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Leaving Cert students asked about how to cope 'on the Dole'

That was the Higher Levels. The Ordinary Levels were asked one entire question about soup.

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STUDENTS SITTING YESTERDAY’s Leaving Cert Home Economics exam were asked to solve some real-life problems.

In a mandatory question, which is usually based on nutrition, those being examined were asked to analyse the household budgets of four families in receipt of social welfare allowances.

They were asked to discuss the social welfare recipients’ shopping and nutrition options on their tight budgets.

“Perhaps they threw in that question on how to survive on the Dole to prepare us for when we get out of college!” one teenager told Studyclix, an online study forum which has been surveying students following the exams.

Despite the tough glimpse of reality in Section B, the vast majority of respondents told Studyclix the Higher Level paper was fair and the short questions were described as “extremely easy”.

Sandra Cleary, a Home Economics teacher at the Institute of Education in Dublin, agreed that the paper was manageable.

However, she noted that some of the language used may have “confused students and made straightforward topics appear more difficult than they actually were”.

Commenting on the required question, she said: “Normally students are asked to analyse the table from a nutritional point of view. This year however they were asked to focus on shopping budgets with some emphasis on nutrition. This was a break from the norm and may have thrown some students.”

Ordinary Level students were given what was described a “fair and accessible” paper.

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But there was one whole question on soup which was “unusual”.

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Are you a Leaving Cert student? StudyClix is running discussion forums here

Video: This brilliantly bleak film is for anyone who did the Junior Cert

More: 10 things adults think teenagers should know about the ‘real world’

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