the examiners to serve up two stories in the prose section that had appeared last year.

However, the questions themselves were fair, said teacher Robbie Cronin of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin and the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI)

Mr Cronin regarded the paper, overall, as "very well conceived" including the topical comprehension texts covering Rory McIlroy and Hillary Clinton, both of which suited this level. And the same could be said for the two poems.

Clare Grealy of Dublin's Institute of Education, described the paper as "manageable with a couple of tricky parts".

The comprehension texts were "very straight forward", with "clear and understandable" questions. But, in Q2, "it was very much a case of déjà vu, with the same prose pieces appearing as last year.

"This would not have been anticipated by students and was anything but predictable", she said.

Ms Grealy thought part i of the question on Oisín I dTír no nÓg that asked students to describe Niamh's 'appearance' may have been too specific for ordinary level students,

In poetry, Ms Grealy said part ii of the question on Mo ghrá-sa (idir lúibíni) was based on an image that was 'funny' but noted that "emphasis on why it was funny, rather than on the image itself may have caused students to go off the point by addressing the image rather than the humour".

Irish Independent

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