Sunday 18 August 2019

Examiners 'come up with novel ways to ask questions'


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Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Teachers differed as to the level of challenge presented by the Leaving Cert higher level Chemistry paper.

Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) subject representative Mary Mullaghy described it as "tough" and said a number of teachers had been in touch with her saying it was "far too difficult".

She said examiners were "coming up with novel ways of asking questions, which might be off-putting to some students, as they may not fully comprehend what is being asked of them, even though they actually know and understand the content knowledge".

Ms Mullaghy, of Eureka Secondary School, Kells, Co Meath, said topics such as the biochemical oxygen demand on water and the relative molecular mass of a volatile liquid were expected, "but students had to really know their stuff".

Using Q1 as an example, she said while the topic was expected, it "was difficult in the way it was asked" and would challenge middle-ranking students.

Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) subject representative John O'Keefe agreed that the wording of that question was a bit cumbersome, but overall he thought the paper was OK and good in the way that it covered the syllabus.

Dr Martina Audley McDonagh, of Yeats College, Galway, thought it "fair", although initially students "may have been surprised to see so many images, photographs, tables and graphs".

Mr O'Keefe of Glanmire Community College, Co Cork, described the ordinary level paper as "quite doable".

Irish Independent

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