Sunday 11 December 2016

One in three plans to sit honours maths this year

Published 07/06/2016 | 02:30

A record one in three Leaving Certificate students is planning to sit honours maths this year
A record one in three Leaving Certificate students is planning to sit honours maths this year

A record one in three Leaving Certificate students is planning to sit honours maths this year.

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Some 19,202 students have entered for the higher level paper - almost double the 10,435 at this time in 2011, the year before bonus points were introduced for the subject

The surge in interest is attributed mainly to the reward of 25 CAO bonus points for those who achieve a minimum D3 on the paper.

Not all 19,202 are expected to sit the exam on the day - each year there is a drop-off of about 20pc from the number who have indicated that they want to take honours.

However, with entries for the paper at their highest level ever, any fall-off could still see a further rise in the 27.4pc of maths candidates who sat higher level in 2015.

Overwhelmingly, candidates achieve a minimum D3 but, as more middle-ranking ordinary level students are lured up, the 'fail' rate has risen.

Meanwhile, there is an ongoing increase in the number of candidates taking the optional oral Irish test in the Junior Cert.

Its rise in popularity can be tracked to the introduction, in 2010, of 40pc of marks for the oral test, which is examined by the students' own teachers.

The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has banned members doing this work - nonetheless, there has been a tenfold increase, from 1,687 students sitting the test in 2010 to 16,487 last year.

Irish Independent

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