No surprises for accounting students


There were no surprises for accounting students at either higher or ordinary level this afternoon with papers that were fair, and even predictable in parts, according to teachers.

“The higher level paper was a good test of students’ abilities,” said Asti subject representative Peter Quinn, a teacher in St Flannan’s College, Ennis.

Ray O’Loughlin, accounting teacher in the Institute of Education said: “It was a generally fair paper. The topics examined were well flagged.”

Indeed, both service accounts and farm accounts were expected to turn up, according to Mr Quinn. “Students were pleased to see both appear,” he said.

The reappearance in question 1 of company final accounts – after a five year absence – was welcomed by students,  Mr O’Loughlin said.

“The Interpretation of Accounts and Service Firms questions were very straightforward,” Mr O’Loughlin added. “However, the cash flow statement question had one or two challenging variations.”

There were other challenging elements in the higher level paper, such as the inclusion of flexible budgeting with costing in section three. “This may have caused some students difficulty as students sometimes focus their studies on costing or budgeting,” Mr O’Loughlin said.

Indeed, there has been an effort in this year’s Leaving Cert exams, to counteract any study shortcuts on the part of students. Examiners have been making a concerted effort to test students knowledge of all parts of the course rather than bending to received wisdom about what will and won’t be asked.

Nonetheless, students who had put the work in will have been pleased with the higher level paper according to teachers.

Accounting is the second most popular business subject at Leaving Cert level, although with an exam cohort of 5,804, it is much less popular than business studies – almost 18,000 students sat that exam last week. However, accounting students do tend to attain excellent results. A full 21 per cent of higher level students managed to get an A in the subject last year.

Most students (4,461 in total) opt for the higher level paper. The remaining 1,343 ordinary level students will have been happy with a paper that was largely similar to those of previous years, Mr Quinn said.

Anyone who had practised their exam technique on past papers will have been accustomed to doing an exam like the one they faced yesterday, according to Mr Quinn.

Reaction from accounting students on social networks was largely positive – the paper held no surprises and was deemed, “nice enough”.