DCG (H): A paper with something for everyone

Reaction to Leaving Certificate 2022 Design and Communication Graphics (Higher Level) by Robert Kiernan, DCG teacher at The Institute of Education.

Overall, this was a very fair paper with something for everyone.

Students had plenty of time and excellent choice.

Because of the surplus time, students would be afforded the opportunity to take risks and attempt questions they wouldn’t normally have the confidence to try.

Whether a student is a visual learner or learns through procedure, they should have been able to create a plan of attack for this paper.

Section A – Short Questions

There were no changes to this section this year and students had to answer three out of four questions.

Students would have been happy to see question A1 on skew lines. It was a nice question and part (a) would have helped students answer part (b) (as long as they understood the principle of a level line in elevation being a true length on plan).

Question A2 was based on conic sections. Unlike previous years, there were very few prompts and very little information given in the question, and if students had relied on past papers for their revision, they may have been a bit confused here. This was a very binary question. If a student is a procedural learner, this question would suit them. However, students who rely more on their visualization skills may have found it more challenging.

Question A3 was on interpenetration of solids. It was very fair and just like question A1, part (a) helped solve part (b).

Question A4 was on developments and orthographic projection. Again, it was very approachable. A lot of the question was already set up and it lent itself to both visual and procedural learners.


Like last year, students had to answer two out of eight questions in Section B and/or C. Normally they have to answer two from Section B and two from Section C.

Section B – Core

Question B1 on coordinate geometry was based around the oblique plane and dihedral angle. There was nothing unexpected here, and even though the coordinates were missing, students should still have been able to construct the points in space.

Question B2 was on perspective. Again, this was very fair. It was not a complex shape and it was easy to visualise. There was a lovely graphic on the side too.

Question B3 was based on an oblique plane again. It was a lovely question that played on key principals in geometry and tested basic visualisation skills.

Section C – Applied Graphics

Question C1 was on geologic geometry. It was a standard question but will probably be avoided by students as there was a lot going on in it and it was more time consuming than the questions in Section B.

Question C2 was on structural forms. Part (c) of the question, which dealt with the positions of the directrix, was quite tricky. Just like A2, this question played on a students’ ability to remember a procedure.

Question C3 on surface geometry was probably the most popular question in this section. It was a very basic shape, easy to construct and the solution was easy to visualise. The question took aspects of B1 (dihedral angle) and A4 (developments), so if a student had already done these, they would have been warmed up and well positioned to answer this question.

Question C4 was on dynamic mechanisms. It was a standard question with no nasty surprises.

As expected, question C5 was on assemblies. Again, it was quite time consuming, so may not be as popular with students.

Assemblies is always the last question on the paper. It is time consuming and lays heavily on standards and conventions, so students must be very accurate when answering it. However, there is no figuring out required. This year, because students had surplus time, more might have attempted it as a question.