Is it a wise idea to do VCE Mathematical Methods? Over the past ten years, I have worked with hundreds of VCE Math Methods students in one to one tutoring and also group classes. It is very easy to predict how a student will perform in this subject based on the level of their mathematical skill set. Within 2-3 weeks of one-to-one tutoring, it is clear whether a student has a solid understanding of basic mathematical concepts. It is very worrying when I see students in VCE methods that struggle with content taught in year 7-10 in high school. Often these students need to devote extra hours – just to develop the very fundamental math skill set to simply survive in VCE Methods. If you are a student that is struggling with this subject it is essential that you develop the following skills, also please consider whether you have the commitment, passion and TIME to dedicate to this subject.
Please have a go at the following questions, without the use of a calculator to check your ability to work with fractions.
These are just some basic questions and you should know straight away how to solve the problems. It can take a bit longer to actually get an answer but the method should be clear.
Rearranging Literal Equations
Please have a go at the following questions, without the use of a calculator to check your ability to work with literal equations.
Did you know how handle these questions? Did it take you a long time to consider how to rearrange? This is an essential skill for methods!
Factorizing and simplifying
Factorize the following equations without the use of your calculator.
Did you know how handle these questions? Did it take you a long time to consider how to factorize? This is an essential skill for methods!
Working with Surds
Another essential skill to develop is understanding how to work with surds. Again to test your surd ability it is important that you try these questions without the use of a calculator !
You should again be comfortable with simplifying such expressions to get the competitive edge in math methods.
Working with Indices
Finally try these questions without the use of a calculator to check your methods skills.
Final Things to Consider
These skills and sections really need to be mastered before a student enters Unit 3/4 Methods. If you find that you are struggling with these questions and need a calculator, you need to ask yourself why you need methods? Do you have the commitment to learn the basics in order to excel in this subject? Exactly how much time are you willing to devote for Methods? How will this influence your other subjects?
There are students that really want to improve – but it really takes the right type of mindset. The individual is really committed to improving and has very strong work ethos in order to improve. If you don’t have the commitment it is probably best to choose VCE Further Mathematics as it an easier subject to excel in.