Politics & Society (H): A broad and well-balanced paper

Reaction to Leaving Certificate 2022 Politics & Society (Higher Level) by Paul McAndrew, Politics & Society teacher at The Institute of Education.

Overall, this was a broad and fair paper, that was sensitive to the Covid related absences of students, and allowed them to show their understanding, knowledge and skills.

The paper was well balanced with the course syllabus and allowed students to critically evaluate topics they discuss in class.

Section A – Short Answer Questions:

Like last year, students had to answer 10 out of 15 questions in this section. Normally they must answer 10 out of 12.

Most of the questions were relatively straightforward. There were a few tricky ones however, that did not clearly fit to the course syllabus and which some students may have found more difficult.

There was also a lot of focus on the Power and Decision-Making strand of the course. Most students would have studied this section first and perhaps more often than the other three strands, so this emphasis may have been due to the Covid sensitive nature of the paper.

Section B – Data Based Questions:

Like last year, students had more time to answer this section. All questions had to be answered.

The questions were straightforward but would challenge students on their ability to critically analyse two documents.

However, although the overall grade of this section was clearly stated, the amount of marks for each question was not. This has been a feature of the paper for the past number of years. Students have the right to know what the mark is for each question they must answer and it is a real downfall of the layout of the paper.

Section C – Discursive Essays:

Like last year, students only had to answer one question in this section. Normally they must answer two. The number of questions to choose from was also increased.

There was great choice here, with topics from the clash of civilisations, to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to whether Ireland is a patriarchy and the rights of children.

The choice was well balanced with the course syllabus and there was something for everyone in this section.