Monday 23 October 2017

Testing finale makes top marks 'difficult'

Grainne Cunningham

HIGHER level Leaving Cert Maths students banking on getting high marks in their exam will have found some aspects of paper 1 "very challenging", according to one teacher yesterday.

Aidan Roantree, maths teacher at The Institute of Education, said that while there was enough on the paper to allow students to attain a good grade, those seeking top marks were met with "very testing" final parts of some of the questions.

"Earlier parts of the questions were very fair. Most prepared students should have been able to attain a reasonable grade," he said, adding that many of the expected topics were there.

Eamonn Toland, from the Mathstutor.ie online grinds service, agreed that paper 1 was "quite a tricky paper".

"Even some of the part (a)s were not as easy as you would expect," he said.

Brigid Cleary, of the ASTI and St Flannan's College, Ennis, said most students seemed to have been pleased with both the higher and ordinary level exams. She said that Q1 on the higher level "threw them a bit at the beginning ... when they first read the paper, some of them panicked but once they got on to Q2, they settled down."

However, overall her students were "delighted".

Jean Kelly, maths teacher at the Institute of Education, said the ordinary level paper was appropriate.

"Every question gave candidates the opportunity to demonstrate the skills that they have acquired. The (a) and (b) parts to each question were very fair. The few challenging part (c) questions allowed the well-prepared student to showcase their knowledge," she said.

Mr Toland judged the maths ordinary level to be a "very fair paper", with a straightforward arithmetic section, "mostly nice" algebra but he said Q3 (c) would have been tricky for anyone not comfortable with surds.

"One surprise for many students would be that differentiation by first principles did not come up, for the second year in a row," he said.

He said Q6 (c) (iii) was unusual, asking students to graph the derivative -- "very easy but not something they may have seen before".

Ms Cleary urged students to do the sample questions over the weekend in preparation for the first time the new Project Maths syllabus would be examined.

Irish Independent

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