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Leaving Cert Chemistry: Wordy paper but top marks possible

The Leaving Certificate chemistry higher level paper was bang up-to-date, with reference to the Libyan unrest and Ireland's dependence on that country as a source of crude oil.

Tara Lyons, a teacher at Dublin's Institute of Education, described it as a "wordy paper requiring candidates to devote precious time to actually reading text".

Another teacher, Pauline Nagle of the ASTI and Mary Immaculate Secondary School, Co Clare, said it was "very do-able" and "a paper where A students should get their A".

However, Ms Nagle said that there were some tough parts. Candidates had to know their chemistry "and you really had to have your experiments done for questions 1, 2 and 3".

The question she liked least was Question 4, which would have been difficult for some students to answer the eight parts. She felt that the ordinary level paper was more difficult for its candidates than the higher level paper was at its level.

A greater than usual emphasis on organic chemistry in the higher level paper was noted by Ms Lyons. She said that of the 11 questions, four and a half were organic.

"The examiner has veered more towards the practical aspects of the course and drifting away from the more theoretical aspect of the syllabus," she said.

Irish Independent