Maths and radioactivity on rewarding Leaving Certificate physics paper

Surprises and challenges in accountancy

Question nine on yesterday’s physics paper was, unusually, a full question on radioactivity. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Question nine on yesterday’s physics paper was, unusually, a full question on radioactivity. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien


It was a good day for lovers of numbers as 6,677 physics students took on a maths-heavy exam with more than the usual measure of radioactivity.

Michael Gillespie of St Brendan’s Community School in Birr, Co Offaly, said his students liked the paper, especially the maths.

“A lot of mathematically-strong students like to see numbers – they’re not seeing so much of that on Project Maths so they enjoyed doing the sums,” said Mr Gillespie, a subject representative for the TUI.

“Overall it was a pretty good response from a mixed level group in my school. Students were surprised to see early questions on mechanics but they were approachable. The paper was broken down well from the point of view of marks. The students like that as they can easily identify how they are doing as they go along.”

Unusually, question nine was a full question on radioactivity, featuring the Chernobyl nuclear reactors.

“The higher level students really made hay with that one. They considered themselves lucky as they are all very interested in radioactivity,” said Mr Gillespie.

Despite a few unexpected elements, students were broadly happy with yesterday’s higher level accountancy paper.

Almost 6,000 students took accounting, with about 4,500 taking the subject at higher level.

“This was a fair paper overall but part C of question 5 was unexpected as it required students to advise on a possible expansion of the business in a the food sector,” said Veronica Edwards, TUI subject representative for accounting. “It’s not outside the scope of the syllabus but hadn’t appeared on an exam in that way before.”

There was a large element of theory to yesterday’s paper as well, with theory components on five out of nine elements.

“Theory has been an increasing feature of the exam in recent years,” said Veronica Edwards, who teaches at Carrigallen Vocational School, Co Leitrim.

ASTI representative Peter Quinn felt it was a challenging exam, especially an early question on the Universal Social Charge.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.