Monday 22 July 2019

Leaving Cert biology: 'nothing unexpected' at higher level, but ordinary level 'quite challenging'

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Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

There was nothing unexpected in the Leaving Cert biology higher level exam, and students who had prepared with past papers would have been very happy, according to teacher Jean Kelly.

However, many of the questions were quite specific and focused on smaller parts of the syllabus, said MS Kelly of Dublin’s Institute of Education.

But there was a nice structure to the questions, with students asked to ‘list, ‘state’ and ‘write notes’, she said.

Unlike previous years, there was not as much emphasis on plants, while students who are also taking Agricultural Science would have been happy.

Her only quibble was the wording in Q5, (c), on plant hormones, which she described as "quite tricky".

But she thought Q10 (c) on evolution was "lovely" and welcomed the question on blood, heart and the nervous system and another on dihybrid.

In contrast, she regarded the ordinary level paper as “quite challenging”.

She said: “A lot of topics appeared and students would have had to be familiar with all aspects of the course. There were lots of parts to the questions and students were required to write a great deal.”

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