Fair test of all the basic business concepts


LEAVING CERT BUSINESS STUDIES - HIGHER AND ORDINARY LEVELSA STRONG enterprise theme featured on yesterday’s higher-level business studies exam, as Leaving Cert students were quizzed on how best to develop a new project and promote a local co-op.

“A case study of a local community making business use of a closed-down industry site was very interesting,” said Jerry McCarthy, subject representative with the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland. “It was a topical and engaging section.”

Students were asked to discuss the promotion of a new farmers’ market set up in a disused factory once occupied by a multinational corporation in the west of Ireland.

They were also asked to suggest appropriate sources of finance for the market and for individual stallholders.

“There was a good spread of questions on yesterday’s paper which tested all the basic business concepts covered in the syllabus,” said John McDonnell of the Asti.

“There were questions on enterprise, taxation, mergers and franchises. There was also some very topical material.”

Students were asked how the Irish Government policy of increased taxation and decreased public expenditure was affecting Irish business.

There was also a question on role of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission on the EU decision-making process.

“The words ‘evaluate’, ‘discuss’ and ‘illustrate’ featured prominently in today’s exam,” said Mr McDonnell, who teaches in Gortnor Abbey in Crossmolina, Co Mayo. “Students were required to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts they had learned.”

Students were also required to consider different leadership styles in business and to examine the importance of ethics in the business environment.

The exam also featured the topics of unfair dismissal and contract law.

In a section titled “Managing/Business in Action”, students were asked to consider the benefits and risks of empowering employees within a business.

There were questions on the impact of technology on globalisation and an examination of protectionism and barriers to free trade.

“Section three was very detailed and covered a lot of material,” said Mr McCarthy. “Overall, it was a very satisfactory paper.”

Business studies is one of the more popular electives on the Leaving Cert curriculum. Almost 18,000 students took the subject at higher and ordinary levels yesterday.

About one in six students took the ordinary-level paper.

“The ordinary level paper covered all the basics such as consumer law, foreign trade and the Irish economy, business plans and marketing. It was a very doable exam,” said Mr McDonnell.

“There was plenty of choice on the ordinary level paper with a great mix of very fair questions,” Mr McCarthy added.


1. Outline the procedures an employer should follow under the Unfair Dismissals Acts of 1977-2007, before dismissing an employee.

2. Outline how the Irish Government’s policy of increased taxation and decreased public expenditure is impacting on business.

3. Define the term “Business Ethics”. Outline how ethical behaviour in business can be encouraged.