Further Maths is one of the unique subjects in VCE in regards to structure. It is unusual primarily because each school has the option to choose particular sections to teach.
Which is why I want to properly explain exactly what students should be expecting from Further Maths in year 12.
What You Need To Know About Further Maths
There are six modules that compose of the Further Maths curriculum.
Two core modules, and four optional modules
The core modules are Data Analysis and Financial Mathematics. Every school in Victoria is required to teach these two modules.
Data Analysis is by far the largest of all the modules in Further Maths, and typically takes up most of the first Term of the year. It involved concepts from previous years such as mean/median/mode, bar charts, box plots etc., as well as new concepts such as Normal Distributions and Linear Regression.
Financial Maths focuses on concepts such as interest, loans, and investments. It is definitely a welcome addition to the curriculum, although there is room to add more detail to make it more beneficial for the wider world.
The four optional modules are Linear Relations, Geometry & Trigonometry, Networks & Decision Maths, and Matrices.
Every school selects two of these modules to deliver. Typically, this choice is based off what the school’s teachers are most comfortable delivering. It can also be based on what the school believes will achieve the best results.
While no module is particularly easier or harder than another, there are certain modules that are more popular.
- Matrices is by far the most popular module choice for schools
- Geometry and Trig comes in second
- Networks & Decision Maths is next most popular
- Linear Relations is typically the least common selection
This is the reason that the Further Maths textbook is so daunting…
It includes content from all six modules, despite the fact that students only focus on four of them.
The exams are constructed in a similar way; students are only expected to complete the modules that they have learnt.
Yes, there are horror stories of students trying to complete all the sections. Don’t be that person…
Note: Schools have the freedom to decide how best to deliver SACs to their students. The information in this section is based on my experience with a range of schools – these aren’t rules, they are simply observations from experience. Please speak to your teacher to get a detailed outline of your SACs for Further Maths.
SACs count for 34% of your overall mark in this subject. That weight is split between all the SACs throughout the year, though the exact split is actually up to your school and teachers.
Typically speaking, Further Maths students get around 4-6 SACs for the year. 2-3 SACs for Data Analysis, and one each for Finance Maths and the two optional modules.
Data Analysis is proportionately bigger than other modules and contains a large amount of varied content, which is why it gets the extra attention.
Further Maths Exam Layout
There are 2 exams at the end of the year for Further Maths.
Each exam is 1.5 hours in length, plus the 15 minutes reading time at the start.
Both exams allow full calculator use and summary notes.
Check out this quick easy list “5 Things That Further Students MUST Have Nailed Before Exams”
Unlike in Maths Methods or Specialist Maths, in which the first exam is calculator-free and notes-free.
And each exam is weighted for 33% of your overall mark.
In fact, the only difference between the two exams is the style of question.
Exam 1 is entirely multiple choice questions:
- 16 Questions for Data Analysis
- 8 Questions for Finance Maths
- 8 Questions for each optional module
For a total of 40 questions to be answered. This equates to 2 minutes and 15 seconds per question, for those who are about to ask. The questions require no shown work or explanation, and there are no consequential marks.
You’re either right, or you’re wrong.
Exam 2 is built entirely of extended answer questions:
- 36 Marks allocated to Core section, which is typically split as:
- 24 marks for Data Analysis and
- 12 marks for Finance
- These are a little flexible, in 2017 it was 22 and 14.
- 24 Marks allocated to optional module (12 marks per module)
Which totals 60 marks. If you’re looking for a time budget, that equates to 1 minute and 30 seconds per mark. Despite the fact that there are more marks available in this exam, it is overall worth exactly the same as Exam 1.
Consequential and method marks are both available in Exam 2, which means it is important for students to make an active effort to show their working and methodology in answering questions.
My one piece of advice for Further Maths students
Your Summary Book is gold.
As long as you put in the effort to create it in the best way possible.
Want some help building your summary book? Check out “How to create a killer summary book for Further Maths”
The thing about Further Maths is that each module is completely segregated from the others.
Which means that you can update your summary book as you go without having to be concerned about going back to fill in pieces later.
Your goal should be to use your summary book for each SAC as well as for the exams.
By keeping it constantly up to date, it will become an incredibly valuable resource throughout the year. Don’t wait until the end of the year to do it.
The fact is, once you finish the Data Analysis module, you won’t have a good reason to look at that content again until exam time. Do you think you’ll be able to remember everything important and relevant by then?
Most students can’t, which is why creating a summary book for Further Maths turns into such a daunting task. But if you keep on top of it from the start, it’s not only useful but easy!
Now that you know exactly what to expect, all that’s left is to master the Maths itself! But if that sounds a bit daunting, why not get in touch with us to organise a free introductory tutoring session? Just fill in the form here and we can get in touch with you to give you more information!