THE financial crisis and the bank bailout here were central topics of yesterday's Leaving Cert economics exams.
The Leaving Cert economics higher level paper was described as "particularly topical" by Michael Finnegan, from Wilsons Hospital school in Co Westmeath, with subjects including the national debt, the bank bailout and competition between mobile phone companies.
"There were questions on the fact that we have now become an emigrant nation once again so they looked at the fact that people are emigrating from Ireland and then the economic consequences of that.
"Population movement is one of the things you do in theory," Mr Finnegan said.
"I thought it was fair and the students coming out felt it was fair. The first comment I got from the first student was that it was largely about the economic situation in Ireland and in Europe."
Arthur Russell, an economics teacher at the Institute of Education in Dublin, said the higher level paper was "palatable" and that the short questions offered no problems for students.
"The range of topics covered and style of questioning ensured that it was a paper that candidates could get their teeth into," he said.
Mr Finnegan said the ordinary level paper was also straightforward with references to the national debt and the minimum wage.
The Leaving Cert architectural and construction studies higher level paper also relied on topical events, said Noel Scott of the Loreto Community School in Milford, Co Donegal.
He welcomed the direction of the paper in tackling various subjects such as how the thermal performance of a home could be improved and the design of a heat recovery system for a home. The ordinary level paper also was "straightforward", covering double glazing and the design of a kitchen area, Mr Scott said.
There was a broad welcome to the Leaving Cert classical studies papers. Bronwyn Ambrose, of Mount Anville school in Dublin, said the layout was as expected and the questions clear and straightforward but that some were more specific than expected.
Meanwhile, 40 Leaving Cert students sat papers in agricultural economics yesterday and 107 took Latin exams.