STATE EXAMS 2015: Business exam ‘was fair but really tested knowledge’

Margo McGann, of the ASTI, said the higher level Leaving Cert business exam was fair but really tested knowledge, so only the most dedicated and focused students would have earned top grades.

STATE EXAMS 2015: Business exam ‘was fair but really tested knowledge’

Because the questions were very specific, there was no room to waffle, and there was very little maths required although two questions needed students to draw diagrams.

An applied business section on an Irish footwear company tested well-liked sections of the course, such as entrepreneurial skills and adapting to change.

Ms McGann said there was a very topical question on discrimination and employment equality. A familiar type of question dealt with EU directives and regulations, but a demanding part of the same section about marketing might have deterred some students.

She said a cashflow calculation in a question about motor insurance was the only mathematical issue examined in the paper.

Denise Staunton, of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland, said the business exams once again highlighted the theoretical focus of the syllabus, from which students are expected to recall vast amounts in their Leaving Certificate papers. She thought yesterday’s higher level paper would not have been popular with students who like more mathematical tasks.

Rebecca Barrett and Alana Brent check their notes ahead of their Leaving Certificate exams at Tarbert Comp, Tarbert, Co Kerry.

She said the exam introduced topical issues such as exchange rates and requirements for allergen information to be displayed in restaurants, so students needed to be up to date with what is happening in the business world.

Ms Staunton said ordinary level students had a nice paper with two questions examining mathematical or numeracy skills. The questions on managing presented situations with which students could identify, such as a mechanic, a child-minding service, a Tidy Towns committee and an online insurance brokerage.

Ms McGann said a fair and topical ordinary level exam featured companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google, and a government spending question.

Yesterday afternoon’s Leaving Certificate art papers were both very good, in the opinion of ASTI subject spokesperson Liz Morrissey. She said the breadth of higher level questions meant students could offer very good opinions, but some students thought there could have been more choice.

There was just one question on Romanesque and Gothic era, for example, although she said it was very manageable. An illustrated question about Picasso’s innovations in painting was nice, and there was an art appreciation question that would have appealed to students interested in playing and designing video games.

Ms Morrissey said the ordinary level exam had clear language, and a broad Irish art section included questions on Louis le Brocquy, Seán Keating, and Iron Age artefact the Crown of Petrie.

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