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Higher Maths - 5 Things you need to know

Recent statistics revealed by the CAO indicate that 96% of last year's Leaving certs who achieved bonus points for higher Maths were offered a college course. This is way ahead of the national average of 68% of students who were offered a course. So it's clear sticking with higher Maths gives you a real advantage in getting your college course. A record 18,407 or 27% of 6th years  plan to take higher level Maths this year, almost double the rate back in 2011 (16%)

The Maths Bonus point scheme

Anyone doing Higher Maths will tell you that it's hard work. You will spend more time on higher Maths than any other subject with more homework and greater study demands. In the past this extra workload meant that many students opted for ordinary level with a record low of only 16% of students doing higher level back in 2011. Many students were making a strategic decision to  put their time into "easier" less demanding subjects.

In 2012 the Department of Education introduced a bonus point scheme to encourage more students to persist with leaving cert higher Maths. The Bonus point scheme means that any grade above a D3 in higher Maths is  worth an additional 25 points than that grade in any other subject. The bonus point scheme has certainly had the desired effect with almost double the uptake in higher Maths.  27% of this year's 6th years are due to sit the higher paper this year. 

Bonus Points for higher Maths by grade

5 Tips you need to know to ace higher Maths

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

More than any other subject, trying past questions is the key to doing well in Maths. After you cover each topic you should be printing out all the past questions on that topic and then seeing how you've done. A Studyclix PLUS+ account makes this easy by allowing you to print a booklet of questions on each topic. You even get a worked solution to each question. 

2. Get an understanding of the key concepts

Every question in higher maths is different and that's why understanding the concepts is so important. If there is a particular topic you are unsure of then spend some time trying to understand the main concepts - memorising is not good enough, take the time to understand the topics you find difficult. Studyclix makes this easy because with our partners at TheMathsTutor.ie and  epublish.ie we have added videos and worked solutions of all the past Project Maths exam questions. 


3. Time Management

Higher level students can often get stuck on difficult questions meaning that they don't get the exam finished. It's important to move on if you hit a dead end. Just mark the question and come back to it at the end. It's also important that where possible you attempt all questions. Since the introduction of the new Project Maths course the marking schemes have become especially generous with how  attempt marks are awarded.


4. Know your Proofs, Theorems and Constructions

You can be sure of  that somewhere on the higher paper you will be asked  to prove a theorem. Key to memorizing them is to first understand them. This will also make it easier to answer questions that use the concepts of any theorem. You can find lots of the the theorems and constructions explained in videos on our Leaving cert Proofs and Constructions page and our Junior Cert Constructions page.


5. Pay attention to detail

At higher Maths, attention to detail is key to doing well. Read the instructions carefully to realise exactly what you are being asked. Make sure to write down all your calculations to ensure you get full marks and never leave the exam early. You should spend any leftover time going through each question checking all your calculations. 


So while it 's undoubtedly the most difficult and most time consuming subject of all the Junior and Leaving cert subjects, higher Maths is worth persisting with if you want to give yourself the best chance of securing your number one course choice.  

Best of luck and don't forget there's loads more great advice on our Junior cert discussion forum and our Leaving cert Maths discussion forum.

Good luck with the study:)