Year 12 Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4
Specialist Mathematics provides an advanced and in-depth exploration of various mathematical concepts. In Unit 3, you will learn how to write mathematical proofs, explore properties of complex numbers and vectors, and develop advanced calculus techniques. In Unit 4, you will learn how to solve differential equations, apply knowledge of calculus and vectors to analyse the motion of objects and use statistics to draw meaningful conclusions in various contexts.
Who is it for?
This subject is for students with a strong interest in mathematics who enjoy learning advanced concepts. It builds upon topics covered in Mathematical Methods and gives students a broader understanding of the nature of mathematics and its functionality.
The topics covered in Units 3 and 4 provide a good foundation for students intending to study mathematics, statistics, engineering or sciences at university.
What do you do?
You will access the Virtual School Victoria course via VSV Online to learn through videos and written material. You will attend or watch recordings of weekly live lessons to consolidate your understanding of the concepts covered and practice exam-style questions.
Each week you will complete an online quiz and a weekly submission task. In Unit 3 you will complete an Application Task SAC and in Unit 4 you will complete two Modelling/Problem Solving SACs. There are two written examinations at the end of the year.
What skills do you need?
Specialist Mathematics requires a strong mathematical foundation and an ability to persist when tackling challenging problems.
Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4 assumes familiarity with the key knowledge and key skills from Mathematical Methods Units 1 and 2; the key knowledge and key skills from Specialist Mathematics Units 1 and 2; and concurrent study or previous completion of Mathematical Methods Units 3 and 4.
What skills do you develop?
In Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4, you will develop a range of skills including:
- Analytical thinking – learn to dissect complex problems, identify key components and device strategies for solving them.
- Abstract reasoning – develop the ability to work with abstract concepts and identify patterns and connections.
- Mathematical modelling – create models to represent and analyse real-world scenarios
- Problem solving – apply mathematical principles to tackle complex and challenging problems
- Data interpretation – interpret and analyse data to make informed decisions based on statistical insights
- Use of technology – become adept at using mathematical technology for complex calculations, simulations and visualisations.
For this study, you need access to a VCAA-approved CAS technology. VSV course notes are written using the TI-Nspire CAS and Casio ClassPad calculators. The recommended textbook also contains instructions for TI-Nspire CAS and Casio ClassPad calculators. Although we recommend students have either of these CAS calculators, any of the listed VCAA-approved CAS technologies could be used.
Please note VSV currently can only support CAS calculator exams not CAS software exams.
Further information on VCAA-approved CAS technologies is available on their website.
You will need the following materials:
- exercise book for your workings
- exercise book for the bound reference that can be used in the VCAA Exam 2.
Things to think about
Specialist Mathematics is a very challenging, yet ultimately rewarding subject. Many of our students say that Specialist Mathematics is their favourite subject. You will need to develop a weekly routine to ensure you spend sufficient time to understand the concepts, to complete the required work and stay up-to-date. It is expected that you spend at least 5 hours per week on this subject.
Things you can do now
Go to the VCAA website for more information about this subject.
The study design will give you more information on the area of study, SAC and Exams conditions.
Things to have a look at
Cambridge Specialist Mathematics VCE Unit 3 and 4 (2nd Edition)
You have the option to purchase the hardcopy and/or the digital copy.
Introduction to Mathematics – The power of mathematics
The Map of Mathematics – The different branches of mathematics and how they are related and interlinked.
VSV Specialist Mathematics Unit 3 Introductory Video – Introduction to the VSV SM 3 course