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Leaving Cert Maths Ordinary Level Paper 2 ‘long but accessible’


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At 26 pages, a long paper, but also very accessible, was how teacher Jean Kelly described Leaving Cert Ordinary Level Maths Paper 2.

The usual suspects came up and there were lots of handy parts where students could pick up marks,” she said.

The game of Twister and data about the streaming service Netflix  were among the topics that may have appealed to students.

Eamonn Toland, of themathstutor.ie, agreed that it was accessible “if a little more challenging in places for students, especially if they had omitted coordinate geometry from their revision plans”.

But, he said, for most students, the amount of choice would have allowed them to choose questions to suit their strengths.

“Students who knew their basic concepts would have scored well as any contextual questions didn't disguise the required mathematics in any complicated way,” he said.

Ms Kelly had no quibble about the Section A questions, although she thought Q4(b) might have thrown weaker students.

Mr Toland said while Section A started gently, with a standard probability question based on the “Twister” game, he thought Q2, with half a question on probability, could have un-nerved any student who decided, given that there is a choice in this year’s paper, to omit it from their revision plan.

He said co-ordinate geometry featured heavily, which could pose problems for students who went light on revising this part of the course,.

Mr Toland thought a “wordy” statistics question on the empirical rule and correlation seemed more at home in Section B.

He also noted that financial maths had failed to appear, which would disappoint some.

He said Section B contained a mix of straightforward questions such as Q8 on area and volume, and some more long-winded scenarios such as Q10, the treasure-hunt in question.

Ms Kelly said students would have loved Q8 (a) on the trapezoidal rule, “which was very manageable”.
She noted that Q10, on coordinate geometry of the line, was the first time it has appeared as a long question and she thought it was “beautifully structured”

However, Tony McGennis, an Association of Secondary Teachers’ Ireland (ASTI) subject representative, had an issue with part (b), which involved finding a four-digit code to open a locked box. The code was based on the distance between two points.

He said students could have done it and “felt they were wrong because it said distance was a natural number, and the distance was square root or a decimal; they weren’t told to round it off. It could have been confusing”.

Alan Boal of studyclix.ie and Royal and Prior School, Raphoe, Co Donegal, said “as with higher level, it was a fair paper”.

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