Business (H): A paper with a good, fair choice of questions

Reaction to Leaving Cert 2021 Business (Higher Level) by Keith Hannigan, Business teacher at The Institute of Education.

This was an excellent, very accessible exam paper, that had a very fair choice of questions.

The short questions were a little harder than in 2019 and 2018, but with the choice available, it still meant that students would have found four that suited them.

Part 2 of the long questions was a little bit trickier, but there was still enough choice to make it manageable.



This year students had to answer 4 out of 12 short questions. Normally they answer 8 out of 12.

Question 4 was a lovely question on insurance. Students were given two options and had to circle the correct one.

Question 11 was a nice, topical question on the reasons why multinationals locate in ireland.

The ratio question in question 8 would really have suited students who are studying accounting.

SECTION 2: Applied Business Question (ABQ)

This section did not have any covid allowances this year.

The ABQ was lovely and students who studied with past papers would be well versed on how to answer the questions.

The story was about Miriam’s creche. The first question was on the types of planning that Miriam would use and how it would contribute to the success of her company. Controlling and planning was an expected question and students would have been well prepared for this.

For the first time ever tax came up as a part of the second question here.

The last question looked at the marketing mix and Miriam’s pricing and promotional strategies.


Due to changes this year, an extra question was added to Part 1 of the long questions. Students also only had to answer 3 out of 8 questions. Normally they would answer 4 out of 7 .

Part 1- Long Questions:

This section couldn’t have been fairer to students this year. The addition of an extra question made all the difference. This extra question (question 4) dealt with Unit 1 of the syllabus, which all students would have covered well in 5th and 6th year.

Question 1 focused on the elements of a contract and compensation for unfair dismissal.

Question 2 was lovely and topical and looked at labour, employment and how the government affects the labour force.

The most interesting question was question 3, which focused on barriers to trade, globalisation, how the international economy has changed, and how this is affecting Irish business internationally. This was a really great question that dealt with topical issues such as Brexit and Covid.

Question 4 focused on industrial disputes and how you terminate a contract. This was a great question and very fair to students, as it dealt with material from Unit 1, which students would have covered in detail in 5th and 6th year.

Part 2- Long Questions:

This section was a little trickier than Part 1 of the long questions.

Question 5 was a story about a farmer producing specialised potatoes. The first part of the question, on entrepreneurial skills, was very nice. Part B however, which focused on communication, might have been a bit more challenging for some students.

Question 6 was a story about the Kerry Group, that focused on teamwork, total quality management and the rewards you can give staff. For students who had studied this area, this was a great question.

Question 7 would have been especially liked by students studying accounting, as parts B and C asked for a break even chart.

Question 8 was about a new makeup business getting started, the challenges on ownership structure, problems with initial production and finance. Part A was quite tricky, but parts B and C were not so bad.