ISSU Commentary (Higher Level)
Students in exam centres across the country sat the Leaving Cert Higher Level Economics paper this morning.
The paper got off to a reasonable start with some very topical short questions that would have required students to adapt knowledge from the course.
Section B began with a nice long question on demand and supply covering price equilibrium and price elasticity of demand. However question 2 on the markets will have been not so nice for many students who will have been surprised that Oligopoly “did a Boland” by not bothering to show its face on the paper. It was substituted instead by monopoly which would have been a lovely question for those that had prepared it rather than over-relying on the oligopoly prediction.
Labour (as a factor of production), taxation, the nationalisation of Irish banks and the International Monetary Fund appeared, among other topics, on the following questions alongside a particularly pleasant National Income question that students will have been delighted with if they had studied the topic well.
Like the rest of the paper, the final long question was extremely topical with the performance of the Irish economy over the past year, the effects on the economy of our ageing population, the economic consequences of the recent increase in emigration as well as the factors influencing and the economic effects on the economy of the increase in the rate of savings in Ireland over the past year up for discussion.
Overall, it was a fair paper that would have tested students’ knowledge of the course thought the lack of many straightforward “define” questions may have thrown students. Instead the paper required students to think independently and have a strong knowledge of the current economic climate.
ISSU Commentary (Ordinary Level)
Like the Higher Level paper, there were some very topical short questions in Section A of this morning’s Ordinary Level paper with the rise in unemployment and economic effects on the Irish economy of cross-border shopping.
Monopoly also appeared in the markets question on the Ordinary Level paper with students asked to label a diagram of a monopoly in equilibrium as well as explaining barriers to entering the market followed by a part (c) based on the example of An Post as a monopoly.
Question 2 on demand and supply featured marginal utility, the economic reasons for, effect of and measures to combat the recent decrease in demand for hotel accommodation in Ireland as well as the demand and supply for Rihanna’s recent concert at the O2… nothing to cause too much “Disturbia” for students here!
The circular flow of income, the rise in emigration, the canons of taxation, the regulation of commercial banks, the European Central Bank, the recent increase in savings within the Irish economy and the rise in value of the euro against the British pound were among the topics that appeared on the following long questions.
On a whole, there were no major surprises on the Ordinary Level paper with many of the same topics appearing on both the Higher and Ordinary Level papers. Students that knew the course well will have been happy with the paper.