Mathematical Methods

Semester, Full Year

Mathematical Methods provides the necessary background for students wishing study tertiary courses with significant mathematical content like Aviation, Architecture, Engineering or the Physical Sciences. Mathematical Methods is the prerequisite subject for all tertiary Engineering courses and many other scientific fields of study (in conjunction with Specialist Mathematics in some cases).

Recommended background: Students at IBMYP level 6 or higher in Year 10 Mathematics or with a future career that requires high level mathematical knowledge should consider Mathematical Methods. A student considering Specialist Mathematics must also study Mathematical Methods.

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


The following topics provide the framework for learning in Stage 1 Mathematical Methods.

Semester 1

Functions and Graphs
Polynomials and Quadratics

Semester 2

Counting and Statistics
Growth and Decay
Introduction to Differential Calculus


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 General Mathematics.

Semester 1

Functions and Graphs topic test (SAT)
Polynomials topic test (SAT)
Polynomials investigation (IF)
Trigonometry topic test (SAT)

Semester 2

Counting and Statistics topic test (SAT)
Growth and Decay topic test (SAT)
Introduction to Calculus topic test (SAT)
Modelling With Derivatives investigation (IF)

Stage 1 Mathematical Methods 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.

Successful completion of this subject leads to: Stage 2 Mathematical Methods or Stage 2 General Mathematics

Students who intend to study Mathematics Methods at Stage 2: must complete 20 credits of Stage 1 Mathematical Methods. Students should investigate whether tertiary study requires Stage 2 Mathematical Methods 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.