Thursday 8 December 2016

Testing times for our students in a less-than-smart economy

Published 21/06/2010 | 05:00

THERE has been a lot of hand wringing lately about how to create a smart economy, how to promote maths and how to get young people interested in business studies.

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Last week, the Department of Education showed exactly why interest in these two key subjects is flagging; it set a business exam that was so haphazard it contained not one, not two but three elementary mistakes.

The mistakes meant that 24,000 students sitting the Higher Level Junior Cert Business Studies paper were unable to work out a cash-flow question because incorrect figures made the question impossible. There was another mix-up when a question on credit sales and bookkeeping featured two businesses with the same address. This would have posed problems for students as marks were awarded for putting the correct addresses on correspondence as part of the task. And a third error cropped up on a profit and loss accounts question when dates mentioned simply did not tally.

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