VCE Mathematics – 3 subjects

This information is based on the study information provided by VCAA. Note that some changes to be implemented in 2016 are already incorporated below.

Rationale

Mathematics is the study of function and pattern in number, logic, space and structure.  It provides both a framework for thinking and a means of symbolic communication that is powerful, logical, concise and unambiguous and a means by which people can understand and manage their environment.  Essential mathematical activities include abstracting, providing, applying, investigating, modelling and problem solving.

This study is designed to provide access to worthwhile and challenging mathematical learning in a way which takes into account the needs and aspirations of a wide range of students.  It is also designed to promote students’ awareness of the importance of mathematics in everyday life in an increasingly technological society and confidence in making effective use of mathematical ideas, techniques and processes.

The three outcome areas for Mathematics are designed to:

  • Develop mathematical knowledge and skills
  • Apply mathematical knowledge to analyse, investigate, model and solve problems in a variety of situations, ranging from well defined and familiar situations to unfamiliar and open ended situations
  • Use technology as an effective support for mathematical activity

Structure

The study is made up of the following units:

Year 11

  • General Mathematics Units 1 and 2
  • Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2
  • Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2

Year 12

  • Further Mathematics Units 3 and 4
  • Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4
  • Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4

Units 1 and 2: General Mathematics

The areas of study for this course are (i) Algebra and structure, (ii) Arithmetic and number, (iii) Discrete mathematics, (iv) Geometry, measurement and trigonometry, (v) Graphs of linear and non-linear relations and (vi) Statistics.

The course is designed to prepare students for Further Mathematics but may also be attempted by students who wish to study a Mathematics subject in Year 11, but who do not plan to take Further Mathematics in Year 12.

Units 1 and 2: Mathematical Methods

This course covers (i) Functions and graphs, (ii) Algebra, (iii) Calculus and (iv) Probability and statistics. The course is designed to explicitly prepare students for Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4.  The appropriate use of a Computer Algebra System (CAS) calculator to support and develop the teaching and learning of Mathematics, and in related assessments, is incorporated throughout the units.

Units 1 and 2: Specialist Mathematics

The areas of study for this course are (i) Arithmetic and number, (ii) Geometry, measurement and trigonometry, (iii) Graphs of linear and non-linear relations, (iv) Kinematics and (v) Statistics. The course is designed to prepare students for Specialist Mathematics but may also be attempted by competent students who wish to broaden their knowledge of Mathematics, but who do not plan to take Specialist Mathematics in Year 12.

Units 3 and 4: Further Mathematics

Further Mathematics consists of the compulsory areas of study; ‘Data Analysis’ and ‘Recursion and financial modelling’. From the options provided by VCAA, students at Oxley study ‘Matrices’ and ‘Geometry and measurement’.

Units 3 and 4: Mathematical Methods

Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4 consist of the following areas of study: (i) Functions and graphs, (ii) Algebra, (iii) Calculus and (iv) Probability and statistics. These studies are covered in a progression from Unit 3 to Unit 4.

The appropriate use of technology to support and develop the teaching and learning of Mathematics is incorporated throughout each unit and course, in particular, the effective use of a CAS calculator.

Units 3 and 4: Specialist Mathematics

Specialist Mathematics consists of the following areas of study:  (i) Functions and graphs, (ii) Algebra, (iii) Calculus, (iv) Vectors, (v) Mechanics, and (vi) Probability and statstics.  The development of course content highlights mathematical structure and proof.  All of this material is covered in a progression from Unit 3 to Unit 4 with an appropriate selection of content for each of Units 3 and 4.

The appropriate use of technology to support and develop the teaching and learning of Mathematics is incorporated throughout each unit and course, in particular, the effective use of a CAS calculator.

Course Options

There are 3 main streams of mathematics, of which students may undertake 1 or 2.

Year 11 Year 12
General Mathematics Further Mathematics
Mathematical Methods Mathematical Methods
Specialist Mathematics Specialist Mathematics

It is generally possible at the end of Year 11 to change subjects to an easier mathematics but not to a more difficult mathematics.

Mathematics is essential for many careers and tertiary courses, both in TAFE and universities. Therefore, at Oxley Christian College all Year 11 students are required to study at least one mathematics course. (Special exemptions are occasionally granted).

It is expected that students continue with mathematics in Year 12; Careers Coordinator approval is required for students to discontinue mathematics.

Mathematics Methods is necessary for many Science / Engineering courses.

Entry

There are no prerequisites for entry to General Mathematics.

There are no prerequisites for entry to Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2 but a sound background in Algebra, Functions and Probability is expected.

Enrolment in Specialist Mathematics assumes a current enrolment in or previous completion of Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2, and is designed for highly motivated students who are competent at mathematics.

Enrolment in Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4 assumes successful completion of Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2, as well as a current enrolment in or previous completion of Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4, and is designed for highly motivated students who are competent at mathematics.

Assessment

Satisfactory Completion

The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit.

Key knowledge and key skills are defined for three Outcome areas.  These will be used to assist the teacher in the construction of appropriate assessment tools (such as tests, examinations, projects and reports) to establish adequate performance for satisfactory completion.

Levels of Achievement

Units 1 and 2

The assessment of levels of achievement in Units 1 and 2 are a matter for school decision.  Assessment tasks include analysis problems, application tasks and end of unit examinations.

Units 3 and 4

The VCAA will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.  The student’s level of achievement will be assessed through school assessed coursework and examination as follows:

Further Mathematics

  • Unit 3 school assessed coursework (20%)
  • Unit 4 school assessed coursework (14%)
  • Units 3 and 4 examination (facts, skills and applications) (1½ hours: 33%)
  • Units 3 and 4 examination (analysis task) (1½ hours: 33%)

Mathematical Methods

  • Unit 3 school assessed coursework (17%)
  • Unit 4 school assessed coursework (17%)
  • Units 3 and 4 examination (facts, skills, applications; calculator free) (1 hour: 22%)
  • Units 3 and 4 examination (analysis task; calculator active) (2 hours: 44%)

Specialist Mathematics

  • Unit 3 school assessed coursework (17%)
  • Unit 4 school assessed coursework (17%)
  • Units 3 and 4 examination (facts, skills, applications; calculator free) (1 hour: 22%)
  • Units 3 and 4 examination (analysis task; calculator active) (2 hours: 44%)