Sunday 18 November 2018

Leaving Certificate maths higher level Paper 1 'nice but challenging'

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Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

A nice paper but challenging in a few places was how teacher Aidan Roantree described the Leaving Certificate maths higher level Paper 1

Mr Roantree of Dublin’s Institute of Education  said it was dominated by sequences and series, although algebra and calculus were also prominent.

“The sequences and series questions in particular were interesting, unusual and at first glance off putting, However, on investigation they turning into lovely questions” he said.

He said a  student  who entered the exam expecting to see familiar phraseology and wording everywhere would have been disappointed with these questions, but those willing to investigate would have been rewarded.

In Section A, he described Q1 was a very nice opener while Q2 continued the theme of  algebra but combined it with sequences and series, “but in a most creative way”

He thought Q3 was “very doable” once  students realised that calculus was what was required, while  in Q4, on complex numbers, ”the much tipped Proof of De Moivre’s theorem appeared,

Q5 was the second question to contain sequences and theories and he thought  part (a) “was a wonderfully clever, completely new problem for students who were willing to explore” .  In (b)  a recursion formula made an appearance  and “although relatively easy, it would not suit students who had just learnt off formula”.

Mr Roantree described Q6 as an interesting mix of algebra, functions and calculus, but very manageable”.

In Section B,  Mr Roantree said “Q7 returned to the topic much examined last year of natural log or exponential functions and  “a by now very common mix “ of algebra, graphs and calculus.

Q 8  revolved around the standard normal curve, or Gaussian Curve, with which students would be familiar from statistics, but  “the approach this time  involved calculus and was set at a nice level.”

 The  third question in Section B was the third to involve sequences and series. It originated from a sequence of patterns leading to a couple of geometric series , which, Mr Roantree described as “a slightly challenging, but a very well-constructed question. He thought the final part, (d) “will separate those who will get a H1 from the rest.”

Jean Kelly,  who also  teaches at The Institute of Education, said ordinary level students  would have been “ delighted”  with their paper.

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