Junior Cycle business: Teachers praise first-ever common level business paper

Exam allowed strongest students to expand their answers

Junior Cycle business students were required to answer a question on a  proposed 15c tax on disposable coffee cups. Photograph: iStock

Junior Cycle business students were required to answer a question on a proposed 15c tax on disposable coffee cups. Photograph: iStock

 

Teachers have reacted positively to the first-ever common level Junior Cycle business paper, praising it as topical and accessible for all levels.

Carol Doyle, TUI representative and a business teacher at Avondale Community College in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, said the paper allowed the strongest students to expand their answer and show their work, while the less adept student could provide responses to the questions too.

Eamon Scully, ASTI representative and a teacher at Maria Immaculata Community School in Dunmanway, Cork, said there was enough on the paper for students who might struggle and for those with a flair for business.

Both teachers agreed that the paper was topical. “There were questions on a proposed 15c tax on disposable coffee cups, which was tied in with environmental concerns,” said Ms Doyle.

“Contactless payments also appeared as did Garda recruitment (in the context of overall State expenditure).”

Critical thinking

Mr Scully said that students who had listened to or read the news could do well, with corporation tax, online shopping and economic growth all covered.

“Critical thinking is built in throughout the paper with, for instance, students having to think about the effects of unemployment,” he added.

“But it remains accessible for students who may not be as strong at business.”

Ms Doyle said that the paper was well-balanced and that the long questions included elements from the three different strands of the course: enterprise, our economy and personal finance.

The new common level paper is the biggest change to business studies education in almost 30 years.

Today’s paper follows on from the first-ever Junior Cert common level science paper, which teachers criticised as being dumbed down.

Try this at home:

- From the Junior Cert business common level

Gerard is 21 years of age and has recently passed his driving test. He has now purchased an old car and needs to insure it.

Outline two factors that the insurance company will take into account when calculating the cost of Gerard’s car insurance.