Friday 28 October 2016

Leaving Cert: Higher Level Maths 'not as accessible as Paper 1 but had decent scope for better students'

Published 08/06/2015 | 12:40

The Leaving Certificate Maths Higher Level Paper 2 was “fair but not as accessible as Paper 1”, according to Aidan Roantree, senior maths teacher at Dublin’s Institute of Education.

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But, he said, unlike with Paper 1, there was decent scope for the better students to show their abilities.

Mr Roantree said the six questions in Section A broke down exactly as forecast with one each on probability, statistics, trigonometry, geometry, and two on co-ordinate geometry. Of the six, he thought the hardest questions were three and four on co-ordinate geometry.

With the choice in Question 6 now gone, Mr Roantree said many students were wondering what to expect here, but “they needn’t have worried, as the question contained a standard construction and a standard proof”.

Meanwhile, in Section B  he regarded the questions as “fair, interesting and often more challenging than any other part of either paper.

He said Question 8 on probability was the most challenging, not least because it ranged from probability to Paper 1 topics of  sequences and series, and algebra, which, he noted,  provided evidence to support the idea of cross over between the papers.

LC Maths Ordinary level: Paper 2

Leaving Certificate Maths Ordinary Level students who found Paper 1 one on Friday demanding would have been relieved to Paper 2 today, according to teachers.

Robert Chaney of CBS Secondary School, Thurles, Co. Tipperary and the Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) said it was  “a fair paper that allowed students to better demonstrate their knowledge, skills and understanding”.

He described the questions as “mainly straight-forward, with few catches nor difficulties with notation or the wording” and “occasionally, hints were given".

Students came out generally happy with the experience, said Mr Chaney.

He thought Question 2 presented the only challenge as if the student didn't realise what was meant by what they were being told - "The line p makes equal intercepts on the axes at A and B, as shown" - then they would not have been able to access any of the rest of the page of questions.

Jean Kelly, Maths a teacher at the Institute of Education said while some of the weaker students may have found parts of the paper challenging, “on the whole it was manageable and accessible”.

On Question 2, she said that while students may have found it  quite challenging initially, as there were no co-ordinates given on the axes, “if they persevered with it however they would have found it quite doable”.

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