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Leaving Certificate: 'Long' Biology paper required 'good depth of knowledge'


Topical, relevant and interesting exam

Topical, relevant and interesting exam

Topical, relevant and interesting exam

Some of the questions on the Leaving Certificate Biology Higher Level paper would need to have been read very carefully before they were answered, according to teacher Susan Silke of Dublin’s Institute of Education.

It was a long paper that would have taken quite some time for students to read and required a good depth of knowledge,  but it was well-balanced, she said.

She said a lot of topics on the course were asked - and very few were left out.

While most of the short questions were student friendly, and the experiments questions were straightforward, according to Ms Silke many students would have found Question 10 c, on genetics, in Section C,  extremely challenging.

“The question mixed up general linkage with sex. In the organism they referenced in the question the female was XY and the male was XX. It was an unusual question and has not been asked before. Students would need to have been very careful and very precise when answering this question”, she said.   

She also thought the diagram in respiration in Q12  was complicated and would have tested students.

Ms Silke said  Q 11 on the dental formulae hasn’t been seen on the paper in a number of years,  while the graph on dry mass that appeared in Q15 hadn’t appeared on the paper in nearly 10 years.  While it was a nice question, it  might have surprised some students, she said

Meanwhile  Q14, (B iii), which asked for the function and how many layers are present in meninges, was quite a small part of the course and may have caught some students out.

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