All facts and good literary skills needed


JUNIOR CERT SCIENCE - HIGHER AND ORDINARY:IT WAS a “detailed” and “challenging” day for students of higher level Junior Cert science yesterday.

More than 53,000 students sat the papers – science is a core subject in most schools at Junior Cert level.

“You really needed to have all the facts to get through this paper,” said TUI subject representative Gerry King. “Students were eased in gently with a nice first section but the questions became more specific as the paper developed.”

The chemistry section came in for particular praise. “This was a well thought out question that would be inclined to attract students to take chemistry at Leaving Cert level, which is a priority right now,” said one teacher. The physics and biology sections were also well received.

There was much examination of definitions and students needed to have learned the basics of science, said commentators.

The students were also tested on their literacy, to describe experiments in the biology, chemistry and physics sections.

“Students liked the fact that the paper related to everyday life, with questions about vehicles and electricity consumption,” said Crena Shevlin of the Asti.

“The exam tested a very broad range of areas but the students were very happy with it.”

One in five Junior Cert students were expected to sit the science paper at ordinary level yesterday. The paper was described as “comprehensive”.

“Once again, the entire syllabus was examined here,” said Gerry King, who teaches at Davitt College in Castlebar. “All the questions were fair, however, and there was something for everyone. The language was suitably pitched to the level.”

Ms Shevlin felt that some weaker students may have struggled with aspects of yesterday’s ordinary level paper.