A “greatest hits of the Leaving Cert art history questions” was how one teacher described the final art exam of the old syllabus.
Current fifth years are already studying a new specification in the subject, and, judging by today’s reaction, the 2022 exam will be remembered for its fond farewell.
“I think this was the ideal way to say goodbye to an exam format that has been used for many decades,” said Declan Kelly of the Institute of Education, Dublin.
He said it was a “very generous exam”, with “generally thoughtful” questions and “very few curve balls in the mix”.
“It really gave students a strong platform to demonstrate their ability and knowledge after a difficult two years of study,” he added.
Another teacher, Clodagh O’Hara, a Teachers’ Union of Ireland(TUI) subject representative, said “everyone is absolutely thrilled” with the paper.
She had spoken to art teacher colleagues and students who all agreed that they “couldn’t have asked for anything better”.
Ms O’Hara said there was “great choice and something there for every student who had done their work and put in a bit of graft,” she said.
Like all Leaving Cert papers this year, students had more choice and fewer questions to answers and, in art, it meant two questions out of three sections, instead of one from each section.
Veronica Lavin, an Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) subject representative agreed that it was a “very fair paper, with a lovely wide choice”.
Mr Kelly said the art in Ireland section, was “great for anyone who saw the Yeats exhibition in the National Gallery last year, while the other questions were “good reliable numbers that students should be comfortable with”.
European art had “a really reliable set of questions, notably the gothic question. It was also really nice to see Van Gogh appear - especially considering the constant stream of events in Dublin this year,” he said
Mr Kelly described the appreciation of art section, as “very solid and reminiscent of past exam papers, the museum question being especially well established”.
Ms O’Hara of St Patrick’s Comprehensive School , Shannon, Co Clare and MS Lavin of Thomond College, Limerick, also both described the ordinary level paper as fair to students.