Friday 15 December 2017

Leaving Certificate Maths Higher Level Paper 1: 'An accessible paper overall'

Katherine Donnell, Education Editor

The Leaving Certificate Maths Higher Level Paper 1 continued a trend where they have become more and more accessible to the large number of extra students sitting the “honours” exam, according to teacher Aidan Roantree of the Institute of Education Dublin.

Mr Roantree said Section A would have been completely accessible to most students, although he said,  on Question 5, the phrase ‘Pythagorean Triple’ might have confused some students, as it does not appear in the textbooks.

He recalled that it did appear, along with its definition, on the 2014 examination paper.

Mr Roantree said that despite so many predictions to the contrary, financial maths was conspicuous by its absence: “Financial maths is a major topic on the new syllabus, and its omission is unexpected. Its absence will have disappointed many students, who would have invested a lot of time and energy on it.”

Mr Roantree  said Section B questions  contained an interesting mix of algebra, calculus and sequences and series.

Most students would have found most  questions manageable, “ but there were a couple of interesting, challenging parts. For example, Question 9 B, about the male bees and the ancestors of male bees”.

Jean Kelly, also of the  Institute of Education, said ,overall, students would have been  be very pleased with the Ordinary Level,  and it would  give them confidence going in to Paper 2.

“Unlike last year, the wording of the questions was clear and straight forward,” said Ms Kelly

She said financial maths featured heavily throughout the paper .

However,  she said   for a course with a wide range of topics, and a large amount of material to learn, very few topics came up in any great detail: ”Algebra, which is a significant part of the syllabus, only appeared in a short question.”

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