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“Should I stay or should I go now?” ðŸŽ¶

Not sure if you should **stay in Higher Level Math**s? Let me guide you.

Before we begin, here’s a very brief overview of the benefits to staying in HL MathsðŸ‘‡

## Leaving Cert Maths – Pros & Cons

#### Long Story Short

If Higher Level Maths is not killing you for time and stress….. then stay at it. The 25 extra points are a HUGE bonus on the Leaving Cert. They’ll benefit your CAO application in the long run.

**Pros of HL Maths**

**College Courses**: Some Engineering courses require HL maths for entry and many courses in the UK will look at your Maths scores when you apply.**The Bonus Points:**No other subject is like it. Maths is a subject that can boost your points return just for passing it. It’s powerful when you sit down to see your results and tot up those points…..**it’s a huge advantage**.

Maths is the only subject where students get 25 bonus points for a grade H6 and above (30% and above). For example, a H6 gets 71 points, whereas an O1 gets just 56 points.Â Even a H7 grade (20-30%) is worth 37 CAO points, which is equivalent to an O3 grade. Almost every student who has aspirations of achieving over 500 points will be doing HL Maths… so you should too!**Helps other subjects:**For some students, HL Maths may benefit your other subjects. For example, if you are doing physics or applied maths, the content taught in HL Maths can supplement your learning in those subjects as well.

**Cons of HL Maths**

**Time**: The course is so**dense**. There is so much material to cover. If you get easily overwhelmed and your hours of study are already long, HL Maths**might be too much to take on**. When it starts to impact other subjects, then consider dropping to Ordinary Level Maths.

**Worst subject:**Out of all your 6 subjects, if Maths is the worst grade you receive in the LC, then it**won’t be counted (**the bonus points make no difference here). That’s key. You DO NOT get the full benefit of the 25 points if Maths is not one of your best 6 scores. If Maths is already one of your best 6 scores, you’ll get the full benefit of the 25 points. But if Maths is NOT one of your 6 best, those 25 points will only serve as a small boost to push the subject into your top 6. For example, if your 6th best grade is a H4 (66 Points) and you get a H6 in Maths (46+25=71 Points), you only benefit by 5 points instead of the full 25!

**How to make your decision?**

Ask yourself the following questions:

- Do I like doing HL maths?
- Did I do HL Maths for the Junior Cycle? If ‘Yes’ then I’d suggest you continue it at the Leaving Cert, particularly if you achieved above a 70% mark.

- Am I currently able to manage theÂ workload for HL maths?Â Can I keep up with my class, my homework, and my revision, and not let it have an impact on some of my other subjects?

- How close am I to the exams? Am I likely to drop to OL late in the school year, or even on the day of the exam? Is this a good strategy in terms of my overall workload, and in terms of my final grades?

- Have I discussed this with my maths teacher, my parents/guardians, and my career guidance teacher?

## Junior Cycle Maths â€” Pros & Cons

I’m going to make this really simple for you – Higher Level Maths for the Junior Cycle should be tried by most students.

There is **NO RISK **to doing Higher Level Maths at the Junior Cycle level. It is a harder curriculum and exam vs the Ordinary Level Junior Cycle exam, but it is passable. Only 2% of students fail each year. That’s right â€” 2%.

I’ve been teaching for 12 years now, and I encourage almost all my students to do HL. When students drop to OL they are hampered at the Leaving Cert, as their Maths knowledge base is weak. Even if you do HL for the Junior Cycle knowing you will be doing Ordinary for the Leaving Cert, **you are way better off**. It gives you such an advantage at the Leaving Cert stage.

If there are tears or anxiety levels are through the roof, then OL Maths for the Junior Cycle will suit you. The challenge of Higher Level should not impact your mental health or self esteem.

Do HL Maths at the Junior Cycle â€” hear me out ðŸ‘‡

## In Conclusion: Should You Take HL Maths?

At the end of the day, the only person who can make this decision is you. You’re the student who’ll be sitting the exams in June, and while you should talk to your teachers and parents/guardians about the decision, do what feels right for you. HL Maths can be difficult, but rewarding! It’s up to you if the reward is worth the challenge.

## Quick FAQ’s

Yes. It’s the most challenging subject for about 80-85% of students.

It’s long and intense. There is a lot of coursework to cover. And it’s getting harder with the introduction of Project Maths 12 years ago. The questions are now more conceptual, which many students find challenging.

I’ve no idea. I’ve no idea if it is killing you inside with stress. I’ve no idea if you are spending 2 or 3 times longer on Maths than any other subject. I’ve no idea if you have made any progress at all in the last few months in Maths.

If you are reading this, and seriously contemplating dropping to OL, then it may be a viable decision. Maybe, for you, it’s not worth all the anxiety and pressure.

If you are nodding in agreement, then Ordinary Maths might be suitable for you. Make sure to take into consideration everything I’ve said in this blog, and talk to people you trust before making the final decision.

TJ*â€” CEO of Breakthrough Maths.*

Need help in Maths? Contact the Breakthrough Maths team here.