Junior Cert Science: 'Fuzzy' diagrams a challenge
JUNIOR Cert science students had to dig deeper than usual because of a shift away from questions where they could regurgitate answers they had learnt off, according to one teacher.
Crena Shevlin, of the ASTI and St Raphaela's Secondary School, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, felt questions on the paper demanded candidates understood the subject matter very well.
She described the paper as "quite challenging" and said weaker higher-level students could have found it difficult. Among the changes she noted was less of an emphasis on experiments and fewer graphs, while she felt some of the diagrams and pictures were "fuzzy".
"I had to do a double take on one or two. There was a picture of a plastic bottle that was not very clear and should have been in colour," she said.
Ms Shevlin said biology, in particular, would have been more accessible for students in previous years.
However, Carmel Crowley, of the TUI and Kenmare Community School, Co Kerry, felt it was a "reasonable and fair paper" and added students she spoke to found it "okay".
Ms Crowley said while there were a "few tough questions", that was to be expected at higher level.
Overall, she felt it was a "balanced" paper with no ambiguity; it was well laid-out and with good graphics.
The teachers agreed the ordinary level paper presented no problems.
Ms Crowley said there was a good mix of clear and well-structured questions which were appropriately pitched.