Thursday 26 April 2018

Leaving Cert: 'Students should be relieved with Higher Level Maths - it could have been worse'

Leaving Cert Exam Students.
Donal Moore and Ben Thompson CBS
Leaving Cert Exam Students. Donal Moore and Ben Thompson CBS
Leaving Cert Exam Students. Eoin McDonald, Lar Stoutt, John Lacey and Dylan Hynes from the CBS
Leaving Cert Exam Students. Matthew Homan and Bryan Kehoe St Peters
Leaving Cert Exam Students. Thomas Sheridan, Aaron Hearn and Aaron Rossiter St Peters College

Sam Griffin

RECORD levels of higher level Leaving Cert Maths students sat today’s Paper One exam, and the view from the expert is that it was a fair assessment and with few overly-challenging areas.

More and more students have opted for the higher level exam since an additional 25 CAO points became available for those who attain a D3 grade or higher.

Aidan Roantree, Senior Maths teacher at The Institute of Education, said that overall the paper continued the “trend of the last couple of years, where the papers have become more and more accessible to the large number of extra students doing higher level maths”.

“Most students should be happy and relieved – it could have been a lot worse,” he said.

“The most novel question on the paper was Question 8, which referred to an oil slick. In practise it involved a little Algebra and applications of Differentiation.

He said Question 9, also in section B, was “a nice question” in that it gave formula for the length of a day in Galway in Trigonometric form.

“Combining Trigonometric Functions with Differentiation and Integration, the question was really in the spirit of the new Project Maths, which combines different aspects of the maths course in to a single situation and requires students to decide for themselves which braches of their knowledge are relevant.”

In Section A, Question 1 on Sequences and Series, would be familiar to many students because there are similar questions in the textbooks while Questions 2 and 3 were “straightforward and accessible”, he said.

Mr Roantree added: “Although the second part of Question 4 on Complex Numbers appeared quite difficult, when approached it actually worked out quite simply and was a very user friendly.”

He said the bulk of Question 5 was on Differentiation and was no “harder that students would expect while all three parts of the question were standard and manageable.

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