Leaving Cert geography: Students relieved after exam with lots of choice

Lots of smiles as candidates left exam halls on Friday afternoon

Leaving Cert students were smiling and relieved after today’s geography exam, teachers have said.

Edmond Hussey, a teacher at CBC Cork, said the higher-level paper was fair, balanced and topical, offering students more choice with adjustments made to account for loss of learning during Covid-19 school closures.

It also used fair, clear and concise language said Hussey, who is an ASTI subject representative.

Marie Kennedy, TUI subject representative and a teacher at Firhouse Community College, said that both the ordinary and higher-level papers were wide-ranging and allowed students to demonstrate their skills.


“If the student had covered the course options they selected and revised well, they would have been able to manage the questions with ease,” Ms Kennedy said.

John Coyle, Studyclix.ie subject expert and a geography teacher at Sacred Heart Secondary School in Westport, Co Mayo, said there were topical questions on the paper, and that overall it was a fair paper.

“But a large number of students will have been left disappointed with the lack of a question on their chosen biome.”

“The human elective was extremely on point, with topics on changing migration patterns in Ireland right up to the present day, which would allow students to talk about the influx of Ukrainians as a result of the war there.

“There was a separate question on asylum seekers, problems with the growth of urban areas and a very fair sketch map of the aerial photo,” Mr Coyle said.

“The global interdependence option had the finger on the pulse, providing questions on asylum seekers and migration patterns as well as the role of gender in economic development of a country.”

Section one (higher level):

Section two (higher level):

Mr Hussey said students can sometimes be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of topics to be covered in regional geography but, on this paper, there was a “superb selection” of fair questions.

“Question 5C asked students to discuss the potential challenges facing the future of the EU with reference to factors such as political union, economic union and sovereignty; it was interesting and had contemporary themes to explore.”

Mr Hussey said that the ordinary level paper was very manageable for those happy to demonstrate the range of skills that were tested.

“The exam tried to be topical with articles on a recent earthquake in Afghanistan in 2022, Irish seafood data [from] 2021, the new solar farm in Ashford in Co. Wicklow and a draft development plan 2022 for Dublin Port.

Mr Hussey said that the ordinary-level exam contained no surprises, and also made good use of photos.

“I praise the paper for including skills-based questions, which gives stronger candidates a chance to shine,” he said.

Mr Coyle said the ordinary level paper was well-pitched and brought a nice set of short questions, with good graphics and some nice multiple-choice options if students struggled with the question.

“The students got some very topical questions on the impact of EU membership on Ireland, migration and the importance of renewable energy,” Mr Coyle said.

Try these ones at home:

– Leaving Cert geography, higher level

Q13. Empowering people is a way of linking economic growth with human development.

Discuss this statement with reference to any two of the following: Aid programmes; Land ownership patterns; Differing gender roles in society.

Q15. We live in an interdependent global economy. Discuss the impact of social and political decisions with reference to each of the following: Economic and political refugees; Migration patterns; Human rights issues.