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Almost 11,000 Leaving Cert students to benefit from bonus Maths points

The college points race begins in earnest on Monday – but already the bonus points project seems to be working.

Comments like this became rarer among Honours Maths students this year.
Comments like this became rarer among Honours Maths students this year.
Image: attercop311 via Flickr

ALMOST 11,000 students will gain 25 extra college application points when the first round of college offers is distributed on Monday, after a bonus points incentive scheme saw a major rise in the number of students passing Higher-Level Maths.

Figures compile by the State Examinations Commission show that the number of students taking the honours Maths paper shot up in 2012, with 22.1 per cent of all Maths students opting for the higher level papers.

A total of 11,131 students took the honours option – while 33,916 took the ordinary level paper, and 5,395 took the subject at foundation level.

That compares to 8,235 students who took the honours paper in 2011 – an increase of 35 per cent. Last year 37,506 students had sat the pass paper, while 6,249 had opted for foundation level.

This year 22.1 per cent of students taking Maths at any level opted for the honours paper – that’s up from 15.8 per cent in 2011 – and of those who did, 9.5 per cent got A grades.

In all, 97.6 per cent of the students who took honours maths won the D3 grade that got them 25 extra points. That pass rate is also slightly up from last year’s 96.9 per cent, which in turn was a slight improvement on 2010.

All in all, the tweak means that around 10,860 students should be in line for a 25-point top-up this year – considerably more than the 7,980-or-so who would have merited the extra points if the same system had existed last year.

Innovation minister Seán Sherlock welcomed the increase in numbers taking the subject at higher levels, and said the Project Maths project – in which students are taught a more application-based course – had contributed to the increase.

“I am confident that these measures will help to further embed the core principles of Project Maths into the education system,” Sherlock said.

2012 marks the first time that all students taking Maths at higher level will receive extra college entry points for passing the subject.

Previously only one college, the University of Limerick, had offered an entry-based incentive for students to take honours Maths. UL had offered extra points on a sliding scale, with A1 students earning 40 extra points while a student with a C3 grade was given 5.

The National Parents’ Council is running a helpline today to offer assistance to students and parents seeking it. It can be contacted at 1800 265 165.

Read: 2012 Leaving Cert results ‘broadly similar to previous years’

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Gavan Reilly

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