How to Study for VCE Further Maths – The Three Common FAQs!

How to Study for VCE Further Maths – The Three Common FAQs!

This article was written by Harrison, a VCE Further Maths tutor. You can see more about Harrison’s tutoring services here.


  1. How can I achieve a 40 in the subject?

To cut right to the chase, you must work hard to do well in VCE Further Maths. A natural math ability is helpful; however, you will find that you are not the only one in the course that shares that ability. Firstly, you should be focusing on doing every question offered by your textbook AND checkpoints. This allows you to get a good understanding of the contents of the course, and a familiarity with how VCAA sets out the questions in the exam.

Secondly, you should ask your maths teacher/coordinator for all of the non-VCAA practice exams they have to offer (You don’t need to do VCAA practice exams, as all of the questions will be in Checkpoints. Alternatively, if you do not have checkpoints, you can find the same questions in VCAA practice exams). Doing these exams under timed conditions is important, as it really prepares you for the real exam.

2. What should I take into the exam?

As you should be aware, you can take either your own notebook or the textbook (one or the other) into the exam with you.

I highly recommend that you either take notes during class or summarize the textbook into your own words (or both) and take these completed notes with you in the exam. This way, you will know where to find everything and have the luxury of having easy to understand notes, tailored to you, made by you. This luxury is very helpful in exam conditions. If you are having trouble with your notebook, feel free to seek help from any Further Maths tutor here at LearnMate.

3. I’m really bad with the CAS! How can I improve using it?

The CAS is an invaluable asset in this subject, as you can use it in all forms of assessment. With this in mind, it is incredibly important that you know how to use it. The TVM (Finance Solver) is an important function of the CAS and will be your go-to when doing questions regarding Financial Maths.

Thankfully, the CAS is easy to use. Filled within your textbook are instructions of how to use all the different functions of the CAS. If this is not sufficient enough, you can ask any maths teacher within your school for extra help in using the CAS. As long as you are always practicing how to use your CAS, you will be fine come exam time. 


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

How to Study for VCE Further Maths – The Three Common FAQs!
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VCE Maths – Study Skills Required to Succeed!


This article has been written by Tianhe Xie, a VCE Maths Methods, Further Maths, Specialist Maths & Physics tutor at LearnMate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Tianhe, then please check out her page here.


Study Skills – How To Study Mathematic Subjects

During my school years I have always heard people complaining about the difficulties of studying mathematical subjects. Indeed, mathematic subjects can be challenging, because in order to acquire a good score, you have to not only understand the concepts and techniques, but also do a lot of practice to improve your calculation accuracy, which can be very time consuming. Therefore, it is important to be very organized when you study maths, which is basically why I am writing this article.

In this article I will provide some basic advice on study skills for mathematic subjects specifically, which have helped me to perform well in year 12.

Notebooks

Have Three Notebooks:

For each of my math subjects, I had three separate notebooks for class notes, homework/exercise and summary respectively. It is important to have a summary book as early as possible, because in the exam you will be using these books. If you start to make your summary book early and use them in your SAC, you will be familiar with the locations of your formulas, which will give you a large advantage in the exam. Please be aware that there are certain rules which restrict the types of notebooks that can be taken into the examination room – when unsure, always check with your teachers at school or the VCAA website.

What to write in your summary book:

The summary book should cover the concepts (definitions), and formulas in each area of study. Also, it will be good to include questions that you have got wrong during practice. I always write down why I got this question wrong on the side too, just to remind myself not to make the same mistakes again. As a careless person, on the front page, I have put certain common things that I have regularly done wrong when doing my homework, such as unit conversions, precision of result (how many decimals required) and calculator mode for angle measurements, so that before my SAC, I know I need to be careful with them. For Math Methods and Specialist Math Students: On the last several pages, I have summarized the graphs with their basic function equations that we have learnt – This can be very helpful for graph, derivatives and anti-derivatives questions in the exams.

Update your summary book before the SAC as a revision, and ask your teacher/tutor about the parts you are uncertain with.

For Methods and Specialist Students

Practice your calculation skills:

Even though you are allowed a calculator for many sections in your exam, you should still try to solve questions by hand when you are doing your homework. This will really reinforce your understanding and familiarise yourself with the techniques. In the tech-free part, there are always questions simply testing your calculation skills – it’s always good to secure these marks. Therefore, please make sure you know multiplication table, differentiation/anti-differentiation and equation solving techniques, and the relation between fraction and division, etc.

Additional Advice

Do your homework regularly:

Yes you actually should do your homework. Personally, I stay in the school library after school to complete the relevant exercise of the day, because if I go home I get lazy. As normally you would have time in class to do some of it, it really should not take long – if you understand the context and are updated, it should take only about 15-30 minutes. 

Know how to use the calculator:

Please know your calculator well. There are many clever functions in the calculator that can save you enormous time in exam (for further math students especially, please know how to use the ‘geometry’ function for your trigonometry section). If your teacher don’t give your enough information on this (as I know from some of my students), you should really find someone who can explain this to you or check your textbook for more instruction.

Have a positive attitude:

It may sound clichéd, but I do think it’s important to have confidence when you are studying mathematics. Yes, mathematics is difficult, but high school mathematic subjects are not real mathematics – they are subjects, so if you do enough work, you will do well in them. As I mentioned earlier, mathematic subjects appear to be harder than other subjects, because they require a larger amount of work. Yet, once you have done enough practice, you will begin to see the similar pattern in them and the strategies to all the puzzling questions will suddenly become obvious to you. So, never think you are incapable of understanding high school mathematics – it might be the fact that your teacher’s explanation doesn’t match your learning preference, or the fact that you haven’t attempted more practice questions. Keep trying – asking people who understand it, reading your textbooks, getting a tutor or doing more practice – you will get there. Everyone is capable of understanding high school mathematics – in a way, it’s like learning addition and multiplication in primary school – you may get it wrong due to a lack of practice, but it will be ridiculous to say that you do not understand it.

This advice looks simple but is actually hard to implement and maintain. If you have successfully integrated all of them into your study, you should be able to perform very well in your exam. 

I wish you all the best and you’ll do amazingly well if you follow my advice above!


This article has been written by Tianhe Xie, a VCE Maths Methods, Further Maths, Specialist Maths & Physics tutor at LearnMate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Tianhe, then please check out her page here.


LearnMate is Australia’s leading tutoring agency offering private lessons in all primary & high school subjects including English, maths, science, humanities, foreign languages, and so much more. Our mission is simple: to provide professional, engaging and enthusiastic tutors to students, while also ensuring the student feels empowered and confident during their assessments! Ultimately, our goal is to empower students all over Australia to achieve amazing results and make their dreams come true!

LearnMate provides you with tailored, one-on-one lessons for tutoring in a variety of suburbs in MelbourneSydneyGeelongBrisbaneHobartCanberraPerth & Adelaide! With hundreds of tutors on the LearnMate platform, you’re bound to find someone local for any primary or high school year level! You can choose to have lessons in-person or online – whatever is easiest for you!

VCE Maths – Study Skills Required to Succeed!
read more