- What’s new in general maths?
- Main content of general maths?
- Common challenges for students in general maths?
- Main outcomes for general maths?
- Most important concepts to ensure your child understands in general maths?
- If you chose to get a tutor, study habits and content to focus on in general maths?
- Main challenges involved in tutoring a general maths student?
- Some good ideas on how to help your child in general maths?
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What’s new in general maths?
General maths being a track for those pursuing business, humanities and paramedical disciplines introduces taxation, depreciation, annuities and loan repayments. Correlation is also an addition to help with probability studies when dealing with data sets. Spherical geometry builds on students’ earlier knowledge of geometry of solids. Relative frequency is also a new introduction for statistical studies. Lastly, there is modelling linear and non-linear relationships.
Main content of general maths
General maths is divided into two parts: a preliminary course and an HSC track. The latter course expands and extends topics learnt in the first one. Financial maths which is the core of general maths includes calculation involving earning and investing money as well as taxation. This is extended in the HSC course with calculations involving credit, borrowing, annuities, loan repayments and depreciations. Data analyses cover topics from data collection and interpretation to statistical concepts of normal distribution curves and correlation. Measurements of area and volume and their applications will be learnt alongside trigonometry of 2-dimensional figures and right-angled triangles as well as geometry of spheres. Probability studies will be introduced with the concept of chance events and then relative frequency. Algebraic skills and techniques will involve modelling linear and non-linear relationships.
Common challenges for students in general Maths
The high concepts of geometry and trigonometry are common challenges for students studying general maths. Other common difficulties for students include correlation under data analysis and modelling non-linear relationships.
Many students in general maths have trouble with understanding and interpreting questions. Questions in general maths tend to be more “wordy” and challenging to interpret in a meaningful way.
Main outcomes for general maths
At the end of the course, students are expected to be able to undertake financial calculations related to investment, spending, borrowing, repayment, taxation, depreciation and annuities. They should also show proficiency in data collection and interpretation as well as applying the basic principles of probability. Other areas where students are expected to be well tutored are basic algebra (including linear and non-linear relationships), trigonometry (measurements of area and volume) and geometry (2-dimensional figures and spheres).
Most important concepts to ensure your child understands in year General Maths
It is important that your child understand the topics under financial mathematics, data analysis and probability. An understanding of basic algebra is crucial as it is the bedrock of the other aspects of this year’s maths.
If hiring a tutor, what study habits and content to focus on in general maths?
Since this year is largely about financial mathematics, a real world application of concepts is the way to learn general maths. Get maths tutors who can provide ready examples of real financial problems to use in calculations. Exposure to such exercises will ground your child in the understanding of financial terms. Try to encourage seeking more applications in your child’s immediate environment.
Main challenges involved in tutoring a general maths student
Many general maths students believe they will only learn financial mathematics this year. Getting a general maths student to learn the geometry and trigonometry as well may be challenging. This is largely because most of these other topics have been studied to some detail in previous years. Each portion of the course will be examined, so it is important to focus on all the parts.
Some good ideas on how to help your child in general maths
Provide adequate real-world problems requiring the concepts learnt in financial mathematics. You can even let your child use the family’s finances as exercises to help him/her get a good grasp of the course. Hiring a tutor will, however, afford him/her more time and more opportunities to learn and apply their knowledge.
It should also be noted that general maths is far less technical than other maths courses. As such many questions focus on the student providing written explanations of answers. It is important that your child is comfortable with “math language”. A great way to help with this is to encourage verbal discussion of content and asking the student to explain how they arrived at an answer.
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