Nathan – Ordinary Level
Well to say that was a horrible paper would be the understatement of the year. I opened the paper and honestly don’t think I’ve ever felt so nervous about an exam paper it was just horrible. Project maths why do you hate me! Thank god I never have to sit another Maths paper ever again wooooo!
John – Higher Level
Despite the controversy, I see no-one’s blogged on this paper here yet. Well, better change that, eh? So, the teachers get their revenge on project maths. They took their punishment over the last couple of years. They had to teach courses that were totally foreign to them. They scratched their heads like the rest of us at the bizarre questions that were thrown up, while trying to reassure us that ‘nothing like that’ll come up on the leaving cert’. And now that the enemy has displayed a chink in its armour, they pounce.
In the SEC’s defence, the error in Q8 (a) would have had a minimal impact on any student’s approach to the exam (I certainly didn’t notice it, nor did any of my friends). The way the question was set up, you used your trigonometric ratios/sin rule/cosine rule to find the missing sides and you moved on. Only if you were paranoid enough to attempt to verify your calculations using an alternate method would you have discovered any discrepancy. I had more of a problem with how part (i) was phrased. Without the word ‘perpendicular’, there were a range of distances possible.
Still, it’s sloppy. If the SEC can’t design a triangle that can exist in the real world, it hardly fills you with confidence, does it? Apart from that, I thought it was a fairly nice paper. I think I managed to conquer ‘that fecking arbelos’ (as it’s now affectionately known), and the long stats/prob question was almost therapeutic. That wasn’t my opinion exactly when I opened the paper however. The very first question had me cursing the new course. ‘Explain a sample space.’ Well, it’s kinda……y’know… To add insult to injury there was a perfect example of what I was trying to define staring at me from the bottom of the page. I think I ended up writing something along the lines of ‘that yolk down there’ to supplement my shaky definition.
Question 2 on plants and growth hormones was typical of project maths: weird. It was less than crystal clear what they wanted you to do with their normal distributions, but I think I gave them what they wanted. Overall, I’m delighted with how the two papers went, and I must admit, a small part of me will be sad to see the back of the weird and wonderful world of project maths. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see the question in the edco sample paper on the cup of tea/telephone).
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.