Essential Mathematics


Essential Mathematics is designed to support students who have Numeracy as an area for development. It focuses on the mathematics of daily life rather than in the context of work or further study. Students who study Essential Mathematics in Stage 1 are unable to study a Mathematics course in Stage 2. Students intending to study Stage 2 General Mathematics should undertake 20 credits of General Mathematics at Stage 1.

Recommended background: Students at IBMYP level 3 or lower in Year 10 Mathematics should consider Essential Mathematics.

A scientific calculator is required.


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

Semester 1

Calculations, Time and Ratio
Earning and Spending

Semester 2

Data in Context


Assessment at Stage 1 is school based.

Students demonstrate evidence of their learning through the following assessment types:

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

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

Semester 1

Osmosis practical report (IF)
Cells and Microorganisms topic test (SAT)
Keystone Species essay (IF)
Ecosystems and Biodiversity topic test (SAT)

Semester 2

Disease Spread and Prevention essay (IF)
Infectious Disease topic test (SAT)
Enzymes practical report (IF)
Multicellular Organism topic test (SAT)

Stage 1 Essential 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.

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.