Leaving Cert Chemistry was a paper with a 'familiar start but challenges ahead'
The paper had a familiar start, but there were challenges waiting ahead for candidates sitting the Leaving Certificate higher level chemistry paper, said teacher Tara Lyons of the Institute of Education.
Ms Lyons said while "students did not need to write much, but as is nearly always the case with chemistry, they needed to be very precise in their answers.”
In Section A, Ms Lyons said questions 1 and 2 were “very manageable” but Question 3 was “challenging by comparison, with experimental data and graph drawing a requirement to get most of the marks”.
She said many familiar topics appeared in Section B including old faithfuls in atomic theory , such as atomic structure and its history , but, surprisingly, water and its treatment failed to appear.”
According to Ms Lyons, careful reading of the organic chemistry questions was needed as very specific answers were required: "There was no room for ambiguity and an in-depth knowledge of reaction types, molecular structures and reagents was a must."
She said that, generally, quite a substantial amount of calculation was needed in many of the Section B, with questions on equilibrium, pH and gas laws all requiring stoichiometric analysis.