Economics papers go topical

ABOUT 4,500 Leaving Certificate students sat economics papers featuring very topical issues yesterday.

At higher level, the issue of taxes on carbon emissions was examined, and Shane Ó Ciardubháin of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) said students were pleased with the expected questions on monopoly and international trade.

Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) subject spokesperson Pat Collins said the exam was fair and welcomed topical issues such as privatisation and public sector wages.

He was also pleased with the ordinary level economics paper, in which questions about oil prices and falling demand for housing came up.

For Junior Certificate music students, yesterday’s listening and composition papers were both fair but there was some confusion about a heading on one question in the chosen songs and works section. It was headed in higher and ordinary level paper with a name of part of the syllabus different to that used in textbooks, which might have put some students off.

TUI’s Maria Morgan said both exams were otherwise fair and students should have done fine.

Mary McFadden for the ASTI said a question asking to describe an excerpt of Irish music might have given an advantage to students with good Irish as they might not have been sure if it was a lament or a love song. A nice question about Irish traditional instruments allowed candidates show their knowledge.

She said the ordinary level paper had no cause for complaints, and featured a melody in the very nice key of G.

Junior Certificate technology students were examined in papers whose graphics and drawings impressed ASTI’s Kieran Christie. He said an electronics question at higher level was quite testing but both papers were fair and well laid out.

For Leaving Certificate construction studies candidates, a 25-year-old syllabus is still being examined because funding for a new course has been held up by the Department of Education.

ASTI subject spokes-person David Madden said there was a good choice of questions at both levels, with a nice question on site safety for workers, although a question on a section through a fireplace was difficult.

Jim O’Dea for the ASTI said the higher level Leaving Certificate classical studies exam included an expected question about Ovid but another about Alexander’s drinking might have caused trouble for some students.

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