Which Level of Maths Should You Choose?

With subject selections already happening or coming up for Year 10 students, most people who intend to continue maths into year 11 and 12 face the choice of choosing General, 2 unit and Extension 1 maths. Choosing the right option at the start is incredibly important to maximising your ATAR.

Ideally you should be looking through your Year 10 maths performance to help guide your decision making. For those in the 5.3 course, if you’ve been performing above average, you should be looking to choose 3 Unit maths. Chances are you are fairly competent with straightforward mathematical concepts and as such would benefit from choosing the harder course. This way you’ll also have the option of choosing Extension 2 Maths at the end of year 11.

For those struggling with the 5.3 course, you could probably still choose Extension 1 maths but you may find that it is too hard for you after the first couple topics. My recommendation would be to choose it initially and then decide based on your first assessments progress whether you should persist with it.

For high achievers in the 5.2 course, if you feel comfortable with the content covered in year 10 and found it easy to learn, then consider choosing extension 1. This may seem like a massive step up, but the first couple of topics should ease you into more complex levels of thinking by working with some familiar topics. Like those struggling with the 5.3 course, assess your performance after the first test of year 11. After that you can consider whether it is too much work, and whether or not you enjoy the doing the course. Even if you are leaning towards choosing the Advanced course, give Extension 1 a shot as you won’t be losing anything by trying it for the first term at least. If need be you can always drop down to 2unit without much hassle.

For those performing averagely in the 5.2 course, you’ll need to consider whether you really enjoy studying maths. Doing Advanced maths isn’t for everyone and is a massive step up from General. If you enjoy studying maths but aren’t getting the results you think you deserve, then select 2 unit, but know that you need to work hard and smart if you want to succeed. The 2-unit syllabus is fairly complex if you don’t enjoy maths and does touch upon some tough topics. However, if you are ready to put the work in, you’ll be favoured in the scaling process meaning that if you’ve done well, you’ll be rewarded accordingly.

On the other hand, if you choose General, chances are you might find the course fairly straightforward and you will probably be left with a lot of time to work on other subjects. If you’ve chosen multiple content heavy subjects like the two histories you may find doing general gives you some breathing space in terms of allocating your time to certain subjects.

Finally, if you are deliberating between choosing general and Advanced maths or Extension 1 and Advanced maths, I would recommend you choose the harder subject. This is because you always have the opportunity to drop down to the lower one. In fact, one of my friends moved from Extension 1 straight to General so nothing is really out of the question here. Year 11 is mainly about trying what works for you and preparing yourself content wise and study skills wise for year 12 in order to maximise your final ATAR.

If you’re still unsure which course to select, feel free to talk to us over here, so that we can hlep you decide based on your particular needs and current performance.


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