Year 11 Maths

EP Maths has an extensive library of smart Year 11 lessons that are fully aligned to the curriculum and enable students to build their confidence in basic maths skills and grow their problem solving strategies.

Year 11 Maths Overview

The Australian curriculum for Year 11 Maths consists of Essential Mathematics, General Mathematics, Mathematical Methods, and Specialist Mathematics. In some states, these subjects may be given different names, but they will essentially contain the same or similar content. 

Over the course of four semesters in Year 11 and Year 12, students complete four units within each Maths subject. Choosing the right subject for you depends on your future plans. Many tertiary education paths will require an element of Maths, and some will require more than one Maths subject to be completed to a high level – such as engineering or some sciences. Most modes of employment and most modern lifestyles also involve mathematical understanding to some degree. 

But it’s not all about career options, of course. A strong grounding in Mathematics teaches problem-solving skills and the application of learned concepts to unfamiliar models. And perhaps the most exciting part – you finally get to make use of those fancy graphics functions on your calculator! 

In order to gain an open pathway to most future endeavours, at least one Maths subject should be continued throughout your senior secondary years. This is particularly important in the current workplace environment, which is in constant flux due to the advances of AI and computing technology.

What are the options for Year 11 Maths?

Here’s a quick round up of the options available in the Australian curriculum for Year 11 Maths: 

Year 11 Essential Mathematics: This course focuses on the effective, efficient and critical use of mathematics in decision making. It uses real world content to provide mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding for solving problems in a range of community, employment, educational and personal settings. In this way, it helps prepare students for post-secondary training and workplaces and life in general.

Year 11 General Mathematics: This subject focuses on the use of discrete maths techniques  to solve contextual problems within the realm of decision making, financial modelling, network analysis, discrete growth and decay, route planning, and project planning. Year11 General Maths students will also analyse and solve a range of geometrical problems using measurement, scaling navigation and triangulation. Statistical processes and systemic strategies will also be investigated, in order to make comparisons and associations, and to analyse time series.

Year 11 Mathematical Methods requires students to develop skills and knowledge in the use of calculus and statistical analysis. The study of calculus gives a basis for understanding the physical world and its rates of change, and includes the use of functions and their derivatives and integrals, in order to model physical processes. Statistics in Mathematical Methods helps students learn to describe and analyse phenomena involving uncertainty and variation.

Year 11 Specialist Mathematics is best paired with Mathematical Methods and it is often taken as an extension subject. It provides opportunities to create rigorous mathematical arguments and proofs, and to utilise mathematical models in extensive ways. With topics in functions and calculus that build on and deepen the ideas in Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics will help students apply this knowledge to many areas. It also extends understanding and knowledge of probability and statistics, as well as the sub-topics of vectors, complex numbers and matrices.

Choosing your Year 11 Maths pathway

Maths is essential to many different career pathways. It is also often helpful in studying many others, even though they may not seem maths-dominant at first  – such as nursing or scaffolding, for example. Some vocational training and educational programmes will suggest maths as a recommended but not prerequisite subject, which can cause students to forgo maths in Year 11 and 12. However, often these subjects will contain a maths unit in the first semester, which will be much easier for a new student thrust into tertiary study if you have some recent background from a dedicated maths class.

Check online to ensure you know which subjects your planned course requires. Most university websites will contain lists of required subjects for each course and the scores needed to get in.

Scaling in Year 11 Maths

All subjects in Year 11 and 12 are scaled to account for the competition in the subject, rather than for the difficulty level. This gives the subject an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank or ATAR, which is the primary criterion for entry into undergraduate courses in Australian universities. This is done to even the playing field and it means that on the most part, students who take more challenging subjects will be scaled up. In terms of the four mathematical subjects in Year 11, they are ranked in terms of difficulty as follows: Specialist is the most difficult, followed by Mathematical methods, followed by General, then Essential Maths.

Studying in Year 11 Maths

As the subjects continue from Year 11 into Year 12, with scores taken across the two years contributing to your Higher School Certificate, it is important to keep up with all coursework and to study efficiently throughout Year 11.

Doing homework and checking through notes following lessons, and ensuring you have a solid understanding of the language used and the methodology in your coursework will set you in good stead for continuing through these final two years of schooling and achieving good scores.

Maths is essential to daily life and it is also great exercise for the brain, so no matter what your educational and career plans, give Maths your best shot in Year 11 and 12 to be well set with knowledge and skills for the future.

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