Leaving Cert agricultural science: Students tested on topics ranging from soil to sheep

Level of detail in some questions challenging but consensus is paper was very fair

Agricultural science faced a series of detailed questions ranging from soil conditions to sheep rearing. Photo: iStock

Agricultural science faced a series of detailed questions ranging from soil conditions to sheep rearing. Photo: iStock

 

Agricultural science students faced a series of detailed questions ranging from soil conditions to sheep rearing in today’s Leaving Cert higher level exam.

The general consensus from both teachers and students was that the exam was very fair.

“While some aspects may have been a little difficult, the paper offered a great choice of questions,” said Willie White, an agricultural science teacher at St Peters College, Wexford.

“The most common feedback I got was ‘no complaints’,” he said. “One teacher commented that the only thing it lacked was a few diagrams or pictures.”

Most of the main farming enterprises, dairy, beef, sheep, tillage and grassland, were asked in some form or another with “nice” questions on soil and genetics .

“The well-prepared student should have found the higher level paper very manageable,” Mr White said.

Maireád White, an agricultural science teacher at Presentation College Athenry, also said the level of detailed required in some questions may have challenged individual students.

“While last year a question might have had three parts, this year there were more sections to some individual questions,” said Ms White, an ASTI subject representative.

She said a question on grassland was challenging in the level of detail required compared to previous years. By contrast, a question on soil types was easier than usual.

“Overall, it was very fair and students weren’t asked anything that wasn’t on the course,” she said. “Some years there is a big overlap with biology, but not this year.”

Donal Power, an agricultural science teacher with the Institute of Education, also said the exam that was “hard to find fault with and was very fair”.

“The paper was consistent with previous years and had no unexpected tricky questions,” he said.

The ordinary level paper was also generally well-received.

Mr White said some aspects of the exam may have challenged the ordinary level student such as the specific data required in question two and question 11.

“However, students seemed very pleased leaving the exam,” he said.

Almost 8,000 students sat this morning agricultural science exam, which counts as a science subject for the purposes of entry to higher education institutions.

Try this at home: Leaving Cert higher level paper agricultural science Q. Give the length of the gestation period, in days, of

(i) Pigs

(ii) Sheep

(iii) Cows