The ultimate band 6 Year 11 Maths Advanced HSC study guide

This is the ultimate roadmap in preparing you for a band 6 in Maths Advanced. 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 Dhru J / Unsplash

What is this guide about?

With the current Advanced Maths syllabus, having foundational knowledge from years 7 to 10 is essential as the syllabus delves deep into calculus. Therefore, this guide highlights the inevitable skills needed to excel in Year 11 Advanced Maths while providing crucial tips on how to break down key concepts.

What will you be studying in HSC Maths Advanced?

In Year 11 Maths Advanced, you will learn to master these main topics; Functions, Trigonometry, Differential Calculus, Exponentials and Logarithms, Probability and Statistics.  

  • Functions are something you may have already been introduced to in year 10. It's all about relationships, where one input has a corresponding output. Year 11 solidifies your understanding, getting you to examine and graph more complex functions and their domains.
  • Trigonometric builds on SOCATOA, exposing you to more formulas, reciprocal trig functions, the unit circle and its quadrants, and radians.
  • Calculus will be all about differentiation (a method used to compute the rate of change of a function f(x) with respect to its input x). While this may sound hard at first, it's all pretty systematic and with repetition, it will come as natural as addition.
  • Your study of exponentials and logarithms lets you use your differentiation skills in real-world problems. You learn to use exponential and log functions to model and analyse growth and decay scenarios such as population growth or temperature change.
  • Lastly, probability explores the likelihood of events occurring. You will find this topic relatively easy to understand if you enjoy logic and patterns as it merely builds from the probability taught in junior years.

What are the common obstacles hindering students from excelling in Maths Advanced?

Here, we explore typical errors made by Year 11 math students that can stop them from achieving a Band 6. By correcting these challenges, you can enhance your proficiency in HSC Maths.

1.     Messy work

Having an organised maths book makes a huge difference. If you are stuck on a question or topic an organised book makes it easy to revisit old questions and working out that are similar to navigate your way through.

Have you ever spent ages trying to figure out where you went wrong with a question only to realise it was because you missed a negative sign? That happened to me all too many times when I let my working out go wild. Cultivating neat writing and a habit of double-checking will be a huge time saver, not only in exams but also while doing homework to improve accuracy and reinforce a stronger understanding of advanced mathematical concepts.

2.     Not enough practice

Although it is cliché, the saying “practise makes perfect” goes a long way with Maths. By diligently tackling ALL in-class assignments and homework, you grasp the theory through consistent application and develop the ability to solve questions more efficiently. This consistent practice not only boosts comprehension but also optimises time management during exams, ensuring efficiency and proficiency.

If you are aiming for a band 6 you shouldn't limit yourself to the work your teacher provides. You need to expose yourself to a wide variety of questions at high difficulty. Consider challenging yourself with more advanced textbook examples (such as the enrichment questions in Cambridge) or attempting additional past papers from your school and others. Don't hesitate to request extra homework from your tutor to further enhance your skills and deepen your understanding. KIS Academics has a wide pool of resources and practice questions available to you when you sign up with us.

3.     Starting past papers too late

To do well in the HSC Maths Advanced course, past papers are a must! It is recommended that you do at least 6 to 10 past papers before each exam. Remember, if you only start doing papers as exam block begins, it would not be possible to juggle 6 past papers alongside your other subjects.

Try allocate one to two hours per week to work on past papers two to three weeks out from exams. This approach not only exposes you to exam-style questions but also provides additional practice with the concepts you've learned.

Tips to help you become a Band 6 Maths student

Have a mistake book

Maintaining a mistake book is crucial in addressing common mathematical errors. This allows you to come back and review recurring mistakes, acting as a proactive measure to fill in gaps and weaknesses. Whenever you have a question or topic you struggle with note it down in your mistake book with fully worked solutions or explanations you acquire through textbooks, internet, teachers or tutors. Then revisit your mistake book every week until that question or topic becomes fully understood. This will make a handy tool for when you are studying for exams as well!

Keep up content

Don't end the week behind on content taught in school! Staying up to date with content is extremely important to make sure you do not fall behind or create gaps in your knowledge. Dedicate a time every weekend for catch up and keep an organised set of notes that come with example questions. This way you can be confident you have covered everything needed to ace your exams.

Be careful of silly mistakes

It is crucial to consistently review your answers, especially on the one-marker questions. These seemingly easier and smaller questions are often rushed through, making it imperative to allocate extra attention during the review process. By providing detailed working out and not just final answer, you can simultaneously communicate with the markers but also helpful for you to rectify errors while reviewing your answers.

Thoroughly mark practice papers

It is crucial that you mark your practice paper and ensure a thorough understanding of every question you struggled with or didn't score full marks on.

Also, what really helped me through HSC was collaborating with friends and marking each other’s papers rather than our own. This was helpful not just because we tend to be more critical when marking each other's work, but also because it provided insights into diverse problem-solving approaches.

Teach your friends

When you help your friends understand a question, you are required to communicate the concept by clearly showing the working out. This process of explaining reinforces your understanding and consolidates your knowledge.

Hence, teaching your friends forces you to break down complex concepts into simpler parts which not only builds your confidence but consolidates your Mathematical knowledge.

Written by KIS Academics Tutor for HSC Maths Advanced, Annie Le. Annie is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Advanced Maths (Honours) and Computer Science at UNSW and has received stellar reviews from her past KIS Academics students. You can view Annie’s profile here and request her as a tutor.

Want more personalized tips to drastically improve your Maths mark? A private tutor can make the biggest difference!

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