Maths Paper 1

Earlier in the day it was geography and then the big one this afternoon – Maths (paper 1). By far and away the most hated leaving cert subject… high failure rates, poor numbers at honours level… the stats don’t lie. Today it seems Maths continued to perplex and frustrate most of you guys…


Nicola: higher level paper was absolutely torture!!!!

Hana: terrible 🙁

Niall: Relatively ok. There were a few chewy bits but I’d say I got either a B1 or A2 overall.

Ailbhe: Was great

Laura: Was Shit horrible awful crap rotten… Shall i continue?

Danielle: maths was hard

Ciara: maths paper 1 = disaster!!!

Shauna: Maths went deadly 🙂 wooo dis day next week ill be finished the leaving  🙂 🙂

Michael: maths paper 1… not to shabby 😀 plans 4 de weekend……… study for paper 2 😀

Jazmine: Six exams left & maths was easy today 🙂

Katie: if i wasn’t failing maths already i def am after today!!

Jay: ordinary maths more like rocket science!!!!!!

Donagh: i actually enjoyed that maths paper

Oisin: (HL) really weird. finished every qs (i could do) in an hour and a half but it was fairly weird like. maybe did well enough – around 70ish – but could also have done really badly

Karmel: maths paper 1 woz a disaster! worst one i seen in the pass paper books since 1999!

Judy : fucking ******** was a absolute joke


@Kloecor: Maths paper 1 was a complete fail!!!

@XxKizxX: Listening to @CountdownTo906 🙂 im glad they thought OL maths paper 1 was hard and not just me 🙂

@iSparkleToo: Ow. Math headache 🙁

@BeHappy_x: Maths paper 1 was EASY. Geography was okay! 😀

@Deehaul: When you see other people struggling with the exam it makes you feel a bit better..

@Dillonon: geography went alright, maths was a sheer disaster :

62 thoughts on “Maths Paper 1”

  1. Maths Paper 1 Higher Level easiest Paper ever people shouldn’t complain if you found it hard you clearly couldn’t even do the basics which was what the paper was I’m sorry but it’s the truth.

  2. pass maths was impossible..i heard on the radio today that 4 of the part c’s wernt even on the course anymore and the maths commission is putting in a complaint to the department!!this is good news guys!!!!!!!

    1. are you serious. Is this pass or higher. I thought it was sick. (OL) But i’m glad i’m not the only one

  3. Maths Paper 1 Higher Level easiest Paper ever people shouldn't complain if you found it hard you clearly couldn't even do the basics which was what the paper was I'm sorry but it's the truth.

    1. Haha, easiest paper ever, NOT
      i managed well on it, but it definately was not nice, there were multiple questions that came up that I had never even done a question similar to before, i think to can take your stuck up attitude and shove it you know where.

    2. Really? Isn’t that strange that you found it as the quote ‘easiest paper ever, when there were several maths professors who even struggled to answer it. And as for basics? Tell me this, what was basic about the graphs? The part c on integration? The ridiculous ‘in terms of x’ in question 7. How did u approach answering these? Ridiculous statement to make, such a horrible paper after 2 long years of hard work.

    3. There’s no need to write those things on a forum where everybody is clearly upset about how hard it was. If you found it fine, then keep it to yourself. That’s just heartless.

    4. Perhaps
      A: it is not the first time you sat the Leaving Cert, or,
      B: you have not only had an excellent teacher, but also expensive grinds (which most smug students rarely admit to).
      It is generally accepted that important elements on the paper were not in most people’s curriculum text books. Many other questions have not shown themselves in recent exam papers. This was not an easy paper, teachers, lecturers and students overall agree on this.
      You must thank your grinds teacher for covering the extra areas not reached in many Irish classrooms, even in my son’s fee paying school. Whether or not you did as well as you believe in Maths, you certainly deserve an A1 in being an arrogant toad.

    5. Dear Galmon

      Thats a bit harsh,
      Aidan Roantree said, and i quote, “Only exceptional candidates could have coped with the mathematical challenges that this paper presented. Not a paper to encourage the adoption of Higher maths

      A special talent for maths was required for this paper; hard work alone may not have sufficed….”

