Map error throws students off grid


JUNIOR CERT GEOGRAPHY:IT WAS hard to see the wood for the trees during yesterday’s Junior Certificate geography paper, due to an ordnance survey map error.

A colour repeat on the legend made map-reading difficult for 45,000 higher-level students who were asked to choose between three forestry symbols that all looked the same, according to commentators.

“Students were asked to mark an area of natural woodlands, but according to the legend all the woodlands were the same,” said Jimmy Staunton, subject convenor for the ASTI. “It’s a mistake that will be taken account of by examiners. Otherwise students were very happy with the exam.”

There was another quibble with the description of a piece of granite as a rock “with small crystals”. The description, which some teachers claimed should have read “large crystals” led a number of students to label the rock incorrectly. “It will all be taken care of at the marking conference,” said Mr Staunton.

Most schools offer geography as a core subject for Junior Cert and this is reflected in the sits – more than 54,000 students took the exam at higher and ordinary levels yesterday. About half will study geography for the Leaving.