Tuesday 16 July 2019

A few surprises but a fair physics paper for all the 'well-prepared' students

  

Poring over paper: Students, Shauna Doyle, John Hinch, Viola Nagy, Daniel Carey and Thomas Fludgate after finishing their accountancy exam at Pobalscoil Neasáin in Baldoyle, Dublin 13. Photo: Mark Condren
Poring over paper: Students, Shauna Doyle, John Hinch, Viola Nagy, Daniel Carey and Thomas Fludgate after finishing their accountancy exam at Pobalscoil Neasáin in Baldoyle, Dublin 13. Photo: Mark Condren
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

There were a few surprises thrown up on the Leaving Cert higher-level physics paper but overall teachers deemed it "fair, if challenging".

Kevin Dunphy, subject representative for the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland, said the format of Q9, where students had to draw a graph based on data provided, was a departure from the norm, and caused some surprise, but was fair.

Teachers' Union of Ireland subject representative Séan Finn of Coláiste Daibhéid, Cork, agreed that the format was unusual, but said students would have had the skills to transfer to this task.

Mr Dunphy, of Heywood Community School, Ballinakill, Co Laois, also noted that Q11 departed from the normal format, but he heard no complaints from students.

However, he thought Q12(c) may have caused difficulty for some. It had not featured too often on previous papers, he said.

He and students he met were disappointed with "only half a question allocated to the option part of the syllabus, Particle Physics or Applied Electricity", which he said was normally a full question.

Mr Dunphy said, overall, students he spoke to were happy with the paper but found Q6 hard.

Mr Finn said while the paper was challenging in parts, "well-prepared students would have had no problem".

Mr Finn described the ordinary-level paper as "accessible, with a wide range of very reasonable questions".

Mr Dunphy agreed about the good choice.

However, Mr Dunphy felt a question on heat was challenging and, although on the syllabus, "a thorough understanding and study of concepts such as thermometric property and difference between specific latent heat and latent heat would have been required". He felt many candidates might have avoided this one.

Another 500 students sat the combined physics and chemistry papers yesterday.

Irish Independent

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