Formula just right for physics

THE third week of the Leaving Certificate began with the examination of around 8,200 physics students.

TUI spokesperson Michael Gillespie said students were very happy with section A of the higher level paper on practical work. He said everything in section B was straightforward.

The placement of the optional topics in Question 11 was unusual but students would have been pleased that it featured eight parts, Mr Gillespie said. Students should have been prepared for a question about the photoelectric effect, first explained by Albert Einstein 100 years ago, and will also have been pleased with questions about two Irish scientists, Walton and Callan.

Mr Gillespie said questions on both ordinary level sections were well broken down and Question 11 provided lots of pointers to answers in an extract from the Hutchinson Science Encyclopaedia.

Accounting students faced a three-hour exam in the afternoon, which TUI spokesperson Dolores O’Flynn felt was very tough for anybody also studying physics. She felt the ordinary level paper was in line with past exams and students had time to get it finished.

However, Ms O’Flynn said the higher level paper was longer than usual, particularly with the addition of more theory parts at the end of many questions. She also complained that the manufacturing account was squashed into the page and dots should have been drawn between words and figures for easier reading.

Business Studies Teachers Association of Ireland spokesperson Sr Mary O’Connell said over 9% of higher level marks were for theory, much higher than usual.

She was also concerned that a breakdown of marks was not shown in costing and budgeting questions in both papers.

For Junior Cert students, yesterday morning’s technical graphics papers posed no major problems, according to TUI spokesperson Micheál Martin. He said a few short questions in higher level section A tested good students. In section B, he said it was quite difficult to work out the lengths of the major and minor axes in the ellipse in question six.

ASTI spokesperson John O’Sullivan said the paper was very fair and in line with previous years, also alluding to the difficulty with the ellipse in the same question. He said the use of a pair of gates and a road sign in two other questions highlighted the applied nature of the subject in everyday life.

He also praised the use of familiar objects, such as a dog kennel and a disc storage box at ordinary level.

The Junior Cert materials technology (wood) papers were straightforward, according to TUI spokesperson Pat Conway. He said diagrams were very clear in both papers, which featured predictable question types.

ASTI spokesperson John Culloty said the layout and content of both papers followed those of previous years and questions were clear and specific. He said there were no surprises in either paper, which had a wide range of questions seeking information on common practices.

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