      It’s unreasonable to criticise the students saying they ”clearly” couldn’t do the basics, it’s a narrow minded statement that I am sure no Maths educator would agree with.

      Good day sir

  4. pass maths was impossible..i heard on the radio today that 4 of the part c's wernt even on the course anymore and the maths commission is putting in a complaint to the department!!this is good news guys!!!!!!!

  5. maths paper 1 was hard for those who struggle at it .. but for those too lazy 2 do honours – like myself – it was easy enough … not sayin some of those c parts werent hard .. but gave them a good go so ill get most marks for attempting it at least

  6. are you serious. Is this pass or higher. I thought it was sick. (OL) But i'm glad i'm not the only one

  7. maths paper 1 was hard for those who struggle at it .. but for those too lazy 2 do honours – like myself – it was easy enough … not sayin some of those c parts werent hard .. but gave them a good go so ill get most marks for attempting it at least

  8. maths paper 1 why do they do this to the people who struggle?? its supposed to be fucking pass and now im definetly heading for a fail, no chance of the course i wanted. when i worked hard to do honours in everything else, its a fuking disgrace

  9. maths paper 1 was one of the easiest papers they have ever given, there was hints in every question by the way they were worded as to what to do. if u had a good maths teacher it was a breeze! if paper 2 is as easy i will be one happy camper! seriously like it could have been a way way harder

  10. maths paper 1 why do they do this to the people who struggle?? its supposed to be fucking pass and now im definetly heading for a fail, no chance of the course i wanted. when i worked hard to do honours in everything else, its a fuking disgrace

    1. i’m the exact same! i need a C3 to get my course,and know i dount im gonna it…i always thought paper 1 was my good paper! my only pass subject and all! i’m furious! dreading paper 2!

  11. maths paper 1 was one of the easiest papers they have ever given, there was hints in every question by the way they were worded as to what to do. if u had a good maths teacher it was a breeze! if paper 2 is as easy i will be one happy camper! seriously like it could have been a way way harder

  12. maths paper 1 was ridiculous!!!wat the fuck wer they at……i almost cryed when i seen the paper…it was nothing like the previous years papers which really annoyed alot of us coz we worked from them!!whoever wote dat paper should be shot and the same for paper 2…the circle question was messed up…probobli repeating next year thanks to the cunt dat wrote it

  13. All those people saying honours maths paper 1 was easy are scaremongers and no one should listen to them. 7 part c asked a question with diagrams that had a curve coming from the origin after they say x could not equal 0. It was a paper designed specifically to make project maths results look amazing in comparison

    1. All those comments that say it was easy were left in 2010 so if you look back it makes more sense…but this year higher paper was impossible..and completely unfair..I feel so cheated because most likely I thats 2 years of my life wasted because i’ll have to repeat just because they decided to be assholes and make it so so difficult..

  14. I did higher level, and before the exams I did every paper as far back as 1996 and I can’t say without doubt that that was the hardest paper I’ve ever seen! It’s just cruel! All that time studying, all those extra classes we did just to finish the course and they throw THAT at us! It’s just so unfair. They constantly b**ch that the number of students taking higher is decreasing. Well WTF do they expect if they’re going to give exams that difficult! . . .
    I’m praying that Paper 2 will be a nice paper, because if it’s anything like that then I’m only going to scrape a pass, and I’m usually an A student. Even the smartest guy in my maths class foubd it impossible!
    I just feel so cheated! They’re supposed to test our abilities at maths, not put us in a panicked frenzy!
    And don’t forget, for those who fail maths, they fail their entire LC and with if they want to repeat they will either have to go all the way back to 5th year or do double the work in 6th year because of the new course!
    Congratulation to the State Examination Commission for screwing over every higher student in the country!

    1. I could not agree with you more, maybe I am not an A student but morning before the exam I did an entire past paper dont remember what year it was but anyway I could do every single question and in the exam..couldnt do a thing. It was so so unfair on us..espcecially that as you said there is the new course so if we fail thats not jus one year of our lives wasted but most likely two years…

  15. ya dead right julie, but the above comments are from 2010!!:P pure joke this year in honours, they should have continued as previous years.

