What is the subject about? 

Leaving Certificate Mathematics aims to develop mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding needed for continuing education, life and work. By teaching mathematics in contexts that allow learners to see connections within mathematics, between mathematics and other subjects, and between mathematics and its applications to real life, it is envisaged that learners will develop a flexible, disciplined way of thinking and the enthusiasm to search for creative solutions. Leaving Certificate Mathematics will help students develop a greater understanding of mathematical concepts they studied at Junior Cycle level as well as an idea of how Mathematics can be applied to everyday real-life situations. 

How is the subject assessed? 

There are three levels at Leaving Certificate Mathematics Level: Higher, Ordinary and Foundation. 

I. Written Examination (100%): 


– Higher & Ordinary Level Papers:

Section A – Concepts & Skills, 150 marks in 6 questions Section B – Contexts & Applications, 150 marks in 3 questions 

Paper One is 2.5 hours long and has two sections 

You must answer all nine questions. 

Paper Two is 2.5 hours long and has two sections: 

  • Section A – Concepts & Skills, 150 marks in 6 questions 
  • Section B – Contexts & Applications, 150 marks in 2 questions 

You must answer all eight questions but you are given a choice between 6(a) and 6(b) in section A. 


– Foundation Level Paper: 

One paper that is 2.5 hours long and has two sections 

  • Section A – 200 marks in 9 questions 
  • Section B – 100 marks in 3 questions 

You must answer all eleven questions. 


Additional Comments 

– Higher Level Mathematics is considered the most time consuming of all subjects so it was decided to introduce a bonus point system. If you pass Higher Level Mathematics you get a bonus 25 points. However, for this to apply, Mathematics must be one of your top six points, and you must pass it. 

– We would highly recommend that Higher Level Mathematics is studied at Junior Certificate Level in order to achieve at Leaving Certificate Higher Level Mathematics. However, if a student who has not studied at Higher Level for Junior Certificate wishes to proceed with Higher Leve Senior Cycle Mathematics, they will be more than welcome to try the Higher Level course in September and see how they equip themselves with the course content. 

– We will advise students about their abilities and levels throughout Senior Cycle and remind them that with Mathematics particular levels or grades may be needed as a requirement for entry into a number of third level courses. 

Career Opportunities 

– Business 

– Finance 

– Engineering 

– Science 

– Accounting 

– Statistics 

– Medicine