Agricultural paper proves to be ‘challenging and topical’

Agricultural paper proves to be ‘challenging and topical’
From left: Bandon Grammar pupils Dylan O’Sullivan, Matthew Hurley, Harry Hall, and Rowan Palmer discussing the Agricultural Science Leaving Cert paper yesterday. Pictures: Eddie O’Hare

This year’s Agricultural Science Leaving Cert exam was far from a “recall” paper, with a mix of challenging and topical questions that asked students to think. Students might have found themselves under pressure for time,said Michelle Herbert, a member of the Irish Agricultural Science Teachers’ Association.

“They really had to think,” Ms Herbert said. “There wasn’t as much biology as there has been in previous years and there was a good lot of questions that students would need to use some common sense to answer.

“The ordinary paper wasn’t too bad, there was a nice mix of questions. It read quite nicely but when it came down to the nitty-gritty, there would have been questions the students found difficult.”

For example, the first question referencing phylum might have thrown students, she said.

“When the paper opens with an easier question first, it can settle students, give them a bit of confidence."

TUI Agriculture Science representative Seamus Hynes described the higher level paper as “topical”. The drought last summer, the debate on the use of weedkillers and the environment all featured on the higher level paper, he added.

“There was an effort made to make the questions have some meaning to students,” he said.

The only thing was that the questions were quite specific and could catch someone out with them realising. There was no room to waffle, a lot of specific information was required.

“Overall, it was student friendly, understandable, topical but there was a lot of specific questions asked.”

Donal Power, an agricultural science teacher at the Institute of Education in Dublin, said that this was a well thought out exam.

“It nicely incorporated issues such as the drought that [Irish] farmers experienced in summer 2018,” he said

Mr Power said he liked questions on beef production and genetics, while biology students would have been happy with a question that addressed photosynthesis, silage and microbiology.

The experiment question was straightforward, he added.

“The ordinary level paper would have been well-received by students,” said Mr Power. “As usual there was particular emphasis on the farm practice elements of the course with pigs, sheep and dairy cattle all featuring prominently.”

Meanwhile, more than 13,900 Junior Cert students sat their Technical Graphics exams on Monday morning, with a further 18,136 students taking the Materials Technology exam in the afternoon.

More on this topic

Leaving Cert student had to sit exam three hours after appendix was removedLeaving Cert student had to sit exam three hours after appendix was removed

CAO Change of Mind deadline for Leaving Cert students this eveningCAO Change of Mind deadline for Leaving Cert students this evening

'Surprise' question on NI Executive proves tricky for politics students'Surprise' question on NI Executive proves tricky for politics students

Leaving Cert exams finish up tomorrowLeaving Cert exams finish up tomorrow

More in this Section

Man dies in crash between car and motorbike in Co CorkMan dies in crash between car and motorbike in Co Cork

No winner of Lotto jackpot but someone is €1m richerNo winner of Lotto jackpot but someone is €1m richer

Hundreds protest in Cork city against closure of An Post mail centreHundreds protest in Cork city against closure of An Post mail centre

Loyalist flute band plays in PortrushLoyalist flute band plays in Portrush


Lifestyle

Javier Cercas’s new novel, ‘Lord of All the Dead’, is as preoccupied with the Spanish Civil War, the nature of heroism, and the distortions of history as his most famous, ‘Soldiers of Salamis’, says Alannah Hopkin .Book Review: Lord of All the Dead; Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas

A new study says feeding at the breast is better for baby than using expressed milk. Is it time mothers reconsidered their use of breast pumps, asks Sharon Ní Chonchúir.Best for baby? Pumped breastmilk under the microscope

More From The Irish Examiner