TV3 came out to interview Eamonn about the Euromillions odds - great fun!
It is easy to get flustered in an exam, especially when things aren’t falling into place: you know that the answer should be a whole number, and you are getting a screen-load of digits. You will very well know at this point that to do well in an exam you need to keep a cool head. Is this a problem for you? Have you ever been able to just move on to a different question without fixating on the previous one and blaming yourself for not being prepared?
Here are a few tips on how to remain centred during the exam:
1. Prepare for the exam
Anxiety associated with exams is part rational, part irrational. Exams matter in certain ways and any normal person will be a little afraid that things might go wrong. Whatever the extent of your anxiety, it’s important not to judge yourself for it. The answer to the rational part of anxiety is to prepare for the exam: do the homework and do the papers. But what if that just isn’t enough to cope with your stress?
2. Prepare for the stress
Being stressed is a habit of sorts. The way we memorise things - poems, how to ride a bike, new words, what side we prefer to sleep on - anything at all, is down to the connections between the cells in our brain. If you form a connection and constantly use it - it gets stronger. That’s why you never forget how to breathe, but you may forget some reasonably useless fact you learned for a previous exam! Worry works the same way - the more you worry, the more it becomes a habit. How do you rebuild these roads in your brain? How do you close the tunnel to stress and build a motorway to calmness? Thankfully, there is a way. It’s called mindfulness. Here is an article written specifically for Leaving Cert students by a professional psychologist on mindfulness and anxiety.
3. Know the reasons why you are doing this
If you have good enough reasons, you will be able to get through your exams. What will doing well mean for you in practical terms? Maybe you would feel good about being able to purse a career? Drive a motorcycle through China? Will it mean financial independence? Will you buy a car? If you do something because someone else wants you to, you’ll never really get good at it. You need to know what you are doing it. Then things will fall into place.
Written by Martina, founder of 625points.com, who got 8 A1s in her Leaving Cert.
The new operators of the Irish National Lottery have change the rules of their flagship game. We've been busy talking to journalists about what it means from a mathematical perspective.
Here's a clip of Eamonn speaking to Morning Ireland on RTE:
We also wrote an "explainer" article for TheJournal.ie, which certainly drew a lot of interesting comments.
Click here to read it.
There's been a lot of controversy about the 2015 LC exam papers for maths, in particular with many students upset with the difficulty of LC Ordinary paper 1, as compared with the relatively straightforward LC Higher paper 1.
There's even been questions raised on two occasions in Dail Eireann.
We've created video solutions for the 2015 Leaving Cert Higher level paper 1 and paper 2. Click here to have a look.
We're working on the videos for LC Ordinary level. In the meantime, click here to see our written solution for LCO Paper 1.
Have a look and let us know what you think - was LCO Paper 1 too hard compared with the LCH paper 1?
Either way, rest assured that it will all be straightened out in the final marking schemes, so don't worry!
Congratulations to our students from the Irish Naval Service on their exam success in Leaving Cert 2014!
This was part of a successful pilot project in blended learning, using our system both ashore and at sea.
The initiative will now be extended across the entire fleet of the Irish Naval Service in the coming school year.
You can read all about it in this article in the Irish Independent.
We can see from today's Leaving Cert papers that the State Exams Commission decided to allocate marks in amounts of 25, 35, 40, 50, 60 and 75 (that's six different values).
In recent years, they had limited themselves to values of 25, 50 and 75, which made time management reasonably simple.
We believe they are now overcomplicating the mark allocation, but unfortunately they are likely to do something similar on Monday for Paper 2.
So - what to do? Well the first thing is - don't worry!!
We recommend that you manage your time by the following simple rule of thumb:
divide the marks allocated to the question by 2, and subtract 2.
This will give you the approximate number of minutes to spend on a given question, and will also give you about 15 to 20 minutes of a "cushion", for checking, over-runs etc.
So, for a 40 mark question, you would allow around 18 minutes, and so on.
We've now updated our Exam Technique booklet to reflect this latest development.
NOTE: this does not impact Junior Cert as the recommended times are printed on each question on the paper.
Please SHARE this with anyone sitting Paper 2 for Leaving Cert on Monday, it could really help them. Thank you.
Connemara Maths Academy are running a very exciting course this summer - it's a bit like going to the Gaeltacht, but instead of improving your Irish, you get yourself fluent in Maths!
So how does this work? Do you go sit on a rock in Clifden and do lots of hard sums? Not quite!
Aengus O'Connor and his team have created a unique and innovative approach to understanding and enjoying maths. Students will participate in a combination of adventure sports, technology, music and multimedia, which is not only fun, but also helps students to understand the mathematics involved in these real-world phenomena. This will provide students with a sound foundation in mathematical concepts and applications.
We're always interested in new approaches to maths education, and we are delighted to play a part in this innovation! Students on the course will have access to video lessons from themathstutor.ie, so that they can brush up on any maths concepts that they encounter as they explore the real-world maths of music, sports and technology.
It's a very exciting concept, and a fun and productive way to spend a week this summer. Click here now to find out more about the course.
