Load question gives lift for engineering as exams end

THE last day of the 2008 Leaving Certificate began with engineering papers for more than 5,000 students yesterday morning.

Dan Keane of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) said nothing unexpected came up at higher or ordinary level, with questions of the same standard as in previous years. Students particularly liked a higher level welding question, while another about elevating heavy loads allowed them to rely on knowledge from project work earlier in the year.

A similar number of students sat Leaving Cert agricultural science in the afternoon, and Peter Keaney of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) felt both papers were quite fair.

There was, however, some concern about a possible overemphasis on biology rather than the agricultural aspect in a question about a cross-section of a leaf. Mr Keaney said the ordinary level paper included one tough question about digestion but was otherwise manageable.

TUI’s Seamus Hynes felt there was a good choice of questions and a straightforward genetics question. Some of the 10 short questions at the start might have been tough, he said.

Applied mathematics candidates were also examined in the afternoon and ASTI’s Christy Maginn gave the higher and ordinary level papers a thumbs up. He said the subject’s techniques and processes were well tested and the higher level exam was well structured.

One question that probably raised a few eyebrows was on angular momentum, which had not appeared for at least 10 years, and a connected particles question which was long but not too difficult.

Mr Maginn said the ordinary level paper was quite long and required a lot of reading but had questions with which most students should have been familiar.


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