Exam Review 2023 – Maths (Ordinary Level)

By Yeats College Maths teacher Mr. Tomas Keane

Overall, Maths Paper 1 was well received by many of my students. Paper 1 comprised of questions that were equally fair and challenging. When compared to previous years, this exam was more of a numerical paper than an algebraic paper.

The level of difficulty was in line with previous years. However, it is now a growing trend that students’ level of comprehension and overall understanding is being examined at all levels. Students need to understand the theory and not rely on rote learning.

Both papers challenged students to utilise many parts of their knowledge into each question. This meant that students had to display a variety of knowledge when it came to their exam performance. It also penalised students that cut the course.

Paper 1 focused heavily on financial maths, arithmetic and functions. For the first time, sequences and series, a firm favourite with students, did not appear on the paper. Instead, Paper 2 topics like Area and Volume were more prevalent. Paper 2 was a more visual paper consisting of questions involving geometry, probability, statistics, area and volume. Both papers had tricky aspects. However, the resounding message from my students was that both papers were approachable and fair.

My advice for future Leaving Certificate students is to ensure that you understand all aspects of the course and to expect questions to crossover. It is also important to be able to think quickly on your feet and not feel discouraged by an unusual paper.