Junior Cert: New format business studies paper given thumbs up

Junior Cert: New format business studies paper given thumbs up

Questions about corporation tax, online shopping, a proposed ‘latte levy’, industrial relations at Ryanair, and contactless payments were among the 'everyday' topics spread across this year’s Junior Cert Business Studies paper, the first examination of the new syllabus.

With students in previous years sitting two separate papers, this year saw the introduction of just one common level paper tackled across two hours.

Through the new exam paper structure, students were tasked with 15 short questions, “broadly spread throughout the course” and three long questions, according to Eamon Scully, Association of Secondary Teachers, Ireland (ASTI) business studies spokesman.

“Whereas last year looked more at what you could learn, this paper asked students to think about how the country works,” said Mr Scully, who is a teacher at Maria Immaculate Community School in Dunmanway, Cork.

“Questions were very topical - a lot of things you would see in the media," he added. "If you read this year’s paper as an outsider, you would think that business is a really useful subject to have.”

The paper included a “wide selection” of questions with “something for every student," he said, adding that it was fair to both struggling students and to those who have a better command of the subject.

Section A, which is worth 90 marks, was “very straightforward”, according to Martina Ryan, Studyclix expert teacher and Irish teacher at Jesus and Mary Secondary School, in Sligo.

“However, section B which is worth twice as many marks [180 marks] would have been very difficult for students who would, under the old syllabus, have taken the ordinary level paper. Topics such as demand and supply curves and ledger accounts would be considered very difficult and would have had many students struggling to even make a start on the question."

Meanwhile, 9,804 students across the country sat exams in Technology, Italian and Ancient Greek this afternoon. In 2018, these subjects were examined on the final afternoon of the examinations. Junior Cert examinations continue until Wednesday, June 19.

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