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Sunday 21 January, 2018

# Errors discovered in Leaving Cert Maths and Junior Cert CSPE papers

## The English version of a Maths question mistakenly inserted an extra number – which meant two answers are possible.

Angle RHP was defined as being 36°, when it shouldn't have been - meaning it was possible to get two answers.
Image: State Examinations Commission

Updated, 21:03

ERRORS HAVE BEEN identified in two papers given to students sitting their State examinations today.

The errors were contained in the Leaving Certificate Maths paper II at higher level, and in the Civic, Social and Political Education paper taken by all Junior Certificate students.

In the Leaving Cert maths paper, one question on geometry featured a diagram of a triangle with an extra attribute – the degree of one angle – included.

The inclusion of the extra digits – the 36° shown below – meant it was possible to get two correct answers.

The error was not included in the paper administered to students taking the exams through Irish, who are presented with the same questions.

The State Examinations Commission has acknowledged the error and said the marking scheme for the paper would reflect the mistake so that no students were penalised.

On the CSPE paper, meanwhile, a description of the Referendum Commission included outdated data. It read:

The Referendum Commission has the job of presenting both sides of a proposed change to the Constitution so that the people of Ireland make informed decisions when voting.

Candidates were then asked to outline various hypothetical scenarios based on this description – when in fact the Referendum Commission is no longer responsible for outlining both sides of a referendum debate, under laws enacted in 2001.

The Commission’s purpose nowadays is to explain the subject matter of the proposals – without explaining the advantages of a vote either way – and to promote public awareness of the vote.

The false description of the Commission’s job did not directly necessarily influence a student’s answer, however. Again, the mistake will be taken into account when the papers are marked later in the summer.

The geometry question was mandatory on the Leaving Cert mathematics paper, meaning all students would have been expected to attempt it.

However, not all students sitting the CSPE paper were required to answer the question dealing with the Referendum Commission.