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Mathematics General Syllabus – Frequently Asked Questions

1. With all Mathematics General students studying a common course, Preliminary Mathematics General, in Year 11, can the depth of study be tailored to suit particular groups of students?

The common Preliminary course means that when students are in Year 11 they are not locked into either ‘General 2’ or ‘General 1’, according to whether they are likely to study the HSC Mathematics General 2 course (BDC) or the HSC Mathematics General 1 course (CEC). Schools should differentiate the teaching and learning of the content of the Preliminary Mathematics General course in order to meet appropriately the needs of their particular students.

2. The HSC Mathematics General 1 course (CEC) is an additional course in the suite of Stage 6 HSC Mathematics courses. What is its purpose?

The HSC Mathematics General 1 course has been designed to better meet the needs of students who wish to study mathematics in Stage 6 but whose purposes are not accommodated through the study of the HSC Mathematics General 2 course (see the first Broad Direction in Broad Directions for the revision and development of Stage 6 Mathematics). While the Preliminary Mathematics General/HSC Mathematics General 2 pathway provides a strong foundation for a broad range of vocational pathways, as well as for a range of university courses, the Preliminary Mathematics General/HSC Mathematics General 1 pathway provides an appropriate foundation for a range of such vocational pathways, either in the workforce or in further training.

3. The HSC Mathematics General 1 course is a Content Endorsed Course (CEC). What are the implications of this for HSC and ATAR eligibility?

As a Content Endorsed Course, the HSC Mathematics General 1 course (two units of study in the HSC Year) cannot be used to meet the requirement that, to be eligible for the HSC award, students must study at least six units of Board Developed Courses. Schools will need to be careful in providing appropriate guidance to students who they believe are likely to study the HSC Mathematics General 1 course, as this non-examinable course cannot be used to meet the HSC-eligibility requirement of six units of HSC Board Developed Courses. Students who are likely to undertake study of the HSC Mathematics General 1 course will need to have at least six units of Preliminary Board Developed Courses from other Key Learning Areas.

Also, the two units of study for the HSC Mathematics General 1 course cannot be counted in the 10 units required for the calculation of an ATAR. For further information, please refer to the Board’s Assessment Certification Examination (ACE) website.

4. What support materials is the Board making available in relation to the Mathematics General Syllabus for the information and assistance of teachers?

Support materials are being released progressively, as follows, on the Board’s website:

5. How are students studying the Preliminary Mathematics General course to be assessed and graded?

Suggested assessment components and weightings for the Preliminary Mathematics General course are provided in Assessment and Reporting in the HSC Mathematics General 2 Course, and are designed to give guidance for the school’s assessment of student achievement in the course. They may be varied to suit school needs. Further advice on internal assessment is available on the Board’s Assessment Certification Examination (ACE) website.

Schools are also responsible for awarding each student studying and completing the Preliminary Mathematics General course a grade (A, B, C, D or E) to represent the student’s achievement. The grade awarded is reported on the student’s Record of School Achievement. Teachers will use the Common Grade Scale for Preliminary Courses to determine grades. Teachers should follow their school’s procedures for the assessment of student achievement in Preliminary courses and the awarding of grades. Schools will determine the procedures that they will use to record assessment information and how this is used when determining the grades awarded across the group of students studying Preliminary Mathematics General in any particular year.

6. Which calculators are approved for use in the HSC examination for the Preliminary Mathematics General/Mathematics General 2 Pathway (ie the ‘Mathematics General 2’ HSC examination) from 2014?

Candidates may use a ‘Board-approved calculator’ that appears on the Board’s list of Approved Scientific Calculators for the Higher School Certificate Examinations (updated annually). This means that the same list applies as for the Mathematics (‘2 Unit’), Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2 HSC examinations, and therefore that graphics calculators cannot be used.

Teachers will make decisions regarding the most appropriate technologies for use in the teaching and learning of the Preliminary Mathematics General and HSC Mathematics General 2 courses from the increasingly broad range of technologies available, including laptop and tablet computers and interactive whiteboards.

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