The ultimate guide to acing Year 11 Maths Methods VCE

This article is the ultimate roadmap in preparing you for top marks in Maths Methods. From essential concepts to expert strategies, this guide covers all you need to know for future success!

3 months ago   •   4 min read

By KIS Academics
Photo by Jeswin Thomas / Unsplash

Hey there, fellow mathematicians! Whether you’re here because you LOVE Maths, or you want to keep your options open for future study, I think we can all agree that Methods can be a difficult subject. Don’t stress though! With a little bit of planning and some forward-thinking, this beast of a subject won’t be as intimidating as you thought.

In 2022, I completed VCE with a 99.60 ATAR and a 43 study score for Methods. Maths has always been a passion of mine - Methods was actually one of my favourite subjects at school, leading me to pursue further studies in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne! Certainly, all of the preparation I did in Year 11 helped me out. Now working as a maths tutor at KIS Academics, I’m excited to share my insights into Year 11 Math Methods and help you chart a course towards success.

Year 11 Methods: Overview

Despite what some people might say, Year 11 subjects do matter. Yes, while technically you only receive either an “S” for satisfactory or an “N” for not satisfactory, there’s a lot more to it! Many VCE subjects, especially Methods, establish foundations in Year 11 which are then built on and extended as you move towards the challenges of Year 12. So, there’s no better time to start cracking down and working on mastering the basics!

There are four broad Areas of Study (AOS) for Units 1 and 2:

  1. Functions, relations, and graphs
  2. Algebra, number, and structure
  3. Calculus
  4. Data analysis, probability, and statistics

Throughout the year, you’ll explore topics such as linear equations, coordinate geometry, quadratics, graphing, polynomials, transformations, probability, exponential functions and logarithms, circular functions, rates of change, differentiation, anti-differentiation, integration, algorithms, and pseudocode.

Of course, that’s only just a brief overview. For an exhaustive list, you can find out more about it by browsing the official study design for Mathematical Methods Units 1&2 (if we’re being technical). The study design for VCE subjects is such a powerful resource. Yes, that’s right, the VCAA tells you exactly what you can and can’t be examined on, and what skills can be assessed. Remember to keep an eye out for some minor changes with the introduction of the new study design.

🔑 Organization = key to success

Every successful VCE Methods student will tell you how important it is to stay organised in order to be successful. Being “organised” looks like:

  • Managing your time in class
  • Completing homework regularly (to a high standard)
  • Keeping track of all of your class notes (heaps of paper haha)
  • Knowing when your next assessment is
  • Creating meaningful notes
  • Finding time for other activities: exercise, self-care, hanging out with friends

Establishing good habits early on will set you up for success as you proceed to Year 12.

Avoiding common mistakes

We’ve all been victim to a silly mistake or few when you get back disappointing results. These little mistakes can prevent you from achieving your best. The most common mistakes I see when tutoring (and that I made in class) were:

  • Skipping steps of working
  • Unclear working
  • Forgetting units
  • Rounding errors

Take the time to work on the basics, so that the rest can follow.

Tips and tricks

Looking back on my experience in Methods, these are my top tips to maximise your performance in this subject.

  1. Your CAS is your friend!
    Starting off in my Methods journey, I was initially hesitant to use my CAS, mainly because I thought it was too slow and I could do most calculations quicker - when in reality I didn’t know how to use it to its full potential. Trust me when I say that it is such a powerful tool that can help free up so much time, unlocking the potential to earn even more marks on tech-active assessments. Get to know your CAS calculator early on - practice makes perfect!
  2. Utilise your resources
    While having a bound reference forms an essential part of tech-active assessments, it’s crucial not to spend too much time making it perfect. Research has consistently shown that while making your own notes is beneficial, the greatest success comes from completing regular practice questions - so make this a priority. If you’re given past assessments, do them! Or if you are in need of more resources, you could sign up for the Math Methods Units 1&2 online course.
  3. Ask for help
    Recognising when you’re stuck is a great thing. If you’re confused, don’t hesitate to seek clarification from your teacher!
    If you are in need of more individualised and specific support, you can request an expert tutor for methods, who will guide you through any questions you may have.

Looking ahead

VCE is a long-term game - you need to think beyond the next test or assessment. The finish line might be a year or two down the track, but how you start this journey is so important!

Ultimately, if you want to be a Methods master, it starts now with Unit 1&2 content. It takes a lot more than just memorisation - you need to be prepared, organised, and have a positive mindset. By building a thorough understanding, you’re not only setting yourself up for success in Year 12 but also building on your critical problem-solving skills.

Best of luck, future maths enthusiasts!


Written by Charlie Goldsworthy, VCE & High School Mathematics tutor at KIS Academics. Charlie received an ATAR of 99.60 and is currently studying a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Melbourne. You can read Charlie’s profile and reviews here and request him as a tutor. 🚀

Want more personalized study guidance to help drastically improve your marks? A private tutor can make the biggest difference!

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