Monthly Archives: April 2010

Report on Ordinary Level Sample paper 2 April 2010

Report on Project Maths Paper 2 ordinary level April 2010

April 22nd, 2010 | Author: webmaster |

The NCCA and project maths produced a second paper 2 for both Higher and ordinary level the papers can be downloaded using the link on the page.

We had the paper examined by a group of teachers and some students from a Dublin Project maths school here are the comments.

Question 1 Just the usual area and volume question no issues.

Question2; Strand 1 probability on the face of it a very easy question .Some teachers questioned the use of the words expected value.Part (b)would have gone over the head of most Ordinary level students.

Question3; Strand 2 Very Similiar to question 4 on the regular Leaving cert Ordinary level but worth a lot more marks!

Question 4: Strand 1 Not unlike a typical question 6b from the old course but giving 10 marks for the part c was just trying to make a point. A normal ordinary level student would not have even attempted part (c).

Question5; Strand 2:  This question is very similiar to question 2b, 2009 ordinary level paper 2 and question 3b on Ordinary level paper 2 .It just confirms all our suspicions that the NCCA and the SEC would like to have a seamless transition from the regular Lc to project maths. Both of these questions were very badly attempted in 2009 .It is very obvious that whoever is setting these questions has never taught LC Ord maths.One West Dublin school teacher informed us that they had been told to study this sample paper and the solutions that the exam in June would be very similiar.

Question 6 strand 2: No issues here very similiar to Q3 on the regular paper.

Question 7: Strand 1 Part (a) no issues but again they examined a definition, we were told there was to be no rote learning.

Part (b) No real issues very similiar to regular leaving cert.

Question 8 Strand 2; Part (a)Much to elaborate No student in our group could figure out the diagram  in part (b).It has been policy in recent years to always give the diagram in Ord Level Trig questions.

Question9A :( a)Strand 1;Stem and leaf plot no issues (b)More rote learning (c)Lots of confusion about the Tukey quick test (d)Fairly typical question based on Cumulative frequency table note that the margin of error allowed in (e)(i) is far greater than is acceptable in regular LC.

Question 9B Strand 2: Most of our students could not cope with this question .In a survey of a number of schools .Most students have been advised by their teachers not to do this question.

One West Dublin school teacher informed us that they had been told to study ( learn  off by heart)this sample paper and the solutions that the exam in June would be very similiar.


It is pretty obvious that the purpose of this paper is to move some of the weaker Ordinary level students to foundation level .There is a policy (see Chief Examiners report 2005 page 48 and previous reports) that the breakdown for leaving cert maths uptake should be 25% taking Higher maths, 50% taking Ordinary level and 25% taking foundation level. The present uptake is 16% taking Higher, 70% taking Ordinary and 14% taking foundation. A very simple but crude way to achieve this policy is to lower the standard on the Higher maths (increase uptake by 3,000) see report .Raise the standard on the Ordinary level by making it too confusing for regular Ordinary level students (get 5,000 to drop to foundation level).Meanwhile lobby the 3rd level institutions and Industry to accept foundation level.

April 2010

Pre-Leaving Certificate Project Maths (H) Feb2010 report

This report was compiled with the help of students and teachers from project maths schools.

Question 1 (strand 2 ) Very simple question not really at Higher level standard .Again the preoccupation with slopes.Very Similiar to 2007  Question 2b(iii) Ordinary level paper 2.

Question 2 (a,b,c)(Strand2) Again very easy .Part (d) there is a token question on Vectors. Is this the last time we will see vectors on a leaving cert paper?Vectors are being dropped despite the fact that they are examined on every 3rd level 1st year maths paper.

Question 3 (Strand 1):No real; issues here . Advice get yourself a calculator which can calculate the correlation coefficient.

Question 4:(strand 2) (a) This is a glorified Junior cert question (b)The solution given by the NCCA assumes that α + β = 180° which is not necessarily the case  and a fault in the question (The examiner should have indicated that  line pq was a straight line).Hopefully errors like this will not occur in the exam in June.

Question 5 (strand 1) No issues with this our students were happy .Our teachers felt that the standard of the questions so far was well below the regular Leaving Higher maths.

Question 6; (strand 2)This is the first time that Euclidian Geometry has appeared on a Leaving Cert Higher in the last 50 years .The construction of the circumcircle was asked in 2009 higher junior Cert(H)Q3 paper 2 .Further evidence that Project maths at Higher Lc represents a real drop in standard to try to encourage more students to take higher maths.Our teachers  said Part (b) was a nonsense question.

Section B  (150 marks)

Question 7 (strand 1) (a)Very basic question just about Junior Cert Higher standard although you would only get 10 marks for the diagram in the Junior Cert.The questions based on the diagram were a bit vague in our students opinion (students hate this type of question as they never know if they have given the required answer)

Question 8 ;(strand 2) Most of our students felt that this question was far to fussy.The peoccupation with Geometry is putting many students off and will definitly send more students from higher to ordinary.

On another point the inclusion of a this particular military aircraft on the exam was considered inappropriate.

Question 9(A) strand 1;Very similiar to current LC higher Probability option no complints .The marking scheme again much more generous than the current LC .

9(B)strand 2 .Just learn your theorems again generous marking .(b)Just a question based on the sine rule and cosine rule .The cats eyes part was marked very easy.

Comment ; If it was not known already ,here is definite evidence of the dumbing down of Leaving Cert Higher maths . Apart from question 9A the rest of the paper was at a much lower standard than the regular Higher LC paper. The inclusion of so much geometry /probility and statistics and the removal of important topics such as ,Vectors/Integration/MacLauren Series/Max and Min problems/difference equations/ Linear Transformations /parametric equations/real trig equations/ many of the formal proofs,.has seriously devalued what was once an excellent Leaving cert higher maths syllabus.

Project maths students need help

Following recent discussions with project maths students who will sit the leaving cert in 7 weeks .

The following are a sample of comments

(i)”We are getting very worried at this stage we have not a clue as to what to expect (neither does our teacher  but she does her best ) but we are working from bundles of notes. We have done 2 sample papers (the second one was full of errors ).We have not been shown the sample marking scheme although a local teacher in a non project school was able to show it to us.We do not know what is on or off the syllabus .In the trial paper we sat in October the same question on a stem plot was on the Ord and Higher whats the story ? (J Wesley college)

In Loreto Dalkey many of our class have dropped from higher to ordinary level they just cannot take the chance .We also think that geometry on Higher maths is a Joke!My parents are going mad why are we forced to this paper ? We feel we are the guinea pigs .It’s not fair .Our teachers are trying to keep us calm and say that we will be looked after hope so !(M Loreto Dalkey).

Castleknock College .

Our teachers are doing there best but panic is setting in .Our principal is a maths teacher and he assures us it will be ok but other schools have sample papers we have nothing except bundles of notes . (R Castleknock college )

Many students and parents have contacted us at  all asked us to not give their name and their privicy will always be respected.

Minister admits Project maths Syllabus not finalised


The following is a quote from former minister of Education Batt O Keeffe  to a parlimentary question from Deputy Rory Quinn  labour spokesman on Education .When asked if the syllabus for 5th year project maths were finalised  a matter which is crucial for the authors of text books and teachers.

The Ministers reply is as follows :

“The syllabuses for Strands 1 and 2,
already available in draft form, will be finalised in the light of experience
in the 24 project schools, and will issue to all schools this  summer.”

Therefore the syllabus as of April 2010 is not finalised .Which is very interesting for the students from the 24project schools who will sit the exam in June 2010.