Tuesday 29 July 2014

Economics Higher Level: 'Some questions bordered on third-level standards'

Pupils of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin sitting their Leaving Certificate Examination which began yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke
Pupils of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin sitting their Leaving Certificate Examination. Photo: Tom Burke

A very challenging paper - with some very high-end questions, bordering on third level standard - is Ray O’Loughlin's description of the Leaving Certificate Economics Higher Level.

Mr O’Loughlin of the Institute of Education, Dublin said even well-prepared students would have found this paper very challenging.

He noted that students were required to have knowledge of a wide range of topical issues outside of their textbooks.

He thought Section A was “very challenging”.

Among the questions he singled out was the one on structural unemployment – “a term with which students would be unfamiliar”.

Mr O'Loughlin also says students may not have been familiar with the question on the benefits/ costs of Eirgrid pylons.

Students would have required considerable independent knowledge  to respond to the question on the implications of emerging from the Troika Bailout to the Irish economy  .

A better choice in Section B, he said, although he felt some students would have been unnerved by the questio  in which they were asked to apply the concept of Consumer Surplus to market equilibrium.

“This is the first time the question has been phrased like this” he said.

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