Joe’s Jotter: The Best Strategy for the 2023 Maths Exams (incl Marking & Timing)

What is the best Strategy for tackling both Maths Exam Papers 2023?

Just for the 2023 LC Maths papers only, I would spend 10-12 minutes reading the paper and tick off the parts of the questions that look familiar making a few notes at the side. Ring or e-mail me if you would like more Information on the best way to choose your questions. You should then know by the amount of ticks and positive notes which questions that you fancy taking on. Start a short question (you like the look of) first to settle the nerves. You don’t have to do Question 1 first!

For each paper, I would have a clear plan in my head on how I would tackle the questions. My reasoning for this is that students tend not to get the long questions done if they are left until the end. Personally I wouldn’t take on any extra questions  – Do five short and three long questions well.

Recommended Paper Plan

  1. Read and select questions really carefully – 10-12 mins
  2. Do your favourite short question – (12.5 mins each for short)
  3. Alternate between long and short questions – (25 mins each for long)
  4. Be sure you have done five short questions and three long questions.
  5. Check, recalculate and tidy – Use any extra time at the end of the exam for this…

Total Time 2023 (Both for Paper 1 and 2)  = 150 mins  (2.5 hours) [Higher & Ordinary Level]

Read each question twice highlighting and underlining the key words and numbers with your red or green pen. Highlight the key words. Think what those words might trigger from a Maths point of view. e.g. The word ‘indefinitely’ in a pattern indicates to use the sum to infinity formula. Be very clear and what you are being asked to find before commencing.

Marking and Timing on the LC Maths Exam Papers 2023

50 markers [LONG Qs] -spend at most 25 minutes per Q [2023 Only].

30 markers [SHORT Qs]-spend at most 12.5 minutes per Q. [2023 Only]. Stick rigidly to time.

I have noticed that the first parts of most questions are carrying 10 marks, so it is really Important to make a big effort to attempt them really well.

I was giving an exam recently and my student submitted her work by email. She explained how she ran out of time on Q1. I was delighted. She had stuck to the time and moved on. Often you need the first part of each question for attempt further parts. You will only know how much marks each full question is worth – you will not know how many marks per part.

I would say it is easy get the first 60% of any question part but more difficult to get the last few percent. Trying to get that last few percent can cost you between five and ten minutes and may not be worth it. This could mean that you don’t get to even see the last question on the paper i.e. there is a knock on effect. Stick to your time budget plan at all levels.

It is better to know a little about loads of topics than an in-depth knowledge of one topic. Algebra is the exception to this and really worth learning in-depth for all levels. Algebra is the language of Maths and effectively appears inside every question. Also…

  • Incorrect answer and no workings out = No Marks
  • Incorrect answer with a step in the right direction = Some Marks
  • Show exactly what you are thinking on the page. i.e. Write it down clearly. If you think you should multiply/divide/subtract/add and aren’t sure, show it on the page anyway.
  • Take risks and go for it. Never be afraid of being wrong!

More details about Joe’s Maths Tuition Classes 2023 for 5th & 6th Year (Leaving Certificate Students) and his Award Winning ACE Maths Solution Books can be found via the below links:

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