VCE Specialist Mathematics Units 3 & 4
Specialist Mathematics incorporates a range of skill areas including, but not limited to, functions, relations, algebra, graphs, differential and integral calculus, trigonometry, vectors, vector calculus, complex numbers and mechanics. A good understanding of the mathematical concepts and skills completed in both General Mathematics (Methods) and Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2 is assumed in addition to the concurrent knowledge of the skills and concepts covered in Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4.
Students are expected to be able to apply techniques, routines and processes, involving rational, real and complex arithmetic, algebraic manipulation, diagrams and geometric constructions, solving equations, graph sketching, differentiation and integration related to the areas of study as applicable, both with and without the use of technology.
Note: Students undertaking Specialist Mathematics are expected to have access to either a TI-84Plus graphics calculator or a TI-Nspire(CAS+) calculator. These calculators will be available for purchase through the school as applicable.
It expected that students will have successfully completed Advanced Mathematics (Year 10), General Mathematics (Methods) Units 1 and 2, Mathematical Methods (Units 1 and 2) and be studying Mathematical Methods (Units 3 and 4) concurrently with Specialist Mathematics. Students that have not completed General Mathematics (Methods) will need to consult with the mathematics coordinator prior to attempting this subject. There exists a large range of prerequisite material, including, but not limited to, familiarity with sequence and series notation and related applications, use of the sine and cosine rules in non-right angled triangles in a variety of different contexts; a variety of geometrical properties including, but not limited to, the two tangents to a circle from an exterior point are equal in length, the angle subtended by an arc at the centre of a circle is twice the angle subtended by the same arc at the circumference and the sum of the opposite angles of a cyclic quadrilateral is 180°.
Unit 3 and 4 - Assessment
Note: The outcomes for Units 3 and 4 are the same for Mathematical Methods.
On 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.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to apply mathematical processes in non-routine contexts, and analyse and discuss these applications of mathematics.
On completion of this unit the student should be able to select and appropriately use technology to develop mathematical ideas, produce results and carry out analysis in situations requiring problem solving, modeling or investigative techniques or approaches.
Levels of Achievement
The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4. In Mathematics: Further Mathematics the student’s level of achievement will be determined by school-assessed coursework and two end-of-year examinations. Percentage contributions to the study score in Mathematics are as follows:
- Unit 3 school-assessed coursework: 14 per cent
- Unit 4 school-assessed coursework: 20 per cent
- Units 3 and 4 examination 1: 22 per cent
- Units 3 and 4 examination 2: 44 per cent