  16. I’ll tell ya, Higher level maths paper 1 was a nightmare. According to my maths teacher it was by far the hardest exam he ever saw, and this is coming after the piss easy 2010 exam. Things like the disc question and certain elements of algebra questions (in one the answer was supposed to be any variable up to infinity – even took my teacher a while to figure out!) not to mention the structure of the paper…. Basically, if you worked hard for 2 years doing all the past papers, learning the exam structure etc., it was all worthless.

    It doesn’t really matter anyway, I knew from the start of the year these lads would want to make this course look terrible so they can have a good cushion for when Project Maths falls flat on its arse. (Honestly, look at their higher level paper 1 on if you want a good laugh. Junior cert stuff.) Its all politics and it depresses me particularly to know we have people in education willing to mess with students futures. How many people do you think were banking on maths? I for one dropped down to Gnathleibheal Irish because I thought I was capable of getting at least a B in maths. Looks like a low C / D grade at this rate, unless paper 2 is any good (which I HIGHLY doubt (as does my teacher (parentheses withing a parentheses? PARENCEPTION!)))

    Leaving the exam at least 4 girls burst out in tears, and these were gals you’d peg to be getting their A1’s and A2’s in maths… not to mention the lads that’ll be repeating… Honestly, what a shambles.

    End of the day, its only an exam I suppose, but if some people lose their course choices, or, god forbid, have to repeat because some lousy gimps up in the Department of education want to use them as an example, then may the lord have mercy on the future of this country.

  17. Maths paper 1 Ordinary Level was absolutely horrendous today – it was totally unjust to all us students who worked so hard to try to even pass it. My strong opinion is that they deliberately set it so hard, so that the fail rate would be enormous and that would cull the amount of people who would get a college place ,seeing as there is a shortage of them they had to do something and we are the ones now going to suffer. They have gambled our futures away – those people who are setting the exams havent a clue about the real world. No wonder suicide is so prevelant among young people. exams! points! PRESSURE
    emai: [email protected]

    Please please please just send the email – pass it on!!

  18. Was reading gregs comment there and he said there was a question relating to parenthesis… Im in 2 nd year at college doing computers and am only learning parenthesis… Feel sorry for the ppl doin tht exam.. Hope u all get a fair grade

  19. I was an A student in ordinary for 3 years, highest in my year and class every year.

    I have never felt so hopeless in an exam.
    I sat there while people around me actually had to leave because they were crying.

    That paper is ridiculous!

  20. that higher level maths was horrible..of course i tried all of the parts that i could, but it was rotten. i was hoping for a high grade in maths because it is one of my best subjects but that doesn’t look to be now.
    and if we have to repeat god forbid will we have to go back to 5th year just to try and understand the new maths and Irish course?? it was completely unjust! >:(

  21. I am writing this with regards the higher level paper one
    examination, which I believe was a complete joke.
    is it not bad enough that we as leaving cert higher level maths
    students will not be able to avail of the 25 extra points for honours
    level maths coming into play next year?
    The paper did not test our mathematical ability but send students into
    a frenzy. yes the paper may be marked a little easier but do you
    believe this is enough when many students were so put off by the paper
    they literally were unable to write, its hard eough cope with
    answering questions you have covered in an exam situation faced with
    inconsiderate, cold and uncaring supervisors without beng faced with
    questions you had never even seen anything like before. yes it
    remarked on the radio it was not unlike the exams in the 70’s but
    please tell me which exam paper publisher writes those papers?
    they dont! because you changed the structure th type of questions yes
    you as an examining body and we were suppost to have been able to
    avail of these papers? which arent even published on the internet.
    exam from long before we were born, well thank you.
    It is a paper which has put our college places at jeprody. Our whole
    future, you dont just fail maths you fail your entire leaving cert!
    from the point of view of being a dyslexic student reading off the
    pink paper is challenging enough without worring about missing
    valuable information which simply wasnt provided.
    as for question 8 part c the circle is generally on paper two any
    particular reason why you’d you chang the structure of the paper?
    one teacher even remarked it was more like project maths than our
    maths course! and well our maths course is big enough without having
    to cover next years! a course which dosnt concern us or wasnt suppost
    to anyway!
    i hope you realise that not only have you further stressed us out but
    also sent us into a feeling of depression and my fellow classmates and
    i have even discovered an inability to revise for our exams which
    follow yesterdays catastrophy because simply we are utterly dismayed.
    its clear it is all a plan to make the introduction of the new maths
    course a success in comparison to our flop of an exam. even though the
    ammount who registered to take the higher paper had reached an all
    time low, even lower than that of the 2007 exam. with an average of
    one in five students dropping on the morning of the exam.
    i hope ye as an examining body are happy messing with the futures of
    irish young people may lord have mercy on the future of this country
    when its handed over to us, us who will undoubtedly lose many of our
    course choices as yes some of us do rely on maths for points and not
    only that but to actually pass our leaving cert.
    the economic recession already offered us students little hope except
    that of emigration. so say goodbye to our much cherished educated
    workforce as we all leave for jobs across the wide oceans and wave
    goodbye to the much needed tnc’s who cherish this workforce.
    as many students will not bother repeating but simply leave, whats the
    point in staying here to be handed another maths paper.

