Sunday 25 August 2019

Exams 2019: A lesson for those relying on 'mocks' as an indicator of what will appear in questions

Home Economics

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Any Leaving Cert higher level home economics student who was relying on mocks as a guide for the real event in June was in for a shock yesterday when calcium turned up on the compulsory Question 1 on the topic of healthy snacks.

According to ASTI subject representative Margaret Kinsella, "all the mocks papers had protein and many students were thinking protein would be in the question, but calcium was there", in what she described as a "very broad" question.

TUI subject representative Kate Hehir welcomed a change in format in Question 1, with the marks weighted differently this year, with reduced marks for the chart section where, instead of having to analyse the content of a chart, they were asked to comment on a survey.

The paper was well-received and Ms Kinsella, who teaches at St Raphaela's Secondary School, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, said it encompassed a lot of the course.

Ms Hehir, a teacher at St Michael's Community College, Kilmihil, Co Clare, called it "very fair", although always a paper where "students are writing to the end".

Question 2 on vegetables, with a section on Vitamin C, went down well. Ms Kinsella said it was "very approachable" and noted that vitamin C hadn't been in a long question since the introduction of the course.

Both teachers commented on Question 5 on sociology. Ms Kinsella said it would be interesting to see how the first part would be marked, as students were asked to explain five terms, for a combined mark, rather than individual marks for each term. Ms Hehir thought weaker students might have struggled to explain five terms.

The Elective 3 Social Studies question also drew comment. Ms Kinsella described the first part, on the food industry, as "very sticky" and one better geared to more able students. Ms Hehir said while it was a "good question, it was quite long, jumping from the food industry to technology in work, to educational qualifications and legislation protecting people in employment".

At ordinary level, Ms Kinsella said Question 4 was "very tough".

Irish Independent

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