Friday 20 September 2019

Financial maths 'conspicuous by its absence'

  

Useful addition: Students Allanah Farrell, Kayla O’Rourke and Shannon Keane compare opinions on their Leaving Cert maths exam at Creagh College in Gorey, Co Wexford, yesterday. Photo: Patrick Browne
Useful addition: Students Allanah Farrell, Kayla O’Rourke and Shannon Keane compare opinions on their Leaving Cert maths exam at Creagh College in Gorey, Co Wexford, yesterday. Photo: Patrick Browne
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

There was plenty of algebra but, just like last year, there was no sign of financial maths on the Leaving Cert higher level Maths Paper 1.

"Financial maths was conspicuous by its absence, but maybe history will repeat itself with the topic appearing on Paper 2 again," said Niall Duddy of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI).

Mr Duddy, of Presentation College, Athenry, Co Galway, said the paper was generally well received by students.

However, he said Q1(a) and Q3(c) "would have caused difficulty for some students as they were not as easy as they may have appeared at first glance".

Meanwhile, the "wordy nature of Q7 on the Cantor set would have thrown some candidates".

TUI subject representative Brid Griffin thought there was "nothing daunting" about the paper, but felt any student who did not focus on the entire course and avoided "proofs by induction", missed the opportunity to get easy marks.

According to Aidan Roantree of Dublin's Institute of Education, many Section A questions were very well thought out and quite clever, while Section B questions were "fair and manageable".

Eamonn Toland, founder of TheMathsTutor.ie website, said the only slight twist in Section A was the appearance of mean and median in a question on algebra, which might have been a little surprising at first.

In Section B, 'Contexts and Applications', he said the examiner continued a trend of borrowing some concepts from advanced third-level maths.

Ms Griffin said the ordinary level paper was "very clear" in contrast to other years "where you had to wade through a lot of English before figuring out what was being asked".

Mr Duddy noted that, "in keeping with recent trends", a topic traditionally regarded as being Paper 2 material found their way into Paper 1 in the shape of Q5 on area, while Q9 may have posed challenges.

Irish Independent

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