Saturday 24 March 2018

Complaints of 'guesswork' and 'waffle for no marks'

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One question on Junior Cert higher level Maths Paper 2 was open to students to "write a paragraph of absolute waffle and gain no marks for it", according to Elaine Devlin, of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI).

She was referring to question 6 (d) and said a more structured question would have been more helpful.

Ms Devlin, a teacher at De La Salle Secondary School, Dundalk, Co Louth, said overall students would have been happy enough with the paper, although she had a few other quibbles.

One example was question 8 (b), which, she said, would be poorly answered, with "guesswork" involved: "I spoke to four students and each gave a different answer."

While students may have loved question 9 (a), Ms Devlin said that it was "ridiculously easy and almost insulting".

On the other hand, Ms Devlin thought some ordinary level students would have found their paper quite challenging: "Of late they have made higher level more doable and ordinary level more difficult."

Among the questions she regarded as more higher level in standard were question 2 (c) and (d) and also question 10 (b).

Ms Devlin also complained that it was very wordy in parts, a challenge for weaker students. "When it came to question 9, a lot of students told me they didn't go there, they said this is a geography question."

Irish Independent

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