Leaving Cert ends with some ‘unfair’ papers

Applied maths paper described as ‘very mixed’

Space jumper Felix Baumgartner, who skydived from the edge of space earlier this year, made a surprise appearance on yesterday afternoon’s technology exam, with 1,103 students asked questions on the material in his helmet. Photograph:  Reuters/Jay Nemeth

Space jumper Felix Baumgartner, who skydived from the edge of space earlier this year, made a surprise appearance on yesterday afternoon’s technology exam, with 1,103 students asked questions on the material in his helmet. Photograph: Reuters/Jay Nemeth

Sat, Jun 22, 2013, 01:00


Yesterday marked the end of this year’s Leaving Cert exams.

A question on the connection between the sacred and the profane in primal religions – namely Mana, Shaman, Tabu and Totem – caused difficulties in the higher and ordinary level religious education papers.

ASTI subject representative Aisling Flood said students were unlikely to have a great depth of knowledge on this subject. “It was unfair to award up to 40 marks for this question. Even very strong students would have struggled with it,” she said.

More than 1,400 students took the exam this year.

Aidan Roantree, senior maths teacher at the Institute of Education, described yesterday’s applied maths exam as “a very mixed paper”.

“The topics of circular motion and simple harmonic motion are normally covered in Question 6. This year, however, the questions also featured hydrostatics, a topic that is normally covered in Question 9. A crossover of topics like this is extremely rare and the majority of students would have found this question undoable,” he said.

Space jumper Felix Baumgartner, who skydived from the edge of space earlier this year, made a surprise appearance on yesterday afternoon’s technology exam, with 1,103 students asked questions on the material in his helmet.

TUI subject representative Fiona Byrne said the paper was well received by students.

Meanwhile, 377 students sat yesterday’s Italian exam, while 277 took the Japanese paper.