Saturday 18 November 2017

Hardest problem to solve was finishing in time

Apart from an error in question 8, the Leaving Cert higher level Maths Paper 2 was well received, although views differed slightly.

Eleanor Nolan, of Yeats College, Galway, said most students felt it was fair without being generous and agreed that the main difficulty was finishing within the time.

She said the section A co-ordinate geometry questions were "tricky to ace but were not too abstract ".

Ms Nolan described question 7 on statistics as "very nice, it took in nearly the entire course with well prepared students doing well here".

The final two questions "were deemed the most difficult and easily used up the 35 minutes allowed for them".

Elaine Devlin, of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and De La Salle College, Dundalk, said some of the questions were similar to those on the sample paper.

She noted that there were no theorems, either on this or Paper 1, which was a first. She agreed time was an issue and candidates had to do a lot of writing.

Aidan Roantree, senior maths teacher Institute of Education, thought it surprising that in question 5, on the proof of the Sine Rule, students were allowed to use a short method based on the area of a triangle, in contrast to the recommended method of proof outlined in teacher handbooks.

He said question 9, while similar in appearance to last year's robotic arm question, in practice worked out far more easily.


Eamonn Toland of, described the paper as, overall, "quite challenging".

Questions were written in a style that demanded a high level of understanding and interpretative skill from the student, he said.

He thought section B was "quite tricky", with a difficult question on hypothesis testing, while in question 9 b (i) the students might have found the use of the word 'independent' "a little tricky".

Irish Independent

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