Can I do Physics

Q. » Do i have to be good at maths to do physics?

A. » The straight answer is yes. Ideally students taking Physics should also be taking higher level Maths for the Leaving Certificate.

In our experience, students who have found Maths difficult and have struggled with the subject have also found Physics difficult.

Of course this does not mean that you are not the exception to the rule! Do ask advice from your Maths teacher and School Careers Counsellor if you can.

I do not agree, if your ordinary level maths was simple enough there are no difficult manipulations of formulae required, it is usually just fill in the formula draw a graph, a derivation can be learned.

Mr J Kerr

To complete the physics syllabus successfully learners will have to demonstrate mathematical competency by being able to tackle physical problems using fundamental mathematical skills. Learners will be expected to understand abstract concepts and transfer them to new contexts; they will also be expected to apply skills and strategies of scientific enquiry to solve physical problems. In participating in practical activities, learners will be required to manipulate and use tools, equipment and material with due regard for their own safety and the safety of others

Physics at Senior Cycle

Ever wonder how live images from Afghanistan are beamed into your living-room? Why apples fall to the ground but satellites stay up in the sky? Why the Moon seems to change its shape and the Sun is about half way through its life? How we are able to view the internal workings of the human body in glorious technicolour?

Physics can be a magnetic subject to study. It looks at the natural world in order to help us understand how things work. It has less to do with lab experiments and more to do with practical issues in your physical environment. Applications of physics are to be found in household appliances, medical advances, industrial production, communication systems, sports equipment and global travel.

The Leading Cert course aims to give an understanding of fundamental principles and

their application, to develop an understanding of the scientific method and the physical environment, and to develop the ability to observe, to think logically and to communicate effectively. All these factors will prove beneficial in your further studies and career, whether you go on to be a rocket scientist or not!

The Physics course has recently been re-vamped and now includes a new section known as STS (Science, Technology & Society), which looks at physics in the everyday world, and helps to prepare you for life in an age of technology. There is also a practical section, with plenty of experiments to be done, so you will get a chance to wear that white coat and goggles.

Don’t let inertia rule. Put some momentum into your life and enjoy the force that is got from studying physics. You might even learn how to programme that troublesome video-recorder!

If you are doing Physics then this will sort out about 40% of the Entire Physics paper for you!

If you are doing both .....

Applied Maths also made life easier on a number of levels. Whole sections of Maths seemed easier having covered them the year before. Quadratic equations, integration and trigonometry benefited purely because we were using them so often. The mechanics section of physics posed little difficulty for many of us as we knew our UVAST inside and out and in other ways Applied Maths always encouraged you to look outside the box for an easier way of doing things – which is invaluable whatever you’re doing. Although it needed attention, with a little effort it’s definitely a manageable course with relatively little learning off. In short it’s a gift to anyone mathematically inclined who enjoys a challenge

It will help you if you want to persue a career in Engineering, Architecture or any other technical subject.

I am currently studying Engineering in U.C.D. one of the core modules of the course is Mechanics, which is little more than Leaving Certificate Applied Maths

Some people claim you have to be a swot to succeed at Applied Maths this is a quote from an A1 recieving student is


Applied Maths,

Is it for you?

Applied Maths has advantages which I really came to appreciate in those last few days and weeks before the exam,

  • There was very little theory to be learned
  • It was a predictable subject with lots of choice.
  • And most importantly I had two days off after having finished all my other exams in which to try and learn everything.

I have put together a little brouschre on reasons why you should at least consider doing applied maths.

Simply studying Applied Maths gives entry to membership of a club of sorts, possibly comparable to membership of a small religion. With students of the subject being a rare breed, meeting a fellow disciple of Uniform Linear Motion, Projectiles and Collisions gives rise to an immediate shared bond.

There are not many students that would take on an extra class outside their normal timetable, for many enough is too much. So why are the numbers of students doing applied maths on the increase over the last few years. More and more schools are teaching it outside normal hours.So while, to an outsider, getting up an hour early once a week and staying late another day at school, along with studying seven other subjects may have seemed mad. Applied Maths is the subject I miss the most.

Applied maths has a reputation to be compared to Shrek! To those that don’t know the beast it seems like a big ugly ogre, but really it is quite a friendly course at the heart of it.

As few schools offer Applied Maths as a scheduled class, most that take it on do so outside of school hours. This can be stressful and tiring at first but the end result is worth any hardships suffered.

There are 10 questions on the paper the candidate has only to answer six questions. NO other paper offers this much choice. Following a set process will get any student a C minimum. We should cover another 7 topics before the leaving, this still gives you a choice.

Getting the actual correct answer only gives you a small amount of the marks. In total the recall work is minimal possibly 30 formulae in total and the overlap between the courses less than half are unique to Applied Maths SyllabusApplied Maths was my favourite subject at school. It was a course completely unlike any other. Lateral and logical thinking are meeded for it and solving problems is something I have always been interested in. The subject doesn’t involve enormous amounts of theory that you have to learn off by heart, like in biology, but just encourages you to think and apply principles.Is there any subject that you struggle with, any language that you will only manage to do ordinary level in? Then Applied Maths can help you make your points higher!Although no points in the Leaving Cert ever come easy, the Applied Maths examiners love to give away marks for writing down basic information and applying simple rules. Applied Maths may seem like a tough subject at first, but given a little time and a good bit of practice it becomes a tremendously satisfying and rewarding subject.For those that like to experience the success of solving problems, applied maths is more satisfing than sudoku. If you have always been the student that enjoyed solving the problem maths that were in the primary books, then applied maths is for you.I soon discovered that Applied Maths is a hugely under-rated subject with a lot of benefits. Firstly, for those people who, like me, have lazy tendencies, and can think of better ways to spend an afternoon than memorising dates until you can’t even remember what year it is any more, Applied Maths is the ideal subject. There is almost no theory and very little writing involved, which is something I greatly appreciated when trying to write poetry essays every weekend. If you are doing Higher Level Maths, this course compliments it! The Points maybe the same but the amount of equations, topics, theorems and methods to recall is less. Plenty of Practice in trig idenities and geometry, the vectors question is a doosy.Applied Maths allows the student to solve real life problems through logical reasoning and creative thought, and in my opinion that is something that no other Leaving Cert subject offers. As a student it seems daunting to take on another subject when school is already difficult and hectic as it is. However, Applied Maths added very little to my work load. Subjects such as Maths and Physics overlap with Applied Maths in many areas such as integration, vectors and mechanics.