All Leaving Cert Mathematics posts
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    Repeat LCO Maths - what topic covers what question? HKitty

    Hi, I'm working independently and attending grinds once per week but having difficulty choosing topics to study one by one and am getting overwhelmed looking at the whole course.

    Can anyone tell me what topic/topics to study in relation to each Q on Paper 1 and Paper 2? To me its all confusing and I can't pick and choose, thanks.

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      This is an excellent question, and not as simple as some people would have you believe. Here's the guidance we give on this:

      In summary, it is true to say that Strands 1 and 2 (Stats, Prob, and all parts of Geometry) are the main element of Paper 2, with Strands 3 to 5 (Number, Algebra and Functions) the main element of Paper 1. However, there can be overlap of strands across both papers.

      In particular, you could get questions about length, area and volume in either paper. "Number" is fundamental to maths, and so could be in either paper, and algebra occurs across more than one strand.

      Having said all of that, it seems likely that there would be more overlap across papers at Leaving Cert level than at Junior Cert level.

      Our advice would still be to avoid making too many assumptions when it comes to last minute revision.



      If you would like the detailed answer, we previously corresponded with the NCCA about this, and this was their response:

      "While there is still generally the same breakdown of topics between the two papers [as before], there is less of a clear line of separation than in the past. The particular case of length, area and volume is a case in point. Nonetheless, there remains the general expectation that Strands 1 and 2 will feature on Paper 2, with the other strands on Paper 1.

      At both LCOL and LCHL, allowance is made for the inclusion of aspects of length, area and volume in questions normally associated with strand 2 topics (and thus appearing on paper 2), even though this length, area and volume can rightfully arise on Paper 1, where other elements of Strand 3 are also examinable. In the 2013 exams, for example, this meant that something of the order of 25 marks out of the 300 on Paper 2 at LCHL were allocated to Strand 3; at Ordinary level, this was of the order of 50 marks. For Junior Certificate, the allocation for length, area and volume on Paper 2 was of the order of 50 marks at both OL and HL.

      As the changed emphases and approaches bed in, students and teachers will become more familiar with the linkages across the strands and will see the ‘connectedness’ within mathematics, as well as between mathematics and everyday life."

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      Sorry, posted under the wrong account above :-)

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      Hi, thanks for your reply, I genuinely appreciate it, however it has not provided me with any more clarity than if I were to look at the Strands/strand units on the NCCA website.

      I originally sat my LC in 2003, and am working full time while repeating this subject. I am finding it extrememly difficult to find time in which to study and I would like to be able to organise my study sessions so that I know I am prepared for x number of questions off each exam paper. The Studyclix website lists 18 topics for OL Mathematics,


      Algebra - Equations

      Area and Volume


      Calculus- Differentiation

      Complex Numbers

      Coordintate Geometry - the line



      Geometry (proofs and constructions)

      Graphing Functions


      Number Systems


      Sequences and Series

      Statistics and Data

      The Circle


      I suppose I should have asked which exam question corresponds to which topic in my original question. In some cases I think I know which area to study but then when I attempt a question there are elements that I have no idea which topic to study to enable myself to answer the question.

      I prefer to study in a systematic way whereby I can check off my progress so ideally I could study whatever topic relates to Papper 1, Q1 first, Q2 second, and so on, is there any guidance you could suggest to facilitate this? As it is right now I am totally overwhelmed with the amoungt I need to cover and cannot see my way through it...thanks in advance!

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      Hi, I will try to help you some more. There are a few things to note:

      1. P1Q1, P1Q2 etc are never going to be mapped to particular topics. It just doesn't work like that with Project Maths.

      2. Any question could have elements from more than one strand

      3. But generally, section A questions tend to be more focused on single strands. Remember however that Number comes into everything, and Algebra can also come into other areas. Section B questions can involve multiple strands

      4. Paper 1 is more focused on strands 3 to 5 (Number, Algebra, Functions and Calculus), while Paper 2 is mostly strands 1 and 2 (Prob, Stats, and all parts of Geometry). As mentioned, Area and Volume can appear on P1 or P2.

      If someone tries to give you a simpler answer, then they are not being honest. This is how it is set up now, so it's better to know the reality, even if it is more awkward than in the past.

      I really hope this helps you.


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      If it helps, here are the strands associated with the topics you list:

      Algebra - S4

      Algebra - Equations - S4

      Area and Volume - S3

      Arithmetic - S3

      Calculus- Differentiation - S5

      Complex Numbers - S3

      Coordintate Geometry - the line - S2

      Counting - S1

      Geometry - S2

      Geometry (proofs and constructions) - S2

      Graphing Functions - S5

      Indices - S4

      Number Systems - S3

      Probability - S1

      Sequences and Series - S3

      Statistics and Data - S1

      The Circle - S2

      Trigonometry - S2


      If you are using these to help with your planning, make sure that you don't take these to be 18 equal-sized elements.

      The course is broken down into 5 strands, so that is the best way to map out your planning. I suggest you start with the Number strand, then Algebra, then Functions and Calculus, then Stats and Prob, then Geometry. If you are using a book or an online system, then you can use those to help you plan. Just make sure you are covering all parts of all strands, and that you are giving each strand equal weighting.

      Hope this helps,


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      Finally, bear in mind that unlike in 2003, you have no choice whatsoever within the exam, so you have to do all parts of all questions.

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      Thanks again for the replies; I remember absolutely nothing about the 2003 paper, and in fact sat Foundation maths that year so I cannot draw on that experience, I was simply highlighting how long it has been since I have interacted with the LC maths curriculum. While I do appreicate your responses, unfortunately the Strands are extrememely difficult to interpret when the book I am using, Active Maths, is broken into topics on the contents page. I find this website useful in that the list of 18 topics links in with specific exam questions, and I think what I am really seeking is an interpretation of what exam question the ones given on this website correlates to. Eg I click on Statistics and Data - S1 means nothing to me, but Paper 2 Q4 is tanglible, I can correlate that to my study...does that make sense? I find the strands overwhelming and I will not be able to use them as a guide to my study when no reference is made to strands in either thee contents page of my book or the exam q section of this site. I apologise if I come across as ungrateful but I am facing into this course more or less independently and cannot get my head around a successful means of study. I have so much to do and no systematic way of covering it all and with only 3.5 months left I feel as though I won't be prepared at all and have no chance of passing the exam.

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      You're welcome.

      Just so you know:

      1. Statistics and Probability

      2. Geometry and Trigonometry (includes co-ordinate geometry)

      3. Number (number systems, complex numbers, arithmetic, financial maths, sequences and series, area and vol, etc)

      4. Algebra

      5. Functions and Calculus, including graphs of functions

      Studyclix is of course a fantastic website, extremely helpful. Just be careful about how you allocate your time across topics, as they are not intended to represent equal sized parts of the course.

      And once again, please don't think that P1Q4 is always going to be on a particular topic or even strand, because it won't be.

      You are dead right that with limited time left, it's essential to plan properly, and to allocate a proportionate amount of time to the different areas. Of course you can allow extra time for fundamentals e.g. number, algebra, and also for weak areas, but you do need to allow time to cover all 5 strands.

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