  22. I think Mary Moloney’s idea is brilliant. If you too were disappointed with either the higher or ordinary level maths papers send an email to:[email protected]
    Post this to facebook and twitter and any other social networking site you can think of and lets get as many complaints as we can into these b******s. Yes we can!

  23. As someone who is barely passing Higher maths this was a disaster… I got a wake up call in my mock exams when I only got 150 points with 6 honors subjects :/ I worked hard on my maths but I knew that it would tough but that paper was ridiculus. It was by far the hardest paper I’ve seen and that’s including the much harder 90s papers >:( I’m not one to feel pressure and if I had to repeat I would put the effort in but the point is I shouldn’t have to repeat… The point of education is to help a student grow but making exams like that is not the way forward.. I feel for those who left crying because they’re under so much pressure to pass.. Admittedly my Paper 2 skills are far better than Paper 1 but I most likely need to get 60% in it to pass and to be honest my maths confidence is shot.. I’m sure there are many other students like me who were just scraping by in maths and hoping for a break but I’m afraid the trend looks certain to continue and I for one feel like next year I’ll have to repeat and that is a waste of my time as well as taxpayers money.. All I want to do is study Computer Applications at DCU but now it seems so far away 🙁

  24. Just wanted to point out that those who are saying the paper was easy are talking about 2010 – which it was.

  25. Well, im sorry people that say the majority couldnt do the basics right??? so those people really didnt put their arses and more into it, perhaps got grinds on top, 40 quid an hour. REALLY, COME on!!!! that paper was treachery, and lookin at the project maths paper, even more treachery, the fact the state have had to defend that eveything asked was in ‘the perimeters of the syllabes’ shows all, whata joke, they should be a shamed, give that to anyone who got a1s in previos years and theyd struggle, wait even a maths teacher with masters went on the radio 1 sayin he struggled in parts…..all iv to say to those who thought it was ok, fair play to ye, really….but have some sympathy as id say bou 75% are worried of failure, even before paper 2, and btw paaper two will be much the same!!!!

  26. I personally feel that maths paper 1 was a disaster. My maths teacher has been teaching maths for more than 20 years. I was taught the entire maths syllabus. I am an A grade student and I found it extremely difficult. The questions were phrased very poorly and the order of questions were messed up on occasion. I was hoping to do engineering after leaving school, and I need a C3 in honours and 470ish points for my course. After that paper I may not get my course or any of my Cao choices as nearly all of them are engineering courses that require a C3 in honours maths. I feel that the paper was unfair as I was told to go over past and sample papers as the questions would be of a similar of format and difficulty level, over the past year I would have done over 200 exam questions and none of them were as difficult as the questions yesterday. What am I suppose to do now as I don’t understand how the exam board can suddenly change the format of an exam when it’s the last year of the course. I am extremely distraught that my future is now very uncertain. It would be almost impossible to repeat next year if the worst was to happen, as it is now a different course. Several of my friends were obviously shaken by the experience of this awful paper. Several people burst into tears during and after the exam. I feel it’s a terrible mistake that the people who set the exam tried to integrate parts of the new project maths course into the paper when I hadn’t been taught how to do it. Question 8(c) was an awful question that gave no information. It was asked once before in 1998 and there was a hint given beside the question and people didn’t attempt it. This time around there was no hint and it was next to impossible to do with the information given. They are trying to make honours maths more appealing as too few people do it, after this catastrophe of an exam no one will want to do it in the future. They are adding an additional 25 points to all honours maths results as of next year I feel after that disaster of an exam that they should add 50 points this year as otherwise the grades will be atrocious and the chance of more people doing it next year is a deluded fantasy. My understanding of the Leaving Certificate was that it was a showcase of your abilities and your knowledge of the required areas of the subjects. However the maths paper was of the same level as second year maths in collage and thus far beyond the ability of myself and many of my classmates

