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The Irish Leaving Cert Maths Syllabus: What You Need to Know

Updated: Feb 17


The Leaving Certificate Mathematics syllabus is a crucial component of the Irish secondary education system. It is the final exam taken by students at the end of their secondary school education and is a requirement for many third-level courses and careers. In this article, we will take a closer look at the Leaving Cert Maths syllabus, what students can expect, and how to best prepare for the exams.

The Structure of the Syllabus

The Leaving Cert Maths syllabus is divided into two levels: higher level and ordinary level. Higher level is designed for students who have a strong mathematical background and are interested in pursuing mathematical and scientific subjects at third level. Ordinary level, on the other hand, is intended for students who may not have a strong mathematical background and who may not wish to study mathematical or scientific subjects at third level.

Both higher-level and ordinary-level papers consist of a total of 6 questions, each worth 20 marks. The questions are split into two sections: Algebra and Trigonometry, and Geometry and Calculus. In each section, students are expected to demonstrate their understanding of the mathematical concepts and techniques, as well as their ability to apply them to solve problems.



What to Expect on the Exam

The Leaving Cert Maths exam is designed to test students' understanding of mathematical concepts and techniques, as well as their ability to apply them in real-world situations. Students can expect to be presented with a variety of questions, including short-answer questions, longer-answer questions, and problem-solving questions.

In the Algebra and Trigonometry section, students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of algebraic concepts, such as polynomials, exponential functions, and logarithmic functions, as well as their ability to use trigonometry to solve problems. In the Geometry and Calculus section, students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of geometry concepts, such as coordinate geometry, and calculus concepts, such as differentiation and integration.


Preparation Tips for the Exam

Preparation is key to success in the Leaving Cert Maths exam. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  1. Make a study plan: Start by breaking down the syllabus into manageable sections and create a study plan that works for you.

  2. Practice, practice, practice: Regular practice is essential for success in the Maths exam. Try to solve as many sample questions as possible and get feedback from your teacher.

  3. Use visual aids: Visual aids, such as diagrams, graphs, and charts, can help you to better understand mathematical concepts and make it easier to solve problems.

  4. Get help when you need it: If you're struggling with a particular concept, don't be afraid to ask for help from your teacher or a tutor.



In conclusion, the Leaving Cert Maths syllabus is an important component of the Irish secondary education system. By understanding the structure of the syllabus, what to expect on the exam, and how to prepare, students can give themselves the best chance of success.


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