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Maths Paper 1 and Paper 2; What did we learn from 2016

May 24, 2017

Leaving Cert 2016 Maths Paper 1 and Paper 2; What did we learn from 2016?

Overall, there were enough marks readily available for students to obtain a pass mark. However, including ordinary level candidates, more than 4,000 leaving cert students still failed to pass their maths exam last year.

Maths Paper 1 was considered to be a fair paper, one well-drilled students would have been expected to perform well within. Paper 2, however, was more challenging and innovative, containing question parts that would have allowed the very best students to show their abilities.

Expect the unexpected. Naturally, the best way to prepare for your exam is to complete each and every past exam question. However, remember that it’s the examiner’s job to challenge students, particularly in Higher Level Maths, so they will include fresh and innovative types and styles of questions. Could you get your teacher to design some new-and-improved questions for you and your class to complete?

Further innovations of Paper 2 were that its difficulty lay mainly in Section A, rather than the traditionally more daunting Section B, and the change in the number of questions and the amount of marks available for each. For the first time, more marks went for trigonometry (125) than for probability and statistics combined (100).

Think about prioritizing trigonometry during your revision time.

On the topic of probability, the exam afforded students and their teachers some respite in the form of a much-anticipated trigonometric problem, involving three dimensions. However, in a move remaining true to the overall nature of Leaving Cert Maths 2016, this respite came tinged with the element of surprise, functions and calculus having been confined previously to Paper 1.

Again, expect the unexpected!

Overall, experts agreed that students whose strengths lay in trigonometry and geometry would have found the papers well-suited to them, but many would have been disappointed to see no statistical graphs to analyse on the paper as part of what is normally a banker question.

Should you leave your statistics revision ‘to chance’ in favour of more complex topics

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