Sunday 26 January 2020

Mixed reaction to 'challenging' Leaving Cert higher level maths paper

Leaving Cert students (stock image)
Leaving Cert students (stock image)

Katherine Donnolly

Students will have a mixed reaction to the Leaving Certificate higher level maths paper, according go teacher Aidan Roantree.

“There was enough to get a pass grade in Section A, but some of the questions, especially in Section B, were quite challenging, “ he said.

Mr Roantree of the Institute of Education,  Dublin  said many students would  have been thrown by the occurrence of trigonometric functions in Question 9, as this topic would have been expected on Monday’s Paper 2.

He said that after a complete absence last year, financial maths made its widely predicted return in a long question in Section B.

Mr Roantree said the paper  will forever be known as the ‘exponential paper’, because exponential functions appeared in numerous places.

Among his comments on  Section A, Mr Roantree said the algebra question  was  a nice one  for students who had taken the trouble to review this method.

He described Question 2 as  nice , while  Question 4 “was possibly the most difficult question in Section A”

He said Question 5 was  straight forward question  and overall, Question 6 wasn’t too difficult

In Section B, Mr Roantree said Question 7 was  accessible and an interesting deviation in Question 8, on financial maths, was  the requirement for a weekly rate of interest

Question 9,  on trigonometric functions, was the one most students  would have expected to appear on Paper 2, he said.    “Although it was  straight forward , some students may not have prepared for this yet.”.

Eamonn Toland of  described the paper as “mostly straightforward with a  few testing elements” and some “ interesting twists for the high fliers to show off”

He thought Question 4, about a science experiment, was probably the trickiest question in the Concepts and Skills section.  “Quite a wordy question which tested students' ability to apply their knowledge of exponentials and geometric series, “  he said

He described Question 8 as  nice and said it would make up for last year when there was some controversy because financial maths was largely ignored.

He said Question 9, about tidal ranges in a harbour,  was similar to questions from previous year.

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