Saturday 24 August 2019

Leaving Cert Geography higher level: candidates treated to 'excellent paper' with a few nice twists

(Stock image)
(Stock image)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Leaving Cert higher level Geography candidates were treated to “an excellent paper” with many of the favourite topics asked, with a few nice twists on old questions, according to teacher Michael Doran.

From Physical Geography, to the Electives, there was an emphasis on environmental issues, said Mr Doran, a teacher with the Institute of Education, Dublin.

“It’s great to see the subject is emphasising environmental challenges and issues”, he said.

He said the paper showed, once again,  that students shouldn’t confine themselves to the textbooks when studying geography for the Leaving Cert.

Mr Doran said there was a very good mix of short questions and, while Q 4 on Isostatic Processes might have challenged some students, overall the questions were very fair.

The Physical Geography section also had a good mix of topics and an excellent choice, including a nice question on how human activity impacts on surface processes, he said.

Mr Doran said students can sometimes be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of topics to be covered in Regional Geography but, on this paper, there was there was” a superb selection of fair questions”.

He said Q 4C, on how borders affect different cultural groups, and Q5C on population distribution across the European region, were interesting and contemporary themes to explore.

In the Economic Elective, “students will have been delighted with 7C, which was a lovely question on EU policy in Ireland,” he said.

For the first time in years, a question on multi-national corporations (MNCs) did not appear, but he said there was a nice question on the global economy which would have tested students to use this information in a different way.

Mr Doran described the choice in the Human Elective section as “excellent” with some questions on changing land use in cites, migration and over population.

While he said   Q 10B on migration and its impact on rural Ireland “was more confined than in other years, students with a good general knowledge should have been able for it”.

In the Options section, Mr Doran said he felt most students would have opted for Geoecology, which dealt with issue such as overgrazing, desertification  and how biomes are altered by human activity,  and  any well-prepared candidate “would have been very happy with the fairness of the questions here.”

Luke Saunders, a teacher at Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Co Sligo,  and founder of the website,  also gave the paper  a  welcome.

“Students had plenty of choice in all sections, and any reports I have heard back from students are resoundingly positive.”

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