Leaving Cert Maths Paper 2 Topics: A Comprehensive Overview

maths paper 2 topics

As you probably know from reading our last article, there are two final exam papers on both the Higher and Ordinary Leaving Cert Maths syllabus: Maths Paper 1 and Maths Paper 2.

Both are 2.5 hours long and look almost identical from the front cover, but Maths Paper 2 examines a completely different set of topics and skills to Paper 1 (which we broke down in this blog, check it out!), so it’s important that you know the difference before sitting the exam so that you are aware of where your strengths and weaknesses lie.

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at the Maths Paper 2 topics so that you have an in-depth understanding of what’s going to come up on the day.

Psst! If you’ve checked out the Leaving Cert Timetable, you’ll know the big day is closing in fast! Join our Leaving Cert Maths Crash Course on the 30th and 31st of May to walk into that exam hall full of confidence! More details at the end of the article 🙂

Maths Paper 2 On The Leaving Cert Syllabus

The first thing you need to know is that Maths Paper 2 examines strands 1 (Statistics and Probability) and 2 (Geometry and Trigonometry) of the Leaving Cert Maths syllabus, so all of the Maths Paper 2 is based on these general topics. We break each of the strands down in detail in our Leaving Cert Maths Syllabus Simplified blog post, but for the purposes of this article, we’re giving a more general overview of what you need to know for Maths Paper 2.

Statistics and Probability Strand

Statistics and Probability is probably the most intense strand in terms of just how much you need to know. There aren’t any shortcuts either, because it makes up roughly half of Maths Paper 2, so you need to know your stuff.

Below we have a table, broken up by subtopics, of the main things you need to know for the Statistics and Probability sections of Maths Paper 2. Anything in bold font is for Higher Level only.

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Note: This is not a definitive list of everything you need to know for the exam. Consult the syllabus to make sure you have everything covered!

If this list intimidates you, or if the step-up from JC Statistics has proved to be too much of a challenge, book in for a free trial grind with Breakthrough Maths – Statistics is one of the main topics we cover for Senior Cycle students, and our lessons make the whole thing way more interesting!

Geometry and Trigonometry Strand

Geometry and Trigonometry is not as content-heavy as the previous strand, but instead comes with the addition of a lot of material that needs to be learned by heart, especially at Higher Level.

maths paper 2 geometry

Note: Depending on what level you sit the exam at, the list of things you need to know from Synthetic Geometry will vary. Consult the syllabus to be sure.

YOU WILL ALSO NEED KNOWLEDGE OF LENGTH, AREA, AND VOLUME FROM THE NUMBER STRAND (which is mostly a Paper 1 topic, but will be relevant to Maths Paper 2 for some questions)

Proofs, Constructions, And Theorems

Maths Paper 2 has a significant volume of material that, to put it quite simply, needs to be learned by heart.

  • Definition of statistical terms: Stratified, Cluster, Quota
  • Terms to describe the distribution of data: Symmetrical, Positive Skew, Negative Skew, Uniform, Bimodal, Multimodal
  • Empirical Rule
  • Percentile Rank Formula
  • Construction of 95% confidence intervals
  • Calculation of p-values
  • Basic Probability Formulae: Mutually Exclusive Events, Addition Rule (Non-mutually Exclusive Events), Multiplication Rule (Independent Events), Conditional Probability
  • Bernoulli Trials
  • Constructions 1-21 (+ 22 for Higher Level)
  • Definition of geometric terms: theorem, proof, axiom, corollary, implies, converse, is equivalent to, if and only if, proof by contradiction
  • Proof of Theorems 11-13
  • Derivation of trigonometric formulae 1-7 and 9

Additionally, you’re going to need to know a couple of functions on your calculator so that you can generate the following (with the help of your Log tables):

  • Binomial coefficient (for permutations and combinations)
  • Correlation coefficient
  • Standard deviation

Final Recap

Just to sum up all of the Maths Paper 2 topics one last time before we send you off to study them:

  • Sets
  • Probability
  • Statistics
  • Geometry
  • Co-ordinate Geometry
  • Trigonometry

If you are struggling with any of the above topics, know that we will be covering them in our Exam Crash course, where we will provide detailed notes, as well as exam predictions to help you smash Maths Paper 2 (and Paper 1)! Click the image below to get booked in today!

Breakthrough Maths Team End of year message 1

Stay tuned for more information on the Junior Cycle and Leaving Cert in the coming weeks!

Eve 🙂

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PS – Book in for our Exam Crash course on the 29th (Junior Cycle), 30th, and 31st (Leaving Cert) of May, it’ll be the perfect tonic before the exams!

Need a get ahead before Sept? Our 6-week Summer Course will give you that boost.

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We kick off in early June and the first week is FREE to try!