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Stage 1 Mathematical Methods

Course Length: 10-credit or 20-credit
Learning Area: Mathematics

Where does it lead?

This subject focuses on mathematics which helps students to explore, describe and explain aspects of the world around them, with a particular emphasis on the mathematics associated with change. Mathematical Methods provides an important foundation for tertiary studies in a wide range of courses including Architecture, Engineering, Economics, The Professions, the Sciences, Commerce and the Medical Sciences.

Stage 1 Mathematical Methods provides the foundation for further study in Stage 2 Mathematical Methods. A significant number of tertiary courses will list Stage 2 Mathematical Methods, as either a prerequisite or assumed knowledge.


It will be assumed that students will have successfully completed Year 10 Mathematics with algebra skills developed to a high level.

What is in the course?

The course aims to introduce students to real life applications of mathematics.  Algebraic processes form a significant part of this course.  Extensive use of the graphics calculator is made to provide numerical results or graphical representations.  Then, as in all mathematical courses, there is the need to understand the mathematical concepts, to organise information, solve problems and communicate outcomes using appropriate language and symbols.

Mathematical Methods develops an understanding of calculus, statistics, mathematical arguments using reasoning and model developments. By using functions, their derivatives and by mathematically modelling physical processes, students develop an understanding of the physical world through a sound knowledge of relationships involving rates of change. Students use statistics to describe and analyse phenomena that involve uncertainty and variation. The specific topics studied in the course are Functions and graphs, Polynomials, Trigonometry, Counting and Statistics, Growth and Decay and an Introduction to Differential Calculus.


  • Skills and Application Tasks
  • Mathematical Investigations
  • Examination


  • 10-credits of mathematics are compulsory. Students must achieve a grade of C or better in mathematics to meet SACE numeracy requirements
  • Successful completion of 20 credits of Stage 1 Mathematical Methods is a prerequisite for Stage 2 Mathematical Methods
  • Completion of 20 credits of Stage 1 Mathematical Methods is also a suitable background for Stage 2 General Mathematics


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