Maths Paper 2 (O) 2019: A manageable but very long paper

Reaction to Leaving Cert 2019 Maths Paper 2 (Ordinary Level) by Jean Kelly, Maths teacher at The Institute of Education.

This was a long paper, with lots for students to do in each question. Students will have needed the full two and a half hours to complete the paper. There was a nice mixture of topics within questions. A number of topics, including displacement and Archimedes Principal, appeared for the first time. The language used on the paper was clear and concise and students were prompted in the right direction.


Very straight-forward short questions.

Question 1, on statistics and probability, was very nice.

Question 2, on the line, was also very manageable.

Question 3 was a lovely question on probability.

Question 4, Part B, involved finding the centre of a circle, inscribed in a square. If students kept their cool, they would have been well able for this question.

Question 5, Part B was on the speed at which water flows through a pipe. Students might have found this tricky, as this type of question hasn’t appeared before.

In Question 6, students were asked to construct a parallelogram. This had not been asked before, but it was nice and straight-forward and students would have been well prepared for it. Part B, finding angles in a triangle, may have challenged weaker students.


Question 7 on statistics was nice and manageable. The last table, in Part D, may have thrown a few students.

Question 8 was on area and volume mixed with statistics. The combination might have thrown some students. This was also the first time displacement and Archimedes Principal have appeared.

In Question 8, Part B, margin of error, hypothesis testing and confidence intervals all appeared. This was the 3rd year running that all three have featured on the paper.

Question 9 was on trigonometry. The diagram at the start was nice and clear. Each associated question then showed the relevant part of the diagram again, to make it clear to students what they were being asked to find.