Algebra dominates Higher Level maths paper in Leaving Cert

Algebra dominates Higher Level maths paper in Leaving Cert
Leaving Cert students, Sinead Corcoran, Rob Cahill and Eoghan O'Shaughnessy, at Ballincollig Community School after Maths Paper 1. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Higher level maths students faced an algebra-dominated paper without any financial maths, but it was easier and shorter than their mock exams, teachers say.

Aidan Roantree, senior maths teacher at the Institute of Education in Dublin, said the lack of a financial maths question on paper one - for the second year in a row - should not be cause for complacency.

“Remember what happened last year: Financial maths made an unwelcome appearance on paper-two on the Monday morning,” he warned.

Rebecca Donnelly, a higher-level Leaving Cert Maths student at Jesus and Mary Secondary, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, said that was really happy with how section A turned out and she got it done in good time.

“Question 7 and 8 were a bit harder but I answered most of them regardless.

"I was surprised to see no financial maths at all but I was kind of happy to focus more on algebra and calculus which are my strengths.

I’m pretty happy with it overall, but more nervous about paper two now which is bound to be harder than that.

Bríd Griffin, maths spokeswoman for the Teachers' Union of Ireland, said that the paper was "fairly well received" by the students she has spoken to: "Most of the usual topics were covered and the questions were very clear and concise."

Ms Griffin said Question 7, which focused on sequences and series, may have eaten up a large amount of time for some students but that Question 9, which focused on area, volume and geometry, gave students the chance to claw back any lost minutes: "Overall, there was no surprise. There were some challenges but a good student would have been well able to handle it."

The Ordinary Level Paper was also "clear and concise", Ms Griffin said: "One or two students had a mixed reaction to the wording of some questions.

"They didn't know what they were being asked for but, overall, there was nothing too out of the ordinary."

Eamonn Toland, founder of TheMathsTutor.ie, said the ordinary level paper did not contain any major surprises: “There were no major challenges for the well-prepared student, although there were some rather wordy questions.

"Real world scenarios involved a camogie player, the horsepower of engines, and monetisation of a website."

Principal, Kathleen Lowney with Leaving Cert students, Mary Coffey and Aisling O'Sullivan at Ballincollig Community School. Picture: Jim Coughlan
Principal, Kathleen Lowney with Leaving Cert students, Mary Coffey and Aisling O'Sullivan at Ballincollig Community School. Picture: Jim Coughlan

Record numbers of students continue to study higher-level maths, with 21,024 of 56,028 (37.5%) students taking the paper.

Earlier, approximately 24,609 students sat the Leaving Cert geography paper.

The higher-level exam was strongly focused on environmental issues, teachers said, while many favourite topics cropped up.

Studyclix.ie founder Luke Saunders, a Geography teacher at Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, said students will have been pleased to see that there were no big surprises: “All three options in the physical geography section had no surprises for any student who had looked at previous years papers.

"Overall the paper, particularly the geoecology option, would have had questions that most students would be well prepared for.”

Laura O'Sullivan, a teacher at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, Bantry, West Cork, said the ordinary level geography paper was straightforward: “There were no unapproachable questions.

"Question 11 was somewhat topical in that it looked at internet access in Irish households, and students were asking to analyse a graph here.

"Overall, it was a fair and wide-ranging paper with lots of choice for students.”

More on this topic

UCD SU say competition for college places at 'alarming level' as points exceed 600UCD SU say competition for college places at 'alarming level' as points exceed 600

Leaving Cert students to receive first CAO offers this afternoonLeaving Cert students to receive first CAO offers this afternoon

Students advised to consider all options before making final CAO decisionStudents advised to consider all options before making final CAO decision

71 Leaving Cert students have results withheld over suspected cheating71 Leaving Cert students have results withheld over suspected cheating

More in this Section

Three hospitalised following serious crash in MonaghanThree hospitalised following serious crash in Monaghan

No winner of €10.7m Lotto jackpotNo winner of €10.7m Lotto jackpot

Recently uncovered love letter reveals director's 'schoolboy crush' on Maureen O'HaraRecently uncovered love letter reveals director's 'schoolboy crush' on Maureen O'Hara

Over 7,500 children waiting more than a year for occupational therapy assessmentOver 7,500 children waiting more than a year for occupational therapy assessment


Lifestyle

Italy is a volatile place as you probably know, not just the passions of its people but is a place of active volcanos and frequent earthquakes. One of the most devastating earthquakes in recent years was the one that struck the Amatrice region in 2016.Wine with Leslie Williams: Some tasty Italian selections

It’s confirmed, being a dog owner is good for you. Esther McCarthy spoke to four celebrities about pride in their pooches.Animal magnetism: Celebrities and their treasured pets

We recently began watching a new sitcom called, ‘The Kids Are Alright’. It follows an American family in the early seventies as they raise eight sons.Lindsay Woods: I’m a dormant individual by nature but my children are adrenaline junkies

Rosscarbery antiques fair offers plenty of variety, writes Des O’Sullivan.See the value of rare notes and diamonds

More From The Irish Examiner