Leaving Cert Maths Paper 1

Sarah – Higher Level

After last years fiasco over the Paper 1, and with the roll-out of the project maths scheme, it is fair enough to assume that quite a few eyes were on the first paper of maths. However, this years paper didn’t really throw anything too shocking our way, thankfully. Considering the amount of people who were horrified by the absence of Heaney and Plath in yesterday’s English Paper 2, and the Geography paper which I heard threw a lot of people (I don’t do Geography myself), it would have been a little too much, too soon for many students.

So there I was. Five minutes to two, with my two calculators (I forgot my calculator the morning of Maths Paper 1 in Junior Cert- I was NOT going to get caught again) and about forty pens, I was ready to go. Despite the natural butterflies, most of which were quenched by copious amounts of Rescue Remedy, I was totally ready to go! I knew what questions I would do, namely 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 and 8 with 5 as back-up, and I was confident that I could answer them well!

As I settled into the paper, my confidence flickered, but nothing too major! I kept my focus on the question I was doing without looking ahead, because I didn’t want to get thrown by something unfamiliar. The first question was fine until (c)(ii), which I simply hadn’t a clue of. It was only ten past two at that point, so after few attempts I moved on, with the intention of returning to complete it later on. The exact same thing happened in question 2: it took ten minutes to do the question down as far as part (c)(iii), at which point I was lost, so I moved on once again. Now, when the exact same thing happened in my third question, I got a biteen suspicious. So, on a whim, I decided to chance questions four and five (for the craic like)! Although our teacher covered Sequences and Series with us, I hadn’t paid attention as I had no intentions of doing the question. I basically made up my own mathematical rules, but from my vague recollection of what we had done in class, I reckoned it’d “be grand”, which is my latest motto. Despite not having much success in any of my part c’s, I did the paper, went back and worked on some questions and handed it up at half past four on the dot.

Overall, I thought the paper was reasonably fair and well-rounded. Some questions required a couple of readings and a bit of thought, such as Q3(c)(ii) and but in short, this paper suited those who weren’t doing Integration, as the (c) part was an unholy disaster of a question! I’m sure the marks will be rejigged for the “bell-curve” because as far as I know, no one could get it out! Here’s hoping for a better paper next Monday, I’m optimistic that we’ll get a nice paper to welcome in the new system (or at the very least it will be marked fairly). I’ll be posting again on Monday about the much anticipated Paper 2, but until then, chill out! The first week is officially over, so reward yourself! 🙂 x

Please note: blog posts reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union. Blogs are updated daily by 6.30 pm on scheduled examination dates.


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9 thoughts on “Leaving Cert Maths Paper 1

  1. Don’t think it was as bad as people are making out. It grand until you got to the (c) (iii) parts.

  2. I always avoid Q8. They’re taking it off the syllabus this year, so not really a surprise that it was hard. If they can show students are poor at it then they can prove they are right to take it off. Expect P2 to be marked quite easy for similar reasons.

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