Which Mathematics Should My Child Choose for Senior Year?
Subject selection can be a challenge when the classes your child chooses could affect their academic future. The right senior mathematics class can help your child develop important numeracy skills that will assist in future studies. It’s important to think wisely about the decision you’re making.
With so much to consider, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Let’s break it down. What are your child’s mathematics options, and how will each choice help them on their way to a future career?
What are the mathematics classes?
There are three main ATAR maths subjects. Once called Mathematics A, B, and C, these subjects are now referred to as General Mathematics, Mathematical Methods, and Specialist Mathematics.
In General Mathematics, students learn lower-level maths skills, becoming familiar with basic mathematical concepts and confident with general problem-solving and equations. This subject introduces algebra, trigonometry, data, and other basic maths concepts.
Mathematical Methods addresses more complex mathematical concepts and provides students with a comprehensive understanding of higher-level numeracy skills. Students learn concepts like calculus, algebraic modelling, and abstract thinking.
Specialist Mathematics must be studied alongside Mathematical Methods. It exists to cover specialised concepts related to engineering and science.
Essential Mathematics is the remaining maths course, with this class tailored to non-ATAR mathematics students.
How are the different maths classes weighted in ATAR?
When choosing a maths course for senior year, it’s important to consider the effects of different subjects on the ATAR system.
ATAR weighting, or scaling, affects the value that is applied to a student’s performance in assessments and exams for the subjects they study.
Not all ATAR subjects are created equal. Cohort performance and subject complexity contribute to different weighting systems when it’s time to determine a final ATAR score.
Generally, complex ATAR subjects like Mathematical Methods earn students higher results when scaled than subjects taken by more students with average levels of achievement.
This means that a Mathematical Methods course will be weighted more favourably than General Mathematics.
Which classes are best for which students?
Ultimately, your child’s choice of a mathematics course should be dependent on their goals for future study or a professional career.
General Mathematics offers students the opportunity to develop concrete skills that are suitable for non-mathematical career paths. Studying General Mathematics can prepare your child for technical trades, hospitality employment, or administrative or managerial work.
Mathematical Methods is more complex and is a good choice for students who see maths in their futures. If your child plans to pursue a career in engineering, business, science, medicine, finance, mining, or technology, this is the best subject choice.
Studied alongside Mathematical Methods, Specialist Mathematics is best for students with highly mathematical career aspirations. This add-on maths subject is ideal if your child is planning to work in engineering or science-related fields.
How can your child make the most of their mathematics subject?
Choosing an easier mathematics subject might sound like a good idea but with ATAR weighting and career prospects in mind, it’s often best to work hard and do well in a more complex maths course.
If your child needs support to build numeracy skills and perform well in their senior maths classes, A Team Tuition has great ATAR maths tutors available who can help.
Are you looking for a maths tutor in Sydney or elsewhere in Australia?