Learning
Specialist Mathematics - Units 1 - 4

 

Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2

Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2 provide a course of study for students who wish to undertake an in-depth study of mathematics, with an emphasis on concepts, skills and processes related to mathematical structure, modelling, problem solving and reasoning. This study has a focus on interest in the discipline of mathematics in its own right and investigation of a broad range of applications, as well as development of a sound background for further studies in mathematics and mathematics related fields.

Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2 and Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2, taken in conjunction, provide a comprehensive preparation for Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4. The areas of study for Units 1 and 2 of Specialist Mathematics are ‘Algebra and structure’, ‘Arithmetic and number’, ‘Discrete mathematics’, ‘Geometry, measurement and trigonometry’, ‘Graphs of linear and non-linear relations’ and ‘Statistics’.

In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational, real and complex arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations and graphs with and without the use of technology. They should have facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout each unit as applicable.

Area of Study 1

Algebra and structure

Area of Study 2

Arithmetic and number

Area of Study 3

Discrete mathematics

Area of Study 4

Geometry, measurement and trigonometry

Area of Study 5

Graphs of linear and non-linear relations

Area of Study 6

Statistics

 

Outcome 1

On completion of this unit the student should be able to define and explain key concepts in relation to the topics from the selected areas of study, and apply a range of related mathematical routines and procedures.

Outcome 2

On completion of each unit the student should be able to apply mathematical processes in non-routine contexts, and analyse and discuss these applications of mathematics in at least three areas of study.

 

Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4

Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4 consist of the areas of study: ‘Functions and graphs’, ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’, ‘Vectors’, ‘Mechanics’ and ‘Probability and statistics’. The development of course content should highlight mathematical structure, reasoning and applications across a range of modelling contexts with an appropriate selection of content for each of Unit 3 and Unit 4. The selection of content for Unit 3 and Unit 4 should be constructed so that there is a balanced and progressive development of knowledge and skills with connections among the areas of study being developed as appropriate across Unit 3 and Unit 4.

Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4 assumes familiarity with the key knowledge and skills from Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2, the key knowledge and skills from Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2 topics 'Number systems and recursion' and 'Geometry in the plane and proof', and concurrent or previous study of Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4. Together these cover the assumed knowledge and skills for Specialist Mathematics, which are drawn on as applicable in the development of content from the areas of study and key knowledge and skills for the outcomes.

In Unit 3 a study of Specialist Mathematics would typically include content from ‘Functions and graphs’ and a selection of material from the ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’ and ‘Vectors’ areas of study. In Unit 4 this selection would typically consist of the remaining content from the ‘Algebra’, ‘Calculus’, and ‘Vectors’ areas of study and the content from the ‘Mechanics’ and ‘Probability and statistics’ areas of study. In undertaking these units, students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes involving rational, real and complex arithmetic, sets, lists and tables, diagrams and geometric constructions, algebraic manipulation, equations, graphs, differentiation, anti-differentiation and integration and inference with and without the use of technology. They should have facility with relevant mental and by-hand approaches to estimation and computation. The use of numerical, graphical, geometric, symbolic and statistical functionality of technology for teaching and learning mathematics, for working mathematically, and in related assessment, is to be incorporated throughout each unit as applicable.

Area of Study 1

Functions and graphs

Area of Study 2

Algebra

Area of Study 3

Calculus

Area of Study 4

Vectors

Area of Study 5

Mechanics

Area of Study 6

Probability and statistics

 

Outcome 1

On the completion of each unit the student should be able to define and explain key concepts as specified in the content from the areas of study, and apply a range of related mathematical routines and procedures.

Outcome 2

On the completion of each unit the student should be able to apply mathematical processes, with an emphasis on general cases, in non-routine contexts, and analyse and discuss these applications of mathematics.

Outcome 3

On completion of each unit the student should be able to select and appropriately use numerical, graphical, symbolic and statistical functionalities of technology to develop mathematical ideas, produce results and carry out analysis in situations requiring problem-solving, modelling or investigative techniques or approaches.

 

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. This decision will be based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on assessment tasks designated for the unit.

Levels of achievement

Units 1 and 2

School based Assessment Task and Exams. 

Units 3 and 4

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority supervises the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.

Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE Specialist Mathematics are as follows:

School-assessed Coursework Unit 3 17%
School-assessed Coursework Unit 4 17%
End-of-year examination 1 22%
End-of-year examination 2 44%

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