Junior Cert students wrestle with right and wrong – and a misprint

Students thrown by typo on ordinary level science paper

In yesterday’s Junior Cert religious education exam, students were asked to name the province in which Bethlehem was situated in the time of Jesus. Photograph: Radu Sigheti/Reuters

In yesterday’s Junior Cert religious education exam, students were asked to name the province in which Bethlehem was situated in the time of Jesus. Photograph: Radu Sigheti/Reuters

Fri, Jun 14, 2013, 01:00


‘“I have responsibilities, as my actions have an effect on others.” Examine the role the idea expressed above plays in how a morally mature person decides what is right and wrong.’

It was a thought-provoking afternoon for the 29,215 Junior Cert students who sat yesterday’s religious education exam. As well as factual questions on a range of world religions, students also answered questions on atheism, agnosticism, sectarianism and matters of morality and conscience.

The religious education exam opened with a series of short questions. Students were asked to identify the religion associated with the tabernacle, to define the term ‘denomination’ and to name the province in which Bethlehem was situated in the time of Jesus.


Typographical error
Meanwhile, the ordinary level science paper contained a typographical error that threw some students. A diagram referred to a ‘solid s’, but a question relating to the diagram referred to this solid as “solid b”.

All Junior Cert students were predicted to sit the science exam yesterday morning, with about half taking it at higher level. Teacher Gerry King described the higher paper as fair and balanced, saying it ranged widely over the syllabus.

“The paper contains elements that apply to everyday life, such as a question on a household appliance that may produce carbon monoxide,” he said.

Some students and teachers remarked that there were fewer plants on yesterday’s exam than has been the norm in recent years.