# Thread: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

1. ## Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Hello, fellow bosers. My name is Namu Lyoo and I am here to hand this guide upon YOU. I have done 2 unit mathematics and 3 unit mathematics for HSC last year (2008 HSC) as an accelerant and achieved good marks in both. So please don't post a crap saying that I don't have an experience and knowledge to post this kind of thread. While this thread is primarily for the 2 unit hsc students (and 3 unit hsc students doing 2 unit), this can be applied to a variety of maths. I will soon post up another one for 3 unit if I have some free time. So yeah, this is it.

NOTE: This the revised version of "What you wish to know before exam" that I posted long time ago. Back then, I was quite an amateur student but I have improved quite significantly over a period of one year since then until now. This is also a response to numerous private messages that I have received over the past few months in regards to HSC Mathematics.
So here we go:

HSC is drawing near! I am pretty sure there will be people out there who are not sure about how to prepare for the HSC Mathematics exam and Mathematics Extension 1 or how to maximise their marks in exam. READ THIS!

This is simply written to provide useful advices and tips. Knowing and not knowing about something makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE. Read it, learn it and know it. And you will succeed!!!

PRIOR TO EXAMS (TIMETABLE ISSUE)

1. Year before HSC:
1. Do your homework! Homework is important particularly for maths. I personally don't do any homework apart from maths homework. That suggests the importance of it.
2. Do extra homework. Regard homework as 'minimum work'. There is just NO END in maths. <O></O>
3. Get good textbooks/study guides such as EXCEL, FITZPATRICK, CAMBRIDGE AND COUCHMAN. <O></O>
4. PUT 30 minutes - 1 hour a day (recommended)
5. Why not start accelerating on your own or with your tutor? Accelerating in maths will be very useful.

3. 6 months before HSC: <O
1. Do your homework as always. But build on that homework. Advance further than everyone else! (i.e. do more work)
2. Put about 1 hour a day. 1-1.5 hour is recommended. <O></O>
3. Start some easy past papers starting from as old as you can get your hands on. Try to do them under exam conditions.
4. Start with the old papers. Save the recent papers for later.
5. You might want to set the pace of your exam. (i.e. timing your own exam)

4. 3 months before HSC: <O
1. You should know alll the formulas and relevant information by now. Good thing about HSC Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 is that rote learning can actually get you far. You can rely on memory to do a lot of work for you. I have to admit that I memorised how to derive the formulas. But if you are wishing to go beyond 3 Unit maths, you should know in your head how to derive each formula. But for 2 unit and 3 unit, it's not necessary at all.
2. You really have to put 1 hour minimum. You may wish to increase the workload to 1 hour and 30 minutes perhaps but it's not really necessary. That will basically cover some exercises and some challenging questions. <O></O>
3. Ditch the old papers now and do more recent past papers and learn from it. There is nothing better than doing the REAL ONES. And keep setting your space. You may want to keep the

5. 1 month before HSC: <O
1. Know your formulas really well. But apart from that, you also have to know where you use your formulas and WHEN you use them. For example, don't be confused with velocity, acceleration and displacement.
2. Keep doing your past papers. Can't stress this enough. Learn from it and set your own goals for each exam. ALSO try to do it under the time given to you in real HSC. Now you set the pace, you should try to do it under 3 hours minimum. If you can, set it to under 2 hours and 30 minutes.
3. You may want to record some questions that you have difficulty understanding so you may be able to come back.

6. KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE EXAM (INCLUDES 1 WEEK BEFORE HSC)
Note: by this time, you should have finished all revelent past papers. Now it's time to go through questions that you have got wrong!!! (how fun). Alternatively, you may want to focus on the weak topics by doing questions related to that specific topic from your past papers.
The date hasn't come out yet. But it is always good to know when you have exam. Following link is very brief one and does not tell us when the Mathematics exam is.

But you have to be aware that HSC starts on 20 October. And if we assume that Mathematics is on 20 October (which is very very unlikely) you can set your timetable like this:

16 October: Focusing on your weak topic(s) (learning over again &doing some pratice questions )
17 October: Focusing on your weak topic(s) (doing a lot of past paper questions related to that topic(s) )
18 October: Go through your past papers and choose the ones that you did poorly. Attempt them again under exam condition. You should be able to do them under at least 2 hours and 30 minutes.
19 October: Be prepared (get all the stuff needed and just relax and make sure you know all the relevant formula and every other bits and pieces).
You shouldn't really study much on the day before because you don't really want to be stressed out. The most important thing in HSC, disregarding the knowledge part, is your preparedness.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: It is important that you take past HSC Mathematics exams in EXAM CONDITION for 3 hours.

