Wednesday 17 January 2018

Exam chiefs sorry for question error

Junior Certificate Business

Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

STATE exam chiefs have apologised for an accounting blunder on a Junior Certificate Business Studies paper.

Almost 24,000 candidates sitting the higher level Paper 2 yesterday were given incorrect figures to work with in a question on a cash-flow forecast.

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) said it was aware the error had been a cause of confusion for some candidates.

"The SEC sincerely regrets this error and any impact this has had on candidates," a spokesperson said.

The mistake will be taken into account by the chief examiner when finalising the marking scheme for the exam.

The spokesperson said an SEC core principle was that candidates could not be disadvantaged as a result of an error on an examination paper

The part of the question involved, Q6 (b), is worth a maximum 28 marks out of a total of 160 for Paper 2 and 400 for the entire two-paper exam.

However, the incorrect figures in the (b) part of the question also had a knock-on effect on the (c) section, which is worth a further six marks.

There was another error in the paper, but attention was drawn to that in a separate slip distributed with the exam paper.

Teacher Ivan O'Callaghan of the TUI and Pobalscoil Rosmini, Drumcondra, Dublin, said the error might have thrown students.

"It was not insurmountable to a bright student, but a nervous student might think it must be right if it is on the paper."

However, he said that, overall, higher level candidates were pleased with both the morning and afternoon papers. Mr O'Callaghan described Paper 1 as very fair.

Another teacher, Pat Morris of the ASTI and Colaiste Chriost Ri, Cork, agreed that the higher level papers were well received.

He described Paper 1 as challenging but fair and said "there was enough there for everybody". Mr Morris praised the layout of Paper 2, including the new template headings provided to guide candidates in report writing.

Both teachers agreed that ordinary level students were presented with no particular surprises or difficulties in a paper, which was, according to Mr O'Callaghan, "in keeping with expectations".

Irish Independent

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