What is Specialist Maths all about?

The study of Specialist Maths provides students with advanced mathematical challenges that are both theoretical and practical in nature. There is a strong focus on algebraic manipulation, Real and Complex Number Systems and applications to Kinematics (and Physics).
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.
Specialist Maths must be studied at the same time as Maths Methods.
Students who successfully complete Unit 1 and Unit 2 may choose to continue into Specialist Maths Unit 3 and Unit 4, continue only with Maths Methods, transfer to Further Maths (not recommended without studying Unit 2 of General Maths) or cease their mathematical studies.

Aims
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

Structure

The study is made up of four units and covers the following topics:
● Real and complex number systems
● Advanced Algebra
● Vectors
● Applications of Trigonometry
● Non-Linear Functions and related graphs
● Differential Calculus
● Integral Calculus
● Kinematics
● Statics and Dynamics
● Differential Equations
● Probability and Statistics

Unit 1

This unit begins with the Complex Number System, Advanced Algebra (Indices, Exponentials/Logs) Vectors, Applications of Trigonometry, Non-Linear Functions and related graphs (Trig Functions, circles, hyperbolas); Differential (gradient) Calculus.

Unit 2

This unit extends students further into Integral (area) Calculus, Kinematics (study of motion), Statics and Dynamics (Forces, inclined planes, Kinematics) and Differential Equations (relates functions with their derivatives/rates of change), Probability and Statistics.

Units 3 & 4

This unit extends students further into Integral (area) Calculus, Kinematics (study of motion), Statics and Dynamics (Forces, inclined planes, Kinematics) and Differential Equations (relates functions with their derivatives/rates of change), Probability and Statistics.

Entry

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

Assessment

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 sit four SACs (School-assessed coursework) for each unit.
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 three SACs (School-assessed coursework) and two end-of year examinations set by VCAA.
Students are required to meet the minimum standards 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%