AND if you get some questions wrong/make mistake, you can always improve. Do at least 20 Past papers before exam starting from 1988 ones. Also note that on 11 October or prior to that, you can study for subject that comes after Mathematics (DO PAST PAPERS). Following link only has few exam papers. You better buy past papers that comes with SOLUTIONS!
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au.../index4.html#m.

If you can, go back to much older ones but that's not necessary. That's only when you have heaps of free time or if you are an accelerant who has a lot of free time.
<O>You can also get heaps of past papers on the RESOURCE SECTION of this website. I got all and did them all really. You should too!</O

DURING EXAM
6. Attempt all questions!
I cannot stress this enough. ATTEMPT ALL QUESTIONS! If you get stuck with one question, leave it for the time being and move on to another question. You may have better luck in other questions.

7. Be aware of the marks allocated to each question!
Marks allocated to each question reflects how difficult it is and how much you have to write. You don't have to spend 30 lines explaining 2 marks-value question. My teacher once said that we should spend 1.5 minutes for each mark. But that's pretty much rubbish because questions from 1-5 are really easy that you should spend much little time on them.

8. Use board developed calculators
Get board-approvaed calculators. Following link shows the name of board-approvaed calculators. Make sure you read it if you don't have one.
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au...ators_hsc.html

9. You are encouraged to write formulas down

Write your formulas down when you are doing complicated ones that involve many numbers. It will be of large benefits.

Write neatly and make sure your writings are READABLE. Be clear in your answer (e.g. 0.7 rather than .7) This was my issue for a long time. I have lost many marks in my school tests because of this. I am glad that it didn't happen during my hsc, haha.

11. Show all necessary workings
Some people don't do this. EVEN THE EXAM SAYS THAT YOU NEED TO SHOW ALL WORKINGS. Therefore, do all your workings especially for PLANE GEOMETRY AND CIRCLE GEOMETRY. Even if you write stuff on diagrams write them down in your working out. You are advised to do that. You are also encouraged write stuff such as "thefore", "so", "i.e." and etc to allow markers to follow you!

12. Be specific when you give theorems for geometric questions .
Don't just say "the angles in an isoceles triangle add to 180 degrees"
You have to be specific. For example, "x =70 degrees, the base angles of an isoceles triangle are equal".

13. If a theorem has a "recognised name". It is sufficient to quote the name
i.e. "Ratio of Intercepts theorem" or "Pythagoras's theorem"

14. Give enough speace for each question.
HAVE lots of space. It is always good to have lots of space to prevent UGLINESS AT THE END. It's also useful when you cannot do the question and have to come back later.

15. In Q1, when you get substitution question, you must show the step of substitution immediately before use of calculator

16. IN Q1, when you get a calculator-based question, you have to write everything on your calculator before rounding off.

17. Usually, it's betteer to draw diagrams & sketches even if they were given in the question, Spend at least half a page drawing on it. There have been markers' comments that they don't even mark a drawing if they are not at least the 1/3 of the page (i.e. when marks are actually allocated for drawing a diagram)

You are highly encouraged to draw your diagram. They are also useful aids in solving problems. When drawing it, PLEASE USE RULER AND NECESSARY ITEMS.

18. Write your answer in an appropriate place so markers can see it. Don't expect them to find it. (it's really bad if you write two answers where only one answer is right...)

Write them in an appropriate place and make sure markers can find it.

You just spend 10 years at school to get to here. Don't waste one moment of it. Read over your exam and fix all the writings if yourself can't read it. Be clear, specific, neat and right.

20. KNOW HSC TERMS:
'state' or 'write down' or 'give example of': no explanation required - just write your answer
'find' or 'determine': provide reasoning, explnation
'verify': should test the truth oof a statement, usually by substitution
'hence': student should use the preceding result or information to answer the question
'prove' or 'show': establish in detail the truth of a statement. Full reasoning is needed and NEVER try to prove something by assuming at the start
'solve': work out the anwer or solution to a problem. Write them in appropriate forms (e.g. in decimal, pi or fraction form)

Recommended books:
0. While not being an official "book" this is the ultimate guide to your success. The central message of this thread is asking for you to do past papers.

1. Fitzpatrick - absolute essential for 2 unit

2. Cambridge - another great book that supplements fitz's weak topic area such as physical application of caluclus.

3. 50 Tips Excel by Jeff Geha - another great book. It gave me a lot of tips actually.

This is the end...

If you need some extra guidance, just give me a private message.

btw, please excuse my spelling errors that seem to be present everywhere...I will fix all of them soon.

2. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

thanks Namu.
im an accelerant also. these tips are really helpful.
so . how well did you actually go?

3. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

wait. isnt this the guy who like topped HSC math last year? O__O"
wow.

4. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by x3.eddayyeeee
wait. isnt this the guy who like topped HSC math last year? O__O"
wow.
Yes.

5. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Thanx a lot namu.

6. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

haha nice work =D

7. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by dp624
haha nice work =D
I can only hope to live up to you, mate.

8. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

There are some true helpful spirits in this forum

9. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Thanks for the tips lyounamu.

10. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

A very useful tip I would like to add which extends on the "Attempt all questions" point above (particularly an issue in Extension 2):

In a multi-part question, if you cannot do part (i), that does NOT mean you cannot do part (ii) or (iii). If you get stuck on say Q7(a)(i), then move on and attempt Q7(a)(ii). Don't skip all of Q7(a) to Q7(b) just because you can't do part (i). This is particularly useful if part (i) is a prove/show question, because you are allowed to use the given result in (i) for part (ii) even though you may not have successfully proved it in part (i).

e.g.
A normal is drawn to the curve y = e2x at the point P(ln 2, 4). The normal cuts the x-axis at point Q.
(i) Show that that the equation of the normal is: x + 8y = 32 + ln 2
(ii) Find the coordinates of Q

If you get stuck or can't find the equation stated on the part (i), that does not mean you cannot do (ii). You can immediately do (ii), by subbing y = 0 in the GIVEN result x + 8y = 32 + ln 2 without having to prove it in (i).

From my experience as a tutor, I was actually surprised at how many people give up on a multi-part question just because they cannot penetrate part (i)...

11. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by dp624
haha nice work =D
Why you will not make guide for hsc, youll get alot of good deeds brother, youll save people hours with you only working 1-2 hour typing something nice up.

Trust me , youll be remebered. Do something productive for community.

I wish i can , and i will when i finish.

12. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by osamaelias
Why you will not make guide for hsc, youll get alot of good deeds brother, youll save people hours with you only working 1-2 hour typing something nice up.

Trust me , youll be remebered. Do something productive for community.

I wish i can , and i will when i finish.
mm, i'll see if i want to do this sometime....
should be ok i spose

13. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by dp624
mm, i'll see if i want to do this sometime....
should be ok i spose
The title is "Ultimate Guide to getting 100 UAI".

14. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

namu you tank

Just a suggestion, in those definitions thingo, you might wanna add "hence or otherwise".

15. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

One other thing which I've found helpful is writing down all the information in the question at the start of the answer. For example if it was a motion question you would write down the equation of motion and the initial conditions, as well as anything else they tell you. This way you don't go back and forth between the paper and you make less mistakes in the actual working as its right there.

16. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

jeez, thanks for that namu, i printed it out and got it stuck on my wall

17. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Nice guide

heres something you should add though, it was drilled into me by my 4u teacher.

She always said to start with questions that you can do. So if your supremely confident with any integration question, or any motion or calculus questions, look for these questions during reading time and do them first. Even if these topics appear in question 3 or 4, do them, because you want to start with what you know well and build confidence throughout the test. Its much better then starting trying the 2nd part of question 1 and not remembering a method or formula (like external/internal division) and starting off the entire test on a bad note, which will be with you for the rest of the exam. You will also have confidence when approaching harder questions because you are already sure that you have gained full marks with your favourite questions

18. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

wow geeez lotta effort went into this

but good on ya for doin it lol

19. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Too good bro, cheers

20. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by electrolysis
jeez, thanks for that namu, i printed it out and got it stuck on my wall
I printed it too. Mathematics is my weakest subject so this is really helpful for me!

21. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by lyounamu
Hello, fellow bosers. My name is Namu Lyoo and I am here to hand this guide upon YOU. I have done 2 unit mathematics and 3 unit mathematics for HSC last year (2008 HSC) as an accelerant and achieved good marks in both. So please don't post a crap saying that I don't have an experience and knowledge to post this kind of thread. While this thread is primarily for the 2 unit hsc students (and 3 unit hsc students doing 2 unit), this can be applied to a variety of maths. I will soon post up another one for 3 unit if I have some free time. So yeah, this is it.

NOTE: This the revised version of "What you wish to know before exam" that I posted long time ago. Back then, I was quite an amateur student but I have improved quite significantly over a period of one year since then until now. This is also a response to numerous private messages that I have received over the past few months in regards to HSC Mathematics.
So here we go:

HSC is drawing near! I am pretty sure there will be people out there who are not sure about how to prepare for the HSC Mathematics exam and Mathematics Extension 1 or how to maximise their marks in exam. READ THIS!

