Junior Cert CSPE: Paper ‘quite manageable for a wide range of abilities’

Broad concepts of current CSPE syllabus were “well covered” in 2017 paper

Junior Cycle students were asked to identify the new Secretary General of the UN. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images

Junior Cycle students were asked to identify the new Secretary General of the UN. Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images

 

The reaction to Wednesday afternoon’s Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) exam was largely positive despite featuring some challenging questions.

Brendan O’Regan, PRO of the Association of CSPE Teachers said the paper had a “good variety” of questions and was “quite manageable for a wide range of abilities.”

The exam, introduced as a mandatory subject in the Junior Certificate curriculum in 1997, is taught to give students an understanding of the civic, social and political dimensions of their lives.

Mr O’Regan said the broad concepts of the current CSPE syllabus were “well covered”.

He said a picture question featuring ‘Dublin Zoo’ representing stewardship was “quite quirky and unexpected”.

“The use of letter prompts in the short questions in Question 2 Section 1 possibly made the questions too easy, but requiring the name of the new Secretary General of the UN was challenging”, he said.

Section 2 questions on the 90 minute exam, such as questions on Census 2016 and Fair Trade “ were very topical,” he added.

“The question on Waste Prevention was a more sophisticated way of dealing with the issue that just recycling.

“The long questions in section 3 were varied and gave good choices. The question on the European Youth Parliament was welcome, but in Section C there was a reference to a ‘European Union election’, which should have read ‘European Parliament election’.

Sixty per cent of marks in the subject are awarded for course-work carried out over three years, and 40 per cent of the marks are awarded for the Junior Cycle exam.