Final batch of students sign off on Leaving Cert

Leaving Certificate 2017 only ended yesterday evening for around 3,500 students of applied maths and religious education.

Tony McGennis, applied maths spokesman for the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI), reported that many students reported the higher-level paper as being difficult.

Although there should be few complaints about questions on relative velocity of projectiles, connected particles, or rigid body rotation, an acceleration question requiring knowledge of circular motion was one of two more tricky questions.

A differential equation question about a spacecraft moving towards Earth required students to know quite a bit about gravitation.

For ordinary-level students, Mr McGennis said there were no major issues, apart perhaps from a question on relative velocity.

ASTI’s Caitriona Smith said the higher-level religious education paper had a broad range of topics from the curriculum. Some questions had quite challenging language, particularly in the world religions section.

Stephen O’Hara, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) subject spokesman, said the standard did not stray much from that of other years but students had to pay close attention to the nuanced wording of some questions. He said a question about just war theory was interesting in the context of current events.

He said ordinary level was not quite as challenging, but was fair and reasonable. Ms Smith said it had a nice and wide range of questions but some students could have been pushed for time due to the many parts in a lot of questions.

More than 1,500 students were entered for the morning’s technology papers that ASTI subject spokesman Seamus Walshe said would pique the interest of a neutral observer in the subject’s innovative nature.

A demanding higher-level exam contained no surprises, and had an emphasis on sustainable and alternative energy. Mr Walshe said a question about wearable technologies was a good example of the subject’s cutting-edge feel.

TUI subject spokesman Gavin Berry particularly liked a question on renewable energy and wearable technology. However, he thought a question about gears might have been better illustrated in colour, and one about application control systems was text heavy.

He said the ordinary-level exam also had a nice wearable devices question and a particularly nice one on ICT. Mr Walshe considered it probing, but thought it nicely linked questions to real-life technological situations.

For around 500 students of Italian, ASTI’s Robbie Cronin thought the higher-level exam fair, despite being tougher than recent years. the ordinary-level paper was deemed student friendly with interesting articles.

Most of the 300 students taking Japanese sit higher level and Gretta Daly, a teacher at Coláiste Daibhéid in Cork City, said they would have enjoyed the first question about Pokemon and gaming. An essay about the home might have been tricky, unless students had prepared on that topic for their oral exam.


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