This is simply written to provide useful advices and tips. Knowing and not knowing about something makes a HUGE DIFFERENCE. Read it, learn it and know it. And you will succeed!!!

PRIOR TO EXAMS (TIMETABLE ISSUE)

1. Year before HSC:
1. Do your homework! Homework is important particularly for maths. I personally don't do any homework apart from maths homework. That suggests the importance of it.
2. Do extra homework. Regard homework as 'minimum work'. There is just NO END in maths. <o>></o>>
3. Get good textbooks/study guides such as EXCEL, FITZPATRICK, CAMBRIDGE AND COUCHMAN. <o>></o>>
4. PUT 30 minutes - 1 hour a day (recommended)
5. Why not start accelerating on your own or with your tutor? Accelerating in maths will be very useful.

3. 6 months before HSC: <o></o>
1. Do your homework as always. But build on that homework. Advance further than everyone else! (i.e. do more work)
2. Put about 1 hour a day. 1-1.5 hour is recommended. <o>></o>>
3. Start some easy past papers starting from as old as you can get your hands on. Try to do them under exam conditions.
4. Start with the old papers. Save the recent papers for later.
5. You might want to set the pace of your exam. (i.e. timing your own exam)

4. 3 months before HSC: <o></o>
1. You should know alll the formulas and relevant information by now. Good thing about HSC Mathematics and Mathematics Extension 1 is that rote learning can actually get you far. You can rely on memory to do a lot of work for you. I have to admit that I memorised how to derive the formulas. But if you are wishing to go beyond 3 Unit maths, you should know in your head how to derive each formula. But for 2 unit and 3 unit, it's not necessary at all.
2. You really have to put 1 hour minimum. You may wish to increase the workload to 1 hour and 30 minutes perhaps but it's not really necessary. That will basically cover some exercises and some challenging questions. <o>></o>>
3. Ditch the old papers now and do more recent past papers and learn from it. There is nothing better than doing the REAL ONES. And keep setting your space. You may want to keep the

5. 1 month before HSC: <o></o>
1. Know your formulas really well. But apart from that, you also have to know where you use your formulas and WHEN you use them. For example, don't be confused with velocity, acceleration and displacement.
2. Keep doing your past papers. Can't stress this enough. Learn from it and set your own goals for each exam. ALSO try to do it under the time given to you in real HSC. Now you set the pace, you should try to do it under 3 hours minimum. If you can, set it to under 2 hours and 30 minutes.
3. You may want to record some questions that you have difficulty understanding so you may be able to come back.

6. KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE EXAM (INCLUDES 1 WEEK BEFORE HSC)
Note: by this time, you should have finished all revelent past papers. Now it's time to go through questions that you have got wrong!!! (how fun). Alternatively, you may want to focus on the weak topics by doing questions related to that specific topic from your past papers.
The date hasn't come out yet. But it is always good to know when you have exam. Following link is very brief one and does not tell us when the Mathematics exam is.

But you have to be aware that HSC starts on 20 October. And if we assume that Mathematics is on 20 October (which is very very unlikely) you can set your timetable like this:

16 October: Focusing on your weak topic(s) (learning over again &doing some pratice questions )
17 October: Focusing on your weak topic(s) (doing a lot of past paper questions related to that topic(s) )
18 October: Go through your past papers and choose the ones that you did poorly. Attempt them again under exam condition. You should be able to do them under at least 2 hours and 30 minutes.
19 October: Be prepared (get all the stuff needed and just relax and make sure you know all the relevant formula and every other bits and pieces).
You shouldn't really study much on the day before because you don't really want to be stressed out. The most important thing in HSC, disregarding the knowledge part, is your preparedness.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: It is important that you take past HSC Mathematics exams in EXAM CONDITION for 3 hours.

AND if you get some questions wrong/make mistake, you can always improve. Do at least 20 Past papers before exam starting from 1988 ones. Also note that on 11 October or prior to that, you can study for subject that comes after Mathematics (DO PAST PAPERS). Following link only has few exam papers. You better buy past papers that comes with SOLUTIONS!
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au.../index4.html#m.

If you can, go back to much older ones but that's not necessary. That's only when you have heaps of free time or if you are an accelerant who has a lot of free time.
<o>>You can also get heaps of past papers on the RESOURCE SECTION of this website. I got all and did them all really. You should too!</o>

DURING EXAM
6. Attempt all questions!
I cannot stress this enough. ATTEMPT ALL QUESTIONS! If you get stuck with one question, leave it for the time being and move on to another question. You may have better luck in other questions.

