Tuesday 15 October 2019

Leaving Cert Construction: Tweaking of questions may have caused students to fall down - but others to succeed

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

Leaving Cert students could have already overcome the building blocks to a very successful future if they didn’t stumble over some tough questions in their construction exam today.

According to Aidan Brogan, a teacher at Davitt College in Castlebar, Co Mayo, the way some questions were “tweaked” this year, some students may have fallen down but others may have succeeded.

“Compared to other years there seemed to be a few tweeks in terms of how the information was presented,” Mr Brogan, a Teachers Union of Ireland representative said.

“The answers were on a par with other years but it’s how the questions were asked and some students may have been put off due to the wording.

“It wasn’t straight forward.  I wouldn’t say it was unfair but it was moving away from the predictable nature of exam questions in recent years.

“There was nothing that wasn’t on the curriculum but this is the first time I’ve seen that in certain questions, the way they were asked was completely different to the usual.

“It wasn’t a gripe as such but you could have been caught out.”

For the students who wanted to “showcase their knowledge” time was also a barrier, Mr Brogan felt.

The exam may well have been three hours - ordinarily more than enough time - but when students were presented with more complex questioning and with instructions to draw detailed sketches and provide vast amounts of information, the time period may not have been enough.

“H1 students would have wanted to really shine, to have given as much detail as possible,” Mr Brogan said.

“And I just think time and the complexity of the questions might have been a bit of a barrier for some.”

The teacher said he was impressed with a “Good broad range of questions” and he found the paper was “very current and relevant in terms of the environment and sustainability” and he added “it was right up to date with building regulations, etc.”

“Most elements of the curriculum showed up on the paper, and also students with a natural flair or interest in the subject found the paper challenging and  interesting but management.

“Most students seemed happy coming out of the exam.”

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