HSC Maths

What’s new in HSC maths?

Algebraic and graphical representations of functions. Quadratic polynomials, inequalities and the roots of quadratic equations. Calculus and its applications including higher derivatives, logarithmic, exponential and trigonometric functions and ratios. Applications of calculus will extend to real world problems. Probability studies involving tree diagrams. Sequence and series (arithmetic and geometric).

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Main content of HSC maths

HSC Maths starts with a recap of basic arithmetic and algebra topics: rational numbers, quadratic surds, inequalities, linear equation, algebraic fractions, quadratic and simultaneous equations. Topics in consumer mathematics will involve the concepts of compound interest, hire purchase and replacement plans. Algebra and geometry topics will begin with simple functions and conclude with applications in calculus. Calculus and its applications are the core topics of HSC Maths curriculum. Differentiation and Integration (calculus) will be studied from first principle and through different rules before they are applied to polynomials, quadratics, geometry, trigonometry, logarithms, exponential functions, volumes, areas, velocity and acceleration.

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Common challenges for students in HSC Maths

The biggest challenge for students in HSC maths is calculus. Not only is it an entirely new concepts, it represents a shift in mathematical thinking and its applications can be found in almost all areas of HSC maths. Difficulty in grasping calculus will significantly affect students this year.

A more general but serious challenge for students is unifying their knowledge and understanding the interconnectedness of topics. In the HSC maths curriculum, topics overlap considerably and knowing how to apply concepts from one topic to solve a problem in a seemingly unrelated topic can be challenging.

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Main outcomes for HSC maths

At the end of HSC maths, students must be able to solve all problems in basic algebra, trigonometry and geometry. This includes consumer mathematics, quadratics and polynomials, both as equations and as functions. Likewise, they must be able to differentiate and integrate simple and complex mathematical functions, use the applicable computational rules to solve calculus problems and apply everything learnt in calculus to grasp applied calculus problems. The ability to use an interdisciplinary approach to finding solutions is essential to this course. Students of HSC maths must learn to take a holistic approach to dealing with abstract and real world problems.

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Most important concepts to ensure your child understands in year 12 Maths

Calculus is the most important concept to understand in HSC maths. Along with it, it is important to have grasped all the basics of algebra, geometry and trigonometry. New topics such as logarithmic and exponential functions are also important. However, a full grasp of the applications of calculus is the single greatest achievement your child can have in the HSC.

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If hiring a tutor, what study habits and content to focus on in HSC maths?

Encourage a concentration in calculus from the tutor you get. You should also advise a stepwise treatment of calculus e.g. differentiating from first principle before the use of rules in calculus; calculus involving simple functions before higher derivatives and applications.

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Main challenges involved in tutoring a HSC maths student

All the main challenges involved in tutoring a HSC maths student involve the volume of topics to be covered this year. It may look like calculus is the only uphill task for the year but it is tied to other topics and it is really a wide topic to cover. Students who have difficulty grasping an aspect may be demotivated to continue.

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Some good ideas on how to help your child in HSC maths

There is no substitute for time and more practice this year. Afford your child those by getting a capable tutor who can dedicatedly help him/her in preparation. Only a tutor or teacher can quickly see where your child is lacking in topics from previous years. Only a tutor or teacher can prepare a quick refresher course to bring your child up to speed. Try to guide your child through the load of work needed to be covered well in time for the final exams.

You should also focus on revision and exam preparation. Students often get caught up in understanding the most recent maths content at the expense of revision. Effective study habits, exam prepatation and time management are essential in senior maths. Teach your child to plan their study time, to plan what will be revised and when as they prepare for examinations. A strong sense of direction can make a world of difference.

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What they say about our tutoring:

Anne is loving tutoring and James is doing an amazing job so yes we are very happy and wish to continue!
All is great with Nathan. He's a lovely man and April has her block testing for maths tomorrow and she's confident- a good sign. April will now have a couple of weeks break due to holidays but Nathan will certainly be coming back. April quietly winges  about the homework Nathan sets for her but we don't interfere and are glad that Nathan makes sure its completed as April's attitude to maths was pretty bad.  
Thanks Gene, so far, Jamie’s response has been very good.  He has had 2 lessons to date, as last week was cancelled at our request (he was away on camp).   Jamie has responded very well to Eshan, who’s approach is unassuming, gentle, but persuasive and constructive.  Jamie actually looks forward to spending time with Eshan to teach him his Maths strategies.   We look forward to seeing Eshan again next week.   Thanks also for the newsletter.  I have to say that I think your supportive written material is very useful!
Hello and thank you for your email. We are happy with Philip's progress in these few weeks as you suggest I am sure more time is needed for him to be more confident . We are also happy with his tutor he is very well spoken, polite and gets on well with my son so far.
Sophie is very happy with Jane as a tutor.  Jane is extremely diligent - we have the complication of the UK syllabi and Jane has taken a lot of trouble in her own time, to check up on what Sophie should be learning !
We are very happy with the way the tutoring is working out. Harry seems to have improved already and his confidence is on the way up, all good news. Lee has been excellent and Harry is very happy to work with him.
Thanks for asking So far so good Michael is great. Kane seems to be quite happy
We are very happy with Cohen. He is excellent.
Thanks for the follow up.  Yes I am very happy with Sean, he has worked with Machlin through some difficult times and nothing has been a problem for Sean.