7. Be aware of the marks allocated to each question!
Marks allocated to each question reflects how difficult it is and how much you have to write. You don't have to spend 30 lines explaining 2 marks-value question. My teacher once said that we should spend 1.5 minutes for each mark. But that's pretty much rubbish because questions from 1-5 are really easy that you should spend much little time on them.

8. Use board developed calculators
Get board-approvaed calculators. Following link shows the name of board-approvaed calculators. Make sure you read it if you don't have one.
http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au...ators_hsc.html

9. You are encouraged to write formulas down

Write your formulas down when you are doing complicated ones that involve many numbers. It will be of large benefits.

Write neatly and make sure your writings are READABLE. Be clear in your answer (e.g. 0.7 rather than .7) This was my issue for a long time. I have lost many marks in my school tests because of this. I am glad that it didn't happen during my hsc, haha.

11. Show all necessary workings
Some people don't do this. EVEN THE EXAM SAYS THAT YOU NEED TO SHOW ALL WORKINGS. Therefore, do all your workings especially for PLANE GEOMETRY AND CIRCLE GEOMETRY. Even if you write stuff on diagrams write them down in your working out. You are advised to do that. You are also encouraged write stuff such as "thefore", "so", "i.e." and etc to allow markers to follow you!

12. Be specific when you give theorems for geometric questions .
Don't just say "the angles in an isoceles triangle add to 180 degrees"
You have to be specific. For example, "x =70 degrees, the base angles of an isoceles triangle are equal".

13. If a theorem has a "recognised name". It is sufficient to quote the name
i.e. "Ratio of Intercepts theorem" or "Pythagoras's theorem"

14. Give enough speace for each question.
HAVE lots of space. It is always good to have lots of space to prevent UGLINESS AT THE END. It's also useful when you cannot do the question and have to come back later.

15. In Q1, when you get substitution question, you must show the step of substitution immediately before use of calculator

16. IN Q1, when you get a calculator-based question, you have to write everything on your calculator before rounding off.

17. Usually, it's betteer to draw diagrams & sketches even if they were given in the question, Spend at least half a page drawing on it. There have been markers' comments that they don't even mark a drawing if they are not at least the 1/3 of the page (i.e. when marks are actually allocated for drawing a diagram)

You are highly encouraged to draw your diagram. They are also useful aids in solving problems. When drawing it, PLEASE USE RULER AND NECESSARY ITEMS.

18. Write your answer in an appropriate place so markers can see it. Don't expect them to find it. (it's really bad if you write two answers where only one answer is right...)

Write them in an appropriate place and make sure markers can find it.

You just spend 10 years at school to get to here. Don't waste one moment of it. Read over your exam and fix all the writings if yourself can't read it. Be clear, specific, neat and right.

20. KNOW HSC TERMS:
'state' or 'write down' or 'give example of': no explanation required - just write your answer
'find' or 'determine': provide reasoning, explnation
'verify': should test the truth oof a statement, usually by substitution
'hence': student should use the preceding result or information to answer the question
'prove' or 'show': establish in detail the truth of a statement. Full reasoning is needed and NEVER try to prove something by assuming at the start
'solve': work out the anwer or solution to a problem. Write them in appropriate forms (e.g. in decimal, pi or fraction form)

Recommended books:
0. While not being an official "book" this is the ultimate guide to your success. The central message of this thread is asking for you to do past papers.

1. Fitzpatrick - absolute essential for 2 unit

2. Cambridge - another great book that supplements fitz's weak topic area such as physical application of caluclus.

3. 50 Tips Excel by Jeff Geha - another great book. It gave me a lot of tips actually.

This is the end...

If you need some extra guidance, just give me a private message.

btw, please excuse my spelling errors that seem to be present everywhere...I will fix all of them soon.

So why do you recommend old past papers first and recent ones last?

22. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by Dragonmaster262
So why do you recommend old past papers first and recent ones last?
Recent papers are generally better than old papers. You won't be able to find enough recent papers to keep you busy throughout the year. So you can do old papers for a while until you change to recent papers.

Old papers give you a great practice anyway so do old papers for a practice and do recent papers for a serious exam studying.

23. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

rofl i only attempted the 1 hr challenge, looking back, i should have also done the no calculator challenge

24. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by hungwell1337
rofl i only attempted the 1 hr challenge, looking back, i should have also done the no calculator challenge
what is 1 hour challenge?

25. ## Re: Ultimate Guide to HSC Mathematics

Originally Posted by lyounamu
what is 1 hour challenge?
after 1 hr, you leave regardless whether you finished or not

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