Review of Applied Maths Higher Level paper by Hillary Dorgan, Applied Maths teacher at The Institute of Education.
Applied Maths has been shaken up in the past two years with two very challenging Leaving Cert papers in 2013 and 2014. This paper is fairer and nearer the right balance.
Some of the questions were extremely long and there is a very strong case for a paper like this being given 3 hours in the exam rather than the current 2.5 hours.
A well prepared student, who has a good understanding of the concepts and who can remain calm under stressful examination conditions had the chance to do well here. On the other hand, a student who has only had one or two classes a week in Applied Maths and hasn’t had time to practise some ‘alternative’ questions may have found the going tough, particularly Questions 6 and 10.
The examiner has attempted to make the questions more real to life, which is to be welcomed. This is particularly shown in Question 1, b (rain falling), Question 3, a (a tennis problem), Question 6, b (a skier on a hillside travelling with circular motion), Question 9, b (a ship and its depth in sea-water and fresh-water) and Question 10, b (the increase in costs of a production company).