Exam Review – Maths Paper 2 Higher and Ordinary levels

“Where Junior Cycle meets with the Senior Cycle”

– A Review of Mathematics Paper 2 (Ordinary Level)  by Tomás Keane

Today’s Paper 2 exam was an approachable, student-friendly exam and showcased a wide array of topics and concepts. All students would have benefitted nicely from the question layout and content of the paper.

Section A would had been welcomed by most students as the level of difficulty resembled that of Junior Cycle Higher Level. Students that did higher level for their Junior Cycle would have benefitted greatly from this exam. This highlights the importance of consistency and hard work in the years prior to the Senior Cycle, and parents should take note of the parallels between both cycles. Mathematics should not be crammed and instead fostered at a young age.

The first four questions featured Paper 2 staples such as The Line, The Circle, Probability and Area. Due to the choice on the paper, students were able to omit more challenging parts of Q5 and Q6. Q5 asked students to adapt their knowledge of The Empirical Rule and Correlation, whilst Q6 had the construction of a circumcircle which hasn’t appeared since 2012. Constructions were hotly tipped this year since they didn’t appear on the 2020 November exam. Similar to Friday’s Paper 1 exam, students will be nicely rewarded in Section A.

Section B comprised of questions involving Statistics, Area & Volume, Trigonometry and Coordinate Geometry. The first two questions were more straight-forward, challenging students to showcase their knowledge of histograms, inferential statistics and trapezoidal rule. Question 9 beautifully blended the concepts of distance and trigonometry with an aircraft runway scenario. Question 10 was also a well-designed treasure map problem incorporating the concepts of coordinate geometry. Thankfully, there weren’t any major pitfalls in this section like in previous years. Students were very pleased leaving the exam, and this should be echoed across the country too.


Exam Review – Maths Higher Level Paper 2 by Aisling Kenny Naughton

This morning’s Maths paper 2 was a very manageable and straightforward exam. Unlike paper 1, it contained a wide range of topics. There were some tricky parts that could challenge students. However, if students took their time choosing their questions, they could have avoided any challenging parts.

Section A consisted of six questions. These included probability, coordinate geometry of the line, coordinate geometry of the circle, trigonometry and geometry. Question 5 had two parts. The first part dealt with area and volume and the second part was a distance/speed/time question that some students would have found very easy.

There were four questions in Section B. As students were only required to answer two questions, they could have concentrated completely on either Trigonometry or Probability here. Trigonometry featured in both questions 7 and 9. Question 7 involved questions about a triathlon course. Question 9(a) involved the flight path of an aeroplane and part (b) involved a trigonometric function. Both question 7 and 9 involved questions on distance/speed/time. Question 8 had a few different parts to it. Part (a) involved the normal distribution, (b) was a question about a  score and value and part (c) was straightforward probability. Question 10 was a shorter question requiring the use of Bernoulli trials and expected value.

Students were generally very happy with this exam. Although they found some parts challenging, their overall response was very positive.