What is Maths Methods all about?

This study of Maths Methods provides students with more theoretical challenges with a focus on Algebra, Graphing, Measurement and Probability. Students are expected to be able to solve problems with and without the use of technology (CAS calculator).
Students will have the opportunity to continue developing mathematical skills that will be useful for further study at VET or Tertiary levels.
Maths Methods may be studied at the same time as General/Further Maths or Specialist Maths although the College does not recommend studying all three Maths strands at the same time.
Students who successfully complete Unit 1 and Unit 2 may choose to continue into Maths Methods Unit 3 and Unit 4, transfer into Further Maths (not recommended without studying Unit 2 of General Maths) or cease their mathematical studies.

This study enables students to:

      • develop mathematical concepts, knowledge and skills
      • apply mathematics to analyse, investigate and model a variety of contexts and solve practical and theoretical problems in situations that range from well-defined and familiar to open-ended and unfamiliar
      • use technology effectively as a tool for working mathematically


The study is made up of four units and covers the following topics:
● Functions and Graphs
● Algebra
● Calculus
● Probability and Statistics

Unit 1

This unit begins with Linear functions (equations and graphs), Quadratic Functions (factorisation, completing the square, graphing, turning points), Simultaneous Equations (algebraic and graphical methods), Advanced Functions and their graphs (cubic, hyperbola, truncus, hybrid, square root, inverse) and transformation of these functions; Discrete Probability (Tables, Venn diagrams, Karnaugh Maps and Tree Diagrams, Conditional). This includes consideration of impossible, certain, complementary, mutually exclusive, conditional and independent events involving one, two or three events (as applicable), including rules for computation of probabilities for compound events.

Unit 2

This unit extends students into Trigonometric Functions and their Graphs (Trig ratios, exact values, radian measures), Advanced Functions and their graphs (logs and exponentials); Calculus (gradients, rates of change, max/min); Applications of Probability (Combinations, Permutations)

Units 3 & 4

These Units continue developing the skills learned in Unit 1 & 2 with a focus on higher order algebraic methods to solve and analyse problems.
The Functions and Graphs units extend further into Hybrid Functions, Inverse Functions and maximal domains with an emphasis on real life applications.
The Calculus unit includes differentiating using the chain rule, product rule and quotient rule, anti-differentiation and applications of integration. The Probability unit extends further into Discrete Probability, Binomial Probability and Continuous Probability Distributions.


Students must have successful completion of both Unit 1 and Unit 2 prior to undertaking Units 3/4 Maths Methods.


Satisfactory Completion

Demonstrated achievement of the three outcomes specified for the unit.

Outcome 1 – define and explain key concepts and apply a range of related mathematical routines and procedures

Outcome 2 – apply mathematical processes in non-routine contexts and analyse and discuss these applications of mathematics

Outcome 3 – select and use technology to develop mathematical ideas, produce results and carry out analysis.

Levels of Achievement

Units 1 and 2

Students are required to meet the minimum standards for each Outcome as assessed through school-based SACs. In order to meet Outcome 3, students are expected to have their own CAS calculator.
Students must complete an End of Unit Examination set by the College

Units 3 and 4

Students are required to sit 3 SACs (School-assessed coursework) and two end-of year examinations set by VCAA.
Students are required to meet the minimum standards (40% or equivalent) for each Outcome as assessed through school-based SACs. In order to satisfy Outcome 3, students are expected to have their own CAS calculator.
A bound resource reference and use of CAS/scientific calculator is only allowed in some SACs and Exam 2.

The study score awarded by VCAA is comprised of:

  • School Assessed Coursework (SACs) 34%
  • Examination One – Short Answer, technology and resource free 22%
  • Examination Two – Multiple Choice and Extended Response, tech-enabled 44%