For over 16,500 students, Junior Certificate woodwork was the big test they had to get to grips with yesterday.
In the opinion of Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) subject spokesperson Michael Leyden, the ordinary level paper was fair and covered a wide range of topics suitable for the ordinary level candidate.
He said the higher level paper was fair and well-structured to reward candidates who were given wide exposure to the syllabus.
He thought the first section would not have presented too much trouble for well-prepared candidates.
The second section was pitched at an appropriate level and, similarly, well-prepared candidates would have fared well, he suggested.
Noel Scott of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) thought the woodwork exams were student-friendly at both levels.
For higher level students, he thought the paper was fair, balanced and topical in nature.
Mr Scott said it focused on a broad section of the syllabus.
He said that students were engaged in areas such as the design elements of a laptop stand, and the process of designing a storage unit for children’s toys.
He welcomed questions that looked at tool maintenance and the topics of wood-turning and marquetry.
At ordinary level the focus of the exam paper was engaging and topical, Mr Scott believed.
He said it looked at designing a dog kennel, a unit to carry milk bottles, and a rocking horse with a spaceship theme.
In the morning, over 12,000 students took technical graphics papers, and Mr Leyden considered the ordinary level exam taken by almost a quarter of them to be fair.
He said it was well-pitched for the ordinary level candidate and followed the layout used in previous years.
Higher level students who had been given a wide exposure to the syllabus should have been rewarded by the structure of their paper, Mr Leyden said.
One question in the first section took a refreshing approach to testing candidates’ knowledge of 3D solids and their ability to sketch them.
He thought the second section was pitched at an appropriate level and well-prepared candidates would have fared well.
The questions would have kept candidates busy right to the end of the exam, Mr Leyden believing they would have been exercised for quite some time with a question based on the gates to a sports ground.
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