Leaving Cert Maths 2018: Studying for Papers 1 and 2

Author: Dan Keating/13 May 2018/Categories: Leaving Cert

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Leaving Cert Maths 2018: Studying for Papers 1 and 2

Studying for Maths Paper 1 & 2? Here's how. 

Aside from revision and exam prep, one of the best ways to prepare for this year’s exams is to analyse those of recent years; to look at trends and patterns set in previous exams and consider how these might develop.


So, based on the leaving cert maths 2017 exam papers, how should you study for 2018?


Paper 1

Overall, the 2017 higher level maths paper was straightforward, with one or two unexpected questions students may have found challenging. Trigonometry made an appearance in question nine, a topic most students would have expected to appear in paper 2.


To us, this suggests your need to revise all paper 1 and 2 topics in advance of your first maths exam; another curveball, a la Trigonometry in paper 1 2017, could be thrown your way. You can’t rely on waiting for the weekend to conduct your paper 2 cram!


In section B, meanwhile, a question on financial maths appeared – which most students would have prepared well for after the large topic was left out of 2016’s exam. There were some issues with the labelling of a table in the question; some students had difficulty in understanding it due to how it was presented.


Paper 2

While paper 1 was relatively kind, students faced a challenging paper 2 that many found difficult to complete in time.


Question 7 was straightforward mathematically but students might have had difficulty in correctly interpreting the last part of that question about cylinders and spheres. Another question on probability was more accessible.


There was also the lack of predictability in the questions asked. There were some changes in the way in which the topics interlined, with the part c of question 5, for instance, not being a natural follow-on from the previous parts. Question 6 on the Cliffs of Moher used a diagram that was not necessarily helpful for the students, although the question itself was doable.


However, some experts felt that what was a challenging paper actually gave candidates more help than could have been expected: “The examiner occasionally gave hints that they didn’t have to give and that was a welcome prompt for the students.”


Overall, the paper was considered heavy on geometry, while the question on differential statistics was straightforward and uncomplicated.


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