    I am planning on going to my local TD to submit a complaint. And would like to know if anything will be done to rectify this mistake, maybe re-sitting the exam as it was nothing like any of the past exams since the syllabus was brought in and mine and many of my friends future hang by a thread.

    1. I completely agree with u Alex, even the O.L maths was just as bad. A complete disaster!
      I hope you get to do the course you want…

  27. Just like to express my disappointment at the higher level maths paper 1. I, like many other people, am applying for various engineering courses in university, all of which require a C3 minimum in higher level maths. I now will have an anxious wait over the summer to see if I met these basic requirements. I just think it’s disgraceful that the examination commission would allow such a paper pass through all the checks that papers go through just for the sake of making the project maths results look good. To shame

  28. I’ve read all those comments and agree with the majority of them. (The ones that express dissapointment at the higher level maths paper 1.)
    I think it’s ridiculous that for the sake of the country’s new ”great project maths system” looking good, they would mess with people’s lives and course choices. Making the paper so hard, especially on the most chosen questions was cruel. They knew what they were doing.
    Going by maths PROFESSIONALS not being able to figure out some questions, what does that say for us?
    It’s shameful. The State Examinations Commision are always complaining about people not doing higher level. But what the hell do they expect?
    I can guarantee after this year at least 10% of people doing higher level maths will drop down to ordinary level in September.
    Girls in my school who you would expect to get A1s, A2s, high Bs were crying after the exam. I think it’s downright shameful that they done this to us.
    If they wanted Project Maths to look so great they should have made a great system. It’s selfish (as Ireland always is) to mess with our lives to make other people think their new system is brilliant.
    Well done State Examinations, well done.

  29. (HL) From mistakes on the paper (q7) to project maths and proofs that aren’t on our course(8c) it’s obvious that the paper was a disgrace. Maths professors on national radio said they couldn’t even do a number of the questions. How the hell do they expect us to be able to?
    Having been horrified at that pathetic excuse for an exam I took it upon myself to email Ruraí Quinn the minister for education, hours after the exam.
    There’s no point complaining on a web page about it. We have to tell them we’re not going to put up with it.

    Here’s the email address if you too feel the need: [email protected]

    1. I had a look at this paper to find out what all the fuss was about. There were NO mistakes in it. I would be very very surprised if there are any maths professors out there who couldn’t do the paper. If so they are impostors!I am not even close to being a maths professor by any stretch and I found it very doable. Admittedly there were one or two tricky parts which is what one should expect in a higher level maths paper but nothing like as difficult as the papers in the seventies when I did my leaving.
      The three diagrams in Question 7(c) merely required students to know that the derivative of a function gives the slope of its graph. If students do not know this they have no business doing questions on differentiation!
      The answer to the parametric differentiation question in Q 7(b)(ii)comes out easily to be 2(t-1)/(t+1) which is clearly equal to 2x.
      Finally I couldn’t help but notice that many of the comments posted here are riddled with the most awful spelling, grammatical and punctuation mistakes (- not to mention gratuitous expletives), which doesn’t reflect very well on literacy standards of 2011 Leaving Certificate students. Hope for their sake that the English Papers were easy!

  30. I’m very I interested in this discussion and am thinking of becoming a maths teacher. I’d really like to see the paper 1 that I’m hearing about so much. Can anyone scan the paper or link it here please? Thanks. I’d really like to try the questions myself

  31. I love Maths. Its weird I know. I didnt take the paper because im not in 6th yr but it wasnt too bad when I saw it. It is bad form though to put things that arent on the syllabus and down right rude for the department to say that it was within the parameters of the syllabus or some mumbo-jumbo like that. All in all I wish all the people worrying about the paper good luck and hope they get the points and grades they deserve!

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