I was invited on to Tipp FM to discuss the exam paper error seen in Leaving Cert Higher Paper 2.
Thanks to Seamus, Tom and the team for having me on the show, I enjoyed chatting about 'The Bermuda Triangle' as they're calling it in Tipperary!
When your exam starts, your job is to score as highly as possible based on your current maths knowledge and ability.
Here’s how to get it all down on paper so that the examiner can give you as many marks as possible (this advice can change your grade, so make sure to read it all, especially number 10!):
1. Write reasonably clearly, work down the page and use a reasonable amount of spacing.
You can always ask for more paper if you need it.
Remember that for Project Maths, you will write in the exam paper booklet, not in separate answer booklets.
2. Show all workings within your answer – do not do ‘rough-work’ on a separate page.
3. Don’t use Tippex – instead, cross out any errors with a single line. You might get marks for the work you have crossed out, but not if it’s Tippexed.
4. If you solve a problem using a calculator, write out some or all of the steps taken – don’t just give the answer. This is to ensure you get marks even if you make a slip.
5. Give reasons for your answers if required.
6. Drawing a diagram or even a basic sketch can often be very helpful to get started in tackling a question, and may gain marks for you.
7. Use your "formulae and tables" booklet – they include lots of useful information.
(You need to get familiar with what is in it, and where, as soon as possible).
8. You should always graph paper for graphs and choose a sensible scale. Remember - on the Project Maths booklets, just use the grid as your graph paper.
9. Draw guidelines when reading values off a graph
10. Probably the most important one! Never *ever* leave a blank answer – always try to get at least some marks for attempting the question, even if you feel you have no idea how to answer it.
ANY relevant facts, diagrams, sketches, formulae (even if copied from the formulae
and tables booklet) with some substitution, or calculations should be written on the page to get “attempt” marks.
If you look at the official marking schemes, you will probably be surprised at some of
the things for which the examiner gives “attempt” marks. Make sure you get them.
Remember, the examiner cannot award marks for blank answers, so give them something to put marks against. “Attempt” marks can add up to better grades.
So that’s our Top Ten on getting it all down on paper and maximising your maths grade on the day! Let us know what you think!
Get the full low-down on Exam Technique for Project Maths in our exclusive guide - click here to "Maximise Your Maths Grade"!
Here's our top tips that will save you a lot of marks and could even save your grade:
1. Be careful with minus signs – the single most common source of error.
2. Don’t try to do too much in one step – break it down into smaller steps.
3. If your workings become overly-complicated, check back in case you’ve made a slip.
4. Always feel free to check any calculation using your calculator.
5. In many questions, especially algebra, you can do checks on your answer to make sure you have got it right before moving on.
6. Ask yourself, using estimates and common sense – does this answer look right? If not, then re-check your work.
7. Give answers to the correct degree of accuracy as requested e.g. to 2 decimal places.
8. Make sure you answer the question you’ve been asked – check this before moving on.
9. If you have enough time, recheck all steps and your final answer.
Get the full low-down on Exam Technique for Project Maths in our exclusive guide - click here to "Maximise Your Maths Grade"!
TheMathsTutor.ie Has Been Chosen by the Irish Navy to Support Their Personnel with Leaving Cert Maths
We're thrilled to work with the Navy to help some of their people attain their Leaving Cert in order to progress in their careers!
Click here to get the full story from the Irish Independent!
Eamonn was invited on to the Tommy Marren Show again, on Mid West Radio, to talk about our licencing deal with the Irish Naval Service.
Thanks to Tommy and the team, it's always a pleasure to be on the show!
Eamonn took part in the Project Maths debate on Joe Duffy's Liveline last week.
There was a lot of negativity about Project Maths, so Eamonn went on air to challenge the critics to do something positive to help Irish students, especially those with exams coming up in June.
Have a listen below and let us know what you think!
We were very excited to see that our system had been evaluated by The Irish Times.
And we were thrilled to find out we scored top marks!
Read all about it on the second page of this article!
The Irish Independent ran an article recently about the growth in online learning support in Ireland. It was nice for themathstutor.ie to be mentioned as one of the main websites in this area.
We've been contacted by a few national journalists recently, so look out for more coverage of our system in the newspapers soon!
Judges, Mentors, Students and Teachers
I was delighted to be asked to judge the North Mayo Regional Final of the Student Enterprise Awards last week.
There were 9 finalists from 4 local schools, and first prize went to a team from St Muredach's, Ballina, with a very interesting (and tasty!) food product for allergy sufferers!
It was really inspirational to see some of the fantastic ideas, from high-tech gadgets to performing arts and much more besides.
Aside from their new products and services, the students have all developed excellent business and interpersonal skills which give them a huge advantage at a relatively young age.
Great for these individuals, and great for the whole country to have such entrepreneurial people coming along to create new opportunities for themselves and for others!
As announced at the BT Young Scientist Exhibition, we've started rolling out our Leaving Cert Higher level materials just before Christmas! We were determined to beat Santa on this!
