Sunday 19 November 2017

Mistakes made it hard to see the wood for trees

Grainne Cunningham

TWO mistakes, though minor, on the Junior Cert higher level geography paper yesterday could have thrown students.

Jimmy Staunton, of the ASTI and Sligo Grammar School, pointed to a colour fault on the legend of the map provided with the paper, which used the same green for natural, mixed and coniferous woodland.

Candidates were then asked to mark out an area of natural woodland, but because of the fault "they could not go and check the symbols -- which is the skill they are supposed to show."

In the short question section, a photograph of a piece of granite rock incorrectly referred to small crystals, which actually make up basalt rock.

However, both errors are expected to be taken into account during marking.

Apart from those anomalies, he said, students were "extremely happy" with the paper, with most avoiding the more challenging question 4 on urbanisation and economic development.

Dr Tom Hunt, of the TUI, said he thought the higher level paper was "one of the nicest papers I've seen in a while".

He said the topics were wide-ranging and topical, with plenty of visual stimuli.

On the other hand, ordinary level students may have struggled with section 2, which was "too wordy", said Mr Staunton.

Irish Independent

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