Maths Paper 2 (H): A very tough and demanding paper
Reaction to Leaving Cert 2018 Maths Paper 2 (Higher Level) by Aidan Roantree, Senior Maths teacher at The Institute of Education.
A very demanding paper. To move beyond a H4 or a H5 would have required students to have a very good understanding of and versatility with the maths material. Section B was especially tough. The headline surprise is the inclusion of a question on financial maths on Paper 2. This normally appears exclusively on Paper 1. Overall, a few notable points were: there was only one question on co-ordinated geometry (there are normally 2); Also, the most difficult of the geometry proofs was asked, The Proof of Theorem 12. The B part of Question 8 was a completely new in depth analysis of the Margin of Error Approximation, which was very tough.
All in all Section A was by far the nicer part of the paper. Unusually there were three questions on probability and statistics, but only 1 on coordinated geometry.
Question 1 on the expected value in probability was a nice question although no table was given, students had to construct their own.
Question 2 on statistics dealt with the normal curve and Z scores. Topics that students should be familiar with.
Question3 was an unusual variation that concerned arrangements and included a part on the algebraic manipulation of factorials.
Question 4 was a very fair question on trigonometry. The A part was a standard trig equation and the B part concerned manipulating trig identities.
Question 5 was a coordinate geometry question, which was very fair, with the exception of a slightly complication in the C part.
Question 6 concerned geometry and was tough. The A part demanded The Proof of Theorem 12, and part B involved a challenging cut based on this theorem.
Question 7 was the nicest question in Section B, although it was very wide ranging. It covered areas and volumes and geometric and arithmetic sequences and series and a little trig.
Question 8 was a major question on statistics and financial maths. The A part was quite approachable for most students. The B part however was an in depth investigation of the standard error of proportion and the margin of error approximation. The C part was on financial maths, a major surprise and very tough as well, as it involved an increasing savings.
Question 9 was a shorter question on trigonometry and although it started with a couple of relatively easy parts, it soon became extremely difficult.