Wednesday 17 October 2018

Well-received maths paper was 'a little bit tricky'

Megan Byrne and Jill McClinton of Malahide CS after their maths exam
Megan Byrne and Jill McClinton of Malahide CS after their maths exam
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

About one-third of the Leaving Certificate higher level Maths Paper 1 dealt with series and sequences but, according to teacher Brid Griffin, the topic was "over dominant".

"Financial maths didn't appear and another big topic, integration, was only a small section in one question," said Ms Griffin, a TUI subject representative and teacher at Carlow Institute of Further Education.

She said some questions were "very doable and some were a little tricky" and, while she met mixed reaction, overall the student view was that it was OK.

Robert Chaney, an ASTI subject representative and teacher at CBS Thurles, described it as a fair paper but students "would have needed to be well practiced" for Question 4 on De Moivre's Theorem.

Eamonn Toland, of themathstutor.ie, thought it "very accessible overall but with a sting in the tail in Q9, which involved the advanced topic of fractal geometry known as the 'Sierpinski Triangle'".

Mr Chaney described that question as "unimaginative", and felt many students would have mis-answered the question to find the fraction remaining after infinite steps.

Aidan Roantree, of Dublin's Institute of Education, said it would "separate those who will get a H1 from the rest".

Mr Chaney described the ordinary level paper as "predictable", while Mr Toland said the section on contexts and applications was "very wordy".

Earlier, Leaving Cert candidates sat geography and Johanne Duffy, a teacher at Yeats College, Galway, said higher level students were delighted with their paper. She said it was "wide-ranging and balanced, with lots of choice".

In regional geography, she noted that, for the first time, students were asked to explain the impact of climate on the development of agriculture in two contrasting European regions. "Well-prepared students would have had no difficulty with this," she said.

Another teacher, Michael Doran of the Institute of Education, Dublin, described it as "a nicely balanced paper, with a good choice of questions", which covered many of the key, traditional topics, but with new variations on old themes.

Teacher Luke Saunders, of Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, and studyclix.ie, said the ordinary level paper would have presented no major shocks.

Irish Independent

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