This has been a long time in the making, as it does take time to create high-quality resources, so thanks for your patience! Feedback so far from teachers and students has been really positive.
We've taken on two new tutors, Fergal and Stephen, to work with Jim to complete the Leaving Cert Higher resources, so watch our for those new voices and new teaching styles.
We have also taken on Hugh to help us with the video production and Moodle side of things. Jonny is continuing to work hard on new quizzes.
So watch out for even more videos and quizzes ongoing, and let us know what you think!
We had a fantastic time at the BTYSTE in Dublin last week, what a great event!
So much to tell, but the highlights included meeting the Taoiseach, chatting with Colm O'Neill (CEO of BT) and Sean O'Sullivan (of Dragon's Den) about e-learning, but most of all, checking out the amazing projects and meeting the students who created them!
We had an extremely busy time, meeting lots of teachers, parents and students at our stand. We gave out over 30'000 copies of our Exam Technique booklet - that's a whole lot of people who are going to "Maximise their Maths Grade"!
Another highlight was being interviewed by a couple of big multinational companies who were very interested in our work to promote maths, and support the smart economy.
Click on the video below to see Eamonn talking to the crew from EMC, the cloud computing company. They were were making a promotional video for their parent company, to encourage inward investment into Ireland. We were delighted to let them know that the smart skills are alive and well in Ireland, and getting better all the time!
I've been asked by SmallBusinessCan.com and Ulster Bank to sit on the discussion panel at the Connaught launch of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award 2012.
This event is taking place at 7.45am on Tuesday, in the Meyrick Hotel, Galway.
I'm delighted to be asked to participate, and I'm looking forward to meeting some of the past winners of the award as well as this year's hopeful entrants like ourselves!
And I hear the coffee and croissants are good at the Meyrick, so that's a bonus :-)
It's been a busy couple of days, but great fun, as I've been interviewed on a couple of local radio stations about TheMathsTutor.ie!
First up was a slot yesterday, in studio, with the legendary Tommy Marren on Midwest Radio.
To be honest, I was a bit nervous going on the show (as you can probably tell from my voice!) but I was grand when I relaxed a bit, and Tommy put me at ease. You can listen to a podcast of the show just below, so let me know what you think! Thanks Tommy and Patrina for having me on the show!
Also today, I had a nice interview with Martin McFadden of Westport Community Radio.
Another lovely presenter, and this time talking more in terms of how we set up the business side of TheMathsTutor.ie. This one was recorded over the phone, and you can hear the podcast below. Thanks again Martin!
To celebrate our Official Launch at MathsFest 2012, we had a 'lucky dip' with three Kensington presenters up for grabs. Lots of people filled in an entry form on the day, hoping to win one of these handy gadgets!
It's taken a while to get organised, as we have been so busy since MathsFest, but we finally had the draw on Hallowe'en night.
KPMG were not available to supervise, so we asked a vampire, a witch and a princess to pull out the winners instead!
For the security-minded, Aine and Siobhan are a bit too young to read, and Seamus promised not to peek, so we were pretty sure it was all above board :-)
And the winners are.......
Lillian Waters, St Mary's Secondary School, Charleville, Co Cork
Stephanie Leonard, The Intermediate School, Killorglin, Co Kerry
Donncha Ó Duinnín, Coláiste Ghobnatan, Baile Mhic Ire, Co Chorcaí
Congratulations to each of you - please get in touch with your postal address so we can send out your prize!
Hard luck to everyone else! We might organise another prize later in the year, so keep an eye out for that.
We've been asked to present a workshop on marketing for a start-up business on November 13th 2012, as part of the Student Enterprise Awards programme.
It's always great fun to get out there and meet Irish second level students, and we will be delighted to share some insights with these young entrepreneurs. We'll have our learning hats on too, as we know these students can teach us a lot too.
PS If you twist his arm, Eamonn might do his world-famous mind-reading act (ok, famous to his kids anyway). It's actually quite spooky so be sure to ask him about it!
We've just returned from the IMTA MathsFest 2012, where we were delighted to have our Official Launch. Another huge milestone for us, and well worth celebrating!
The launch was performed live over the web by Charlie McConalogue TD, FF Spokesperson on Education and Skills. An appropriate way to launch an e-learning system!
MathsFest itself was hugely enjoyable, there was a huge buzz from having 500 maths teachers in one place! It was great to speak with so many Irish maths teachers, to get their feedback on TheMathsTutor.ie, and to learn more about how we can support them in their role as educators.
We were really struck by the enthusiasm of teachers for innovative learning resources for their students, and by their willingness to advise us on what is needed and what works best in the real world.
We've come away with even more inspiration, energy and drive for the task in hand, and with the support of Irish teachers, we know we can help make a big difference to even more Irish maths students.
We also distributed over 1800 complimentary copies of our exam technique booklet on the day, as a small gift to Irish maths students. Teachers have already got back to us to tell us they have gone down a treat back at school - great to hear that!
If you entered the draw for the Kensington Presenters, we will be drawing the lucky winners over the weekend, just as soon as we get time - the site has been hopping since last weekend!