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Thursday 18 September 2014

Leaving Cert: Higher Level Maths Paper 2

Verdict: Not as accessible as the first, but well thought-out and manageable

Published 09/06/2014 | 14:58

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Pupils of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin sitting their Leaving Certificate Examination which began yesterday. Photo: Tom Burke
Pupils of Marian College, Ballsbridge, Dublin sitting their Leaving Certificate Examination which began last Wednesday. Photo: Tom Burke

The second Leaving Certificate Maths Higher Level paper may not have been as accessible as the first, but it was well thought-out and manageable, according to one teacher.

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Aidan Roantree, senior maths teacher at The Institute of Education, Dublin thought there were enough doable parts in both sections for students to perform at least adequately.

He said, overall, Section A contained more practical questions than normal, which would have unnerved some students.

However, with the exception of Question 7, Section B would  have been welcomed by most well prepared students.

According to Mr Roantree Section A (Concepts and Skills) contained a number of surprises.

Unlike previous years, Questions 1 and 2 did not cover Probability and Statics, but Trigonometry, and he described Question 2 B as “a little challenging.

He thought Question 3 on Probability was fair, featuring for the first time, Expected Value.

However, Mr Roantree said students would have found Question 4 demanding: “Although essentially on Statistics, the question at first appeared to be on Trig Graphs. However the bulk of the question (Part B and Part C) examined ideas from Statistics and was couched in difficult and unusual language. Students would have found this demanding”.

He described Question 5 on Co-Ordinate Geometry as “perfectly fair”.

Meanwhile, Question 6 A, as expected, contained the Proof of Theorem 13, along with an easy construction and, for students who choose 6B, the problem was manageable.

In Section B (Contexts and Applications), Mr Roantree said Question 7, would have proved challenging for some students,  “not for reasons of Maths but for reasons of language, as a high number of verbal answers were required”.

He thought Question 8 “ was a lovely, well flagged question “on Conditional Probability and Hypothesis Testing.

Mr Roantree described Question 9A using Co-Ordinate Geometry, on a clock design, as  fascinating  while 9B was a continuation of the trend involving the Arbelos, which occurred on last year’s paper.

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