Friday 24 November 2017

Question on financial maths 'challenging, even for most able students'

Alannah O’Carroll (18), left, and Hannah Burke (18) from St David’s Holy Faith Secondary School in Greystones after their Leaving Cert Maths exam. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Alannah O’Carroll (18), left, and Hannah Burke (18) from St David’s Holy Faith Secondary School in Greystones after their Leaving Cert Maths exam. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Maybe a little harder than last year, but the Leaving Certificate higher level maths was very fair overall, according to teacher Robert Chaney.

He applauded the examiners for a new font style on both the higher level and ordinary level papers, which, he said, meant the display of questions was much clearer than previous years.

His view was that most students would have found the higher level paper accessible, with the exception of Question 8, on financial maths. He described it as "very challenging, even for the most able students".

Mr Chaney, a subject representative with the Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland (ASTI) said the format of the question was a bit different than what students are used to, while the maths were "reasonably standard they found it difficult to know where they were going with it".

He said there was a table to fill in, which was slightly confusing, in the way some of the columns were labelled.

On the other hand, Mr Chaney of CBS Secondary School, Rossa Street, Thurles, thought Question 9 was nice in the way it was set in a context of high tides.

Eamonn Toland of The MathsTutor.ie 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 one 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 regarded Question 8 as nice and said it would "make up for last year when there was some controversy because financial maths was largely ignored".

Aidan Roantree, a teacher at the Institute of Education, Dublin, reckoned there would be a mixed reaction to the paper.

"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.

He 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.

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 thought Question 4 "was possibly the most difficult question in Section A". While he said Question 8 was anticipated, an "interesting deviation was the requirement for a weekly rate of interest".

Mr Roantree said Question 9, "although straightforward" was the one that students would have been more likely to expect on Monday and "some may not have been prepared".

Irish Independent

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