Business as usual with exam again relevant and intensive
■ Art papers, worth a third of marks, deemed fair as end in sight for Leaving Cert students
The second week of Leaving Certificate 2018 moved closer to an end with exams in business and art.
Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) business spokesman Ruairi Farrell said the higher-level exam was as time-intensive as usual, but it continued to demonstrate the relevance of the subject to real life.
There was an applied business question about a fictional bike-hire business aimed at tourists, which Mr Farrell said should have presented no problem to most students. The earlier section on short questions had some wordy parts, but students could pick and choose within the section.
The long questions section featured nice examples of successful Irish and international companies, which Mr Farrell felt students would have related to.
He said that Supermac’s, Ryan air, Aldi , Cadbury, and Netflix were all the kind of firms which business teachers would refer to in classroom.
He said the second and third sections of the exam were based around three main units of the course, so students’ knowledge of the entire curriculum was tested. He said that if they took time to read through the questions carefully, they should have done fine.
Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) subject spokeswoman Mar go McGann said her students at St Augustine’s College in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, would have particularly liked the applied business question as the bike-hire business company was associated with a greenway just like the one recently opened between the town and Waterford City. She said it was a nice, modern question for students anywhere in the country, with a good test about different types of marketing.
Ms McGann said some questions needed to be read carefully to avoid providing unwanted information, like one which asked for grounds of fair — rather than unfair — dismissal. She thought many students would have been familiar with Supermac’s from a recent TV interview by its founder Pat McDonagh, and said it was good to see an income and tax calculation come up even if a holiday voucher in addition to salary might have complicated matters.
For ordinary-level students, Mr Farrell said that a student-friendly paper was wide-ranging and touched on all aspects of the course. He felt that any student who had the self-confidence to do so would have taken to the exam with ease.
The afternoon art papers were worth just over one third of total marks, as students had completed coursework earlier this year.
ASTI spokeswoman Jean Bourke said the higher-level written exam was fair with a good choice of questions in all three sections. Stone work, manuscripts, and Bronze Age metalwork featured in the early Irish art questions, and a European art question on Gothic buildings allowed students show off their knowledge. They could show their drawing skills and design abilities in a question about landscaping public parks and green spaces.
The TUI’s Clodagh O’Hara reported positive student feedback, particularly on the questions on Irish or European artists. She thought they would be very pleased with questions on Bronze Age artefacts, high crosses, and Georgian Irish architecture, and said the exhibition and film costume designer questions would also have been popular.
Ms O’Hara thought ordinary-level students were given a fair paper without any surprises.
Junior Certificate students from St Raphael’s College, Loughrea, Co Galway, Aoife Nee, Noelle Gavin, Niamh Burns, and Leanne Lawless with teacher Mairead Dempsey after their home economics exam.
Leaving Cert students Shauna Gladney, Michaela Waters, Elliemay Wallace of Abbey College, Waterford.
St Raphael’s College students Niamh Duffy, Hazel Walsh, and Orla Whelan.