Sunday 11 December 2016

Leaving Cert Review: Chemistry

Published 16/06/2015 | 18:56

Leaving Certs Vanessa Csaszar, Caoimhe Ludden, Roisin McGuinness and Rebecca Elliott at Ardgillan Community College
Leaving Certs Vanessa Csaszar, Caoimhe Ludden, Roisin McGuinness and Rebecca Elliott at Ardgillan Community College

There were some wordy questions on the Leaving Certificate Chemistry Higher Level paper, so it was really important for students to take a breath and read them carefully, according to teacher, Tara Lyons of Dublin’s Institute of Education.

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“When they did this they would have found the paper quite manageable”, said Ms Lyons, who described it as a fair paper that students should be pleased with overall.

She said there was a move away from rote learning in Section A, with students required to really understand certain topics and interpret data.

Organic chemistry appeared in three and a half questions in total , which, Ms Lyons said, illustrated just how important it was to prepare well for this topic.

She said in the Section A Q1 on volumetric analysis, the calculation in part D was more involved than usual, requiring students to make a conversion in concentration before filling in to the usual formula.

It was followed by a brand new experiment in Q2, on the preparation on Benzoic acid crystals, which was only introduced to the course in 2012..

“Students would have anticipated and been happy with the questions, which also incorporated older material which was maybe more familiar”, she said.

In Q3, on water treatment in terms of swimming pools, she said students would need to have paid close attention to the table to be able to answer the questions that were asked.  An example of how students cannot rely on rote learning as they would need to have understood and been able to interpret the data in the table, she said.

Ms Lyons said the Section B Q5 on atomic theory might have appeared challenging at first, but when students spent some time reading it they would have realised it was quite manageable.

She said students would have been delighted with Q10 ( b) and it was the second year that a very nice stoichiometry problem has appeared on the paper.

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