Saturday 22 October 2016

Scope for better students to show abilities

Published 09/06/2015 | 02:30

'There was decent scope for the better students to show their abilities'
'There was decent scope for the better students to show their abilities'

A very balanced paper, with a series of good, well-graduated questions, was how teacher Robert Chaney described the Leaving Certificate Maths Higher Level Paper Two.

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Mr Chaney, of CBS Secondary School, Thurles, Co Tipperary, and the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI) said it included a number of geometry questions that would not have been surprising, with constructions and theorem proofs that should have been well-practised. He thought Q8 represented the toughest challenge, with parts D and E stretching even the most able.

On the other hand, Q9 was a "very pleasant set of trigonometry question". Overall, he said students left quite engaged and happy with the challenge.

Aidan Roantree, senior maths teacher at Dublin's Institute of Education, described it as a fair paper "but not as accessible as Paper 1".

But, he said, unlike with Paper One, 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 and, of the six, he thought the hardest were Q3 and Q4, on co-ordinate geometry.

With the choice in Q6 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".

He regarded the Section B questions as "fair, interesting and often more challenging than any other part of either paper, with Q8 on probability the most challenging, not least because it ranged from probability to Paper One topics of sequences and series, and algebra, which, he noted, provided evidence to support the idea of crossover between the papers.

Irish Independent

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