**Happy New year** and welcome to 2014. I hope it proves a happy and rewarding year for you.

In the past I have expressed surprise at the number of students who fail to make good use of the only reference material that they will be allowed when sitting their junior and leaving cert maths exams. The “**Formulae and Tables approved for use in the state examinations**” booklet is an excellent resource that greatly reduces the amount of memory work required to do the exams. Often when candidates are stuck on a question it can be used to prompt them to take the necessary actions to answer the questions posed on the exam paper.

Of course like any tool there can be a great difference between the effectiveness with which it is used by a skilled user and a novice. The candidates who just start to use it on the day of the exam will not get the same benefit as those who have taken the time beforehand to discover what it contains and just as importantly what it does not contain. A little effort in advance will make this booklet so much more useful to you during the actual exam.

Galway Maths Grinds’ latest publication “**Making the most of the Formulae and Tables Booklet**” will be available to purchase online in the coming weeks. It is aimed primarily at students who have already done the first two years of the junior cert up to those in their leaving cert exam year and their teachers. Students still in first or second year may not yet be exposed to a sufficient range of formulae and mathematical concepts to get great benefit from it.

The publication includes advice on how to approach the study of maths in general. It shows how various topics on your course are often just different ways of looking at the same thing. By pointing out how various topics are connected through a few mathematical concepts with which you are already familiar it will hopefully help you cut down on the amount of work you have to do to learn everything on your course. It also has a section on the material you need to know that is not contained the the state examinations booklet.

The table of contents can be found here.

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