Ambush by algebra after easy start


JUNIOR CERT MATHS PAPER 1:MATHS WAS all about easy openers this year and the Junior Cert higher-level paper I continued this trend with two "lovely" questions at the start of the paper.

"They would have put students at ease,"; said TUI representative Brid Griffin, who teaches at the Carlow Institute of Further Education.  "There's no choice of questions at Junior Cert level, so students would have been pleased with those."

The rest of the paper was viewed less favourably. "There was a bit of overkill when it came to algebraic expressions," Ms Griffin said.

"If you weren't into the application of algebra you'd have found yourself in trouble."

The third question threw too much information at students, she said. An issue that cropped up at Leaving Cert level also raised its head here. Questions are broken into three parts - (a), (b), and (c). Generally, part (c) contains an element designed to challenge the student aiming for an A. In question six, however, the (b) part was more challenging, which was "very unusual," according to Ms Griffin. About half of the 56,289 Junior Cert maths students opt for the higher-level paper.

This proportion drops significantly by Leaving Cert, although bonus points for higher-level maths have helped boost the numbers.