Home Economics (H): A generous paper, with something for everyone

Reaction to Leaving Certificate 2021 Home Economics (Higher Level) by Sandra Cleary, Home Economics teacher at The Institute of Education.

This was a paper with something for everyone.

It was very fair and generous, with no surprises and a nice, varied range of topics.

What is normally a very pressurised exam was far more manageable for students this year.

There was quite a bit of repetition from previous exam papers, and students who were thorough with their study and had gone over past exam papers should be very pleased.


Normally students have to do 10 out of 12 short questions. However, this year they only had to do 5 out of 14.

The questions asked in this section were fair and straightforward and covered a wide range of topics. There were 9 questions on food studies and 5 on home management,

SECTION B : QUESTION 1 (compulsory question)

Normally this compulsory question is worth 80 marks out of 400. However, with the adjustments made to the exam this year, it is now worth 80 marks out of 320. This makes it worth a quarter of the overall grade.

The question related to the topical theme of how Health & Wellbeing and Responsible Living influence our food choices. Weaker students might have been caught out here, as the information provided was quite limited, and rather than basing their answer on figures and percentages from a table, like they are normally required to do, the question was more open to interpretation.

Some students may have been surprised to see Iron rather than Carbohydrates appear in part d of this section.

A nice question on eggs appeared here. This topic hasn’t appeared since 2015.

The HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) question that appeared here was very similar to previous questions that have appeared on this topic in the past. Students who had prepared with past exam papers would have been very happy with this question.

Resource management, which had been hotly tipped, made an appearance here. It was a nice, manageable question.

Definition and functions of the family appeared in this section. This topic has not appeared since 2014 and was also expected.

Normally there are 3 electives in this section. However, this year a fourth elective was added. Elective 4 was based on the topics covered for section A and section B.

This move is to be welcomed, as it took pressure off students and allowed them to focus on the core Home Economics syllabus, rather than learning more specialised topics such as home management, textiles and social studies.