Monday 23 April 2018

Error in ordinary-level diagram latest in catalogue of blunders

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

ANOTHER error turned up on an exam paper – this time in Junior Certificate ordinary-level science.

It is the latest in a series of blunders in the state exams, including maths and Irish, this year.

It was the chemistry question 5 (c) (iii), which included a diagram. At one point it stated "B" where it should have stated "S", but one teacher, at least, thought students should have been able to work it out.

Gerry King, of the Teachers Union of Ireland and Davitt College, Castlebar, said it wouldn't have caused candidates too much bother.

Meanwhile, the absence of a mandatory experiment in the higher-level paper caused surprise and disappointment to teachers. Mr King said the paper normally includes mandatory experiments in biology, physics and chemistry, but while the other two subjects featured one, there was none in biology.

Overall, he said the higher-level paper should not have presented too many problems and students were quite happy.

Peter Keaney, of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland and Wilson's Hospital School, Co Westmeath, described it as a "decent" paper, but also noted the absence of the biology experiment.

However, he felt the part of question 8 about pressure versus altitude would have challenged weaker students.

Mr Keaney added that the ordinary- level paper was "straightforward" with plenty of choice and included an experiment that students always remember.

Irish Independent

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