When exploring resources to help with your leaving cert maths exam preparations, it is important to be able to differentiate between core and supplementary resources. Check out this guide to higher level maths if you are wondering how best to implement them within your learning.
While many sources may give you an edge or a more condensed overview of the examinable topics which typically appear on both paper 1 and paper 2 of the maths test, there is no substituting core resources such as the leaving cert textbooks.
Unfortunately for higher-level maths students, it is a rather extensive course at leaving cert level and there is even a multitude of textbooks that you will work through over the course of the two years.
Nonetheless, these are a great resource for learning, once you can get your head around the sheer volume of pages across the different books you can get stook right into the material.
You can take comfort in the fact that these books have been purposefully created to include all of the leaving cert maths syllabus in its entirety.
Although it might take a considerable amount of time to work through, students can take comfort in knowing that by completing the associated workload they in turn will cover all of the examinable material within the higher-level course.
This is a great study resource that introduces the more simplistic concepts of each chapter, before developing the student's skills through a series of math problems which progressively get more difficult with time.
This allows students to progress through chapters from an elementary level right up to the advanced material which features on the higher level papers.
Working with Exam papers
Working through the higher level leaving cert maths past papers is a great way to familiarise yourself with the kind of questions that will likely appear on your leaving cert exam in June.
Exam questions follow a specific style and are often unlike many of the sums that you might be familiar with from working through the leaving cert textbooks.
In addition to this, leaving cert past papers are also an effective means of practicing under exam conditions. Students can time themselves working though the papers and eventually practice completing entire papers within the allotted two-and-a-half-hour time period.
Completing a few years of past exam papers will give students an idea of how to manage their time in the exam hall and how questions are likely to appear.
Essentials Unfolded and other revision books
Essentials unfolded is a condensed revision book for the higher level leaving cert maths course. This is a recently published and up-to-date maths book containing all of the proofs, theorems, and content associated with the higher-level maths syllabus.
This is what I refer to as a supplementary resource which is to be implemented by students within their preparations after they have covered the respective chapter in their core text and tests school textbooks.
This can be an extremely valuable resource for students particularly when they begin to revise the material that they have covered during the build-up to an exam. The concise and direct format that the book takes coveys information to students in a more direct and digestible format than traditional textbooks.
Similar resources to the Essentials Unfolded revision book that students may also find of use when preparing for the dreaded higher level maths exam are the Less Stress More Success and Revise Wise series.
Similarly, these books tackle the leaving cert maths syllabus in its entirety and can save students a considerable amount of time when they get around to revising the material.
There is certainly a trade-off in the content that is available to students such as in the number of sums and practice questions that they have at their disposal to work through and develop their abilities. Nonetheless, this is both an effective and affordable resource that students can rely on when trying to ace the higher level leaving cert maths exam.
Higher-level maths online resources
There are also copious amounts of higher-level maths resources available to leaving cert students, many of which are free and extremely useful for finding worked through exam solutions.
iRevise.ie is a website where students can access higher-level maths notes, theorems and solutions. Here, students can follow these uploaded solutions step by step on the website. This can help students break down even the more complex material in the course into more manageable bite-sized components.
In addition to this, students can also find a library of online classes and tutorials that tackle each topic of the project maths higher-level course. This can be a great way for students to go over some of the material that they have covered in class.
It is important to actively revisit different aspects of the course as you are progressing through the material as a class.
You would be surprised as to how quickly you will forget even the more important aspects of a chapter if you are not actively drilling its material through practicing questions in your own time as you revise the subject.
Higher-level maths students may also find value using the studyclix.ie website. This online resource also contains an extensive volume of notes and sample answers that have been uploaded by other users in the community. Studyclix maths questions available online.
This can be extremely insightful when you get around to working through exam questions, as handwritten solutions typically present more working steps than are otherwise available at the back of your leaving cert textbook or exam papers.
Using these online resources to supplement your learning will save you a great deal of your time and give you an idea of how a question should be answered within an exam.
As mentioned, when introducing yourself to new topics such as algebra, trigonometry or calculus it is important to work your way through your textbook and its questions beforehand.
However useful and seemingly more tailored to exam situations online revision resources may seem, they can often leave out some important aspects of the course and should only really be consulted once you have already covered all of the material from the respective chapters.
Is there anything else that I can do to improve my performance?
Other steps that students can take to enhance their performance in the higher level maths exam is to familiarise themselves with both their log tables and calculators.
Students are often unaware that the log tables are something that they will have inside the exam hall. This means that students can rely on their log tables when answering exam questions.
I recommend that students take time to look through their log tables and familiarise themselves with the layout and structure of the formulas. This will help to save some time in the final exam and can also help to jog your memory if you are in any way hesitant about a particular formula.
Here you will find even the more basic equations which typically appear on the higher level leaving cert maths paper such as the -b formula. This can be a reliable resource within the exam hall and should be used accordingly.
Regarding your calculator, believe it or not, but selecting the right calculator is an important decision that may determine how fast you work through the higher-level maths paper.
It is important for students to select a reliable calculator so that they avoid unnecessary errors or battery errors in an exam situation. After spending approximately two years revising the course material, it would be a shame to lose out on some marks because of an avoidable malfunction.
Practicing the various functions within your calculator is important for students who want to ace the higher-level maths paper. This is an exam that students often struggle to complete with much time to spare.
Having an understanding and fluidity using your calculator will help to shave some precious minutes off your exam time so that you may have time to look over your paper towards the end.
An effective method of learning some of these functions is by consulting the manual or cover of your calculator. You might even find some shortcuts that remove the need for some of the more lengthy equations that tend to appear across the higher-level maths papers.
The two calculators that I used throughout my leaving cert preparation and those which are typically recommended for leaving cert students are both the Sharp and Casio models. You should take some time to try each of these out before selecting one that you prefer and can navigate best.
Find a higher level maths tutor with Superprof
Perhaps one of the more effective resources, and also possibly the least adopted by students is availing of a personal tutor. A personal tutor can provide some much-needed clarity for students in how to study higher-level maths.
Working through long division sums to the more complex maths questions alongside a teaching professional can help students realise their weaknesses in the subject, allowing them to better target their future learning as a result.
Superprof is a community that comprises of millions of tutors around the world. There is certainly no shortage of higher-level maths tutors available to Irish students looking to maximise their grade.
The service provides students with a degree of flexibility in how they learn. Students are given the opportunity to learn through both ‘in person’ and ‘remote’ options, either in the home of the student or tutor or via webcam.
Many of the higher-level maths tutors on the platform offer their first session free of charge, so why not try it out and kickstart your journey to acing the maths paper today.
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