Semester, Full Year

Specialist Mathematics provides the necessary background for students wishing study tertiary courses with significant mathematical content like Aviation, Architecture, Engineering or the Physical Sciences.

A student studying Specialist Mathematics must also select Mathematical Methods.

A Graphics Calculator (ideally CASIO 9860 series) is required. These are available for loan through the school.

Recommended background

Students in Stage 1 study one of four levels of Mathematics. A students Year 10 results and teachers recommendation should be considered when deciding which level to select.

A student working below standard (a D or E grade) in Year 10 Mathematics should select Essential Mathematics. Students working at standard (a C grade) may select General Mathematics or Essential Mathematics. Students working above standard (an A or B grade) can select General Mathematics, though should select Mathematical Methods and/or Specialist Mathematics if they have career aspirations that requires high level Mathematical knowledge.


The following topics provide the framework for learning in Stage 1 Specialist Mathematics.

Semester 1

  • Arithmetic and geometric sequences
  • Geometry
  • Vectors n the Plane

Semester 2

  • Further trigonometry
  • Matrices
  • Real and complex numbers


Assessment at Stage 1 is school- based and subject to moderation.

There are two assessment types:

  • Mathematical Folios (investigations and research tasks)
  • Skills and Application Tasks (topic tests)

Four assessment pieces are completed in each semester of Stage 1 Specialist Mathematics.

Semester 1

  • Arithmetic and geometric sequences (SAT)
  • Geometry (SAT)
  • Vectors in the plane (SAT)
  • Trigonometry/Geometry Investigation (IF)

Semester 2

  • Further trigonometry (SAT)
  • Matrices (SAT)
  • Real and complex numbers (SAT)
  • Cipher investigation (IF)

Stage 1 Specialist Mathematics is assessed using two criteria:

  • Concepts and Techniques
    • This criterion assesses students knowledge and understanding of mathematical information and knowledge, their application of mathematical skills, gathering, representing and interpreting data and using technology to find solutions to practical problems.
  • Reasoning and Communication
    • This criterion assesses students ability to interpret mathematical results, their reasoning when drawing conclusions and ability to consider appropriateness of their solutions, correct use of mathematics notation, representations and information, and their communication of ideas and information.

A Course Overview, outlining the specific criteria assessed for each task, can be provided upon request.

Successful completion of this subject leads to: Stage 2 Specialist Mathematics.

Students who intend to study Specialist Mathematics at Stage 2: must complete 20 credits of Stage 1 Specialist Mathematics. Students should investigate whether tertiary study requires Stage 2 Specialist Mathematics as a prerequisite or assumed knowledge.

SACE requires all students to achieve a C grade or higher in one semester of any Mathematics course in Stage 1. Students who are successful have the option to choose to select an alternative elective in semester 2 or continue with a second semester of Mathematics. Students who are not successful must study a second semester of Mathematics.