Reaction to Leaving Certificate 2023 Higher Level Business, by Keith Hannigan, Business teacher at The Institute of Education.
- A lovely paper with viable choices in every section.
- This was a topical paper which is set in the real world of the students.
- Clear, straightforward, and rooted in the syllabus. While there were a few surprises, they were very pleasant and manageable questions.
Every section of this paper had something that was absolutely lovely. Those familiar with past papers will have seen familiar questions reappear and nothing that would disconcert them. While in the past some papers had been spoiled by awkward, abstract, or curveball questions, this paper was pure syllabus and thus very fair to those who put in the work to revise.
The short questions at the beginning were clear and topical. Issues relevant to the modern teenager like minimum wage, GDPR, calculations of pay, and the EU meant that many students will have found themselves growing in confidence as they progressed. For those who were potentially a little uncertain there were some lovely rapid response questions. The true or false answers would reward those who were willing to take a chance. This is a section that would have pleased a lot of students.
Section 2: Applied Business may have caused a few moments of pause, but again was very fair in how it presented its surprises. This was the first ever appearance of Economic Variables in the June exams (having only been seen on the 2022 deferred paper previously) and so many students might not have prepared for it. However, the answers were very conveniently embedded and clearly communicated so that it should have been attemptable by most students. What was anticipated was Unit 7’s Challenges and Opportunities in International Trade. A prepared student will have been delighted. The question on Unit 5 might have caught a few students who had been too narrow in their preparation, as the final ABQ on Finance verged more on Unit 4 material. This was a paper that really rewarded range.
The final long questions were fantastic. Again, the topics were relevant and allowed students to apply their own general understanding of the world to smooth over any surprises. For example, Question 1 was a straightforward piece on sale of goods and elements of a contract, but the final part asked about “cooling off periods”, something not emphasised in the units. But from context, most will have been able to tackle this effectively if they gave themselves a moment to think. Students will have found contemporary talking points throughout his section: for example, environmentalism in Question 2 and flexible work in Question 6. For a year group whose secondary school experience was defined by the Covid era the latter was very relevant to their experiences. Students who anticipated an emphasis on the EU, due to the 50th anniversary of its formation, will have been richly rewarded with some fantastically approachable questions. A welcome surprise will have been the appearance of both Maslow’s and McGregor’s theories of motivation. Most students are happy to see just one of those but will be over the moon with both.
In the end, this was a very fair paper that would have given prepared students a chance to play to their strengths and make smart choices to maximise marks. The questions were accessible and rooted in the real world of the modern student.