Wednesday 24 January 2018

Ed Sheeran stars in 'fair and balanced exam'

Aaron Gowen, Melissa Delaney and Thomas Delaney from Donabate Community College, Co Dublin, after their accountancy exam yesterday
Aaron Gowen, Melissa Delaney and Thomas Delaney from Donabate Community College, Co Dublin, after their accountancy exam yesterday

LC Physics

Breaking with the tradition of previous years, there were no "nasty surprises" and nothing that "higher lever physics students wouldn't have seen before", according to the experts.

Not even the appearance of pop star Ed Sheeran for one question - or another relating to recently troubled UK amusement park Alton Towers - could have thrown students off their stride.

"There was a good spread of questions from throughout the whole course and it was a fair paper," explained Teachers' Union of Ireland member Michael Gillespie from St Brendan's in Birr, Co Offaly. He added that the questions were doable for those who had prepared well.

Ger Curtin, from Beneavin College in Finglas, welcomed the continued efforts to "bring the exam into the modern age".

He cited question six, which related to a GPS system, as an example of this.

He added that the ordinary level exam was "routine and straightforward".


Nowhere to hide in wide-ranging but fair paper

LC Accounting

There were rich rewards for students who covered all the syllabus, rather than trying to predict what would come up, in a wide-ranging higher level accounting paper.

"Some questions had pieces that would require careful handling as questions were not predictable," said John O'Sullivan, from Ashton School in Cork and a member of the TUI.

"Students would have needed to have a thorough knowledge of both theory and practical aspects."

He added Question Two, on depreciation, will have caused some problems as it was not like other years. But he commented that the ordinary paper was overall "very approachable".

Maura Fehily, from the Business Teachers Association of Ireland, said the higher level was a "fair but challenging exam which required careful reading".

She said the new format for Questions One, Three, Five and Six was welcome.


Students kept busy until very last minute

JC Technical Graphics

A combination of fair and challenging questions kept student busy throughout but those who prepared well shouldn't have encountered too many difficulties, according to Technical Graphics teachers.

Michael Leyden, of the TUI and a teacher at Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town, said the higher level paper was "well structured to reward candidates who were given wide exposure to the syllabus".

He added Section B had followed a similar pattern to previous years and said "well prepared candidates would have fared well".

ASTI member John Mulcahy, from St Mary's secondary school in Nenagh, said the ordinary level paper was well received by students with "straightforward and well pitched" questions.


Ordinary woodwork exam 'inconsistent'

JC Material Technology (Wood)

Students who opted for the ordinary level exam may regret doing so, after an "inconsistent" assessment - with one teacher calling for examiners to be "charitable" in marking the paper.

"It was quite a difficult paper, and marginal students may well have been better served by the higher level paper," said Dara Fitzpatrick, from Deansrath Community College, Clondalkin, and the TUI.

He said sketching featured heavily in both the ordinary level and higher level papers.

Noel Scott, from Loreto Community School, Malford, Co Donegal, and the ASTI, said the higher paper was "well laid out" and "gender equitable".

Irish Independent

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