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June 07, 2023, 08:28:41 am

Author Topic: Should I Do Specialist Maths?  (Read 3414 times)  Share 

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gcfkn.j

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Should I Do Specialist Maths?
« on: June 17, 2021, 09:19:14 pm »
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i thought i wasn't going to pick specialist at all in vce, but here i am stuck whether i should pick specialist over psych or the other way around. i really do enjoy psych, but it's not in any of my prerequisites. i'm currently finding methods sometimes interesting, at most times i don't mind it. i feel like doing specialist would be more rewarding, my average in methods 1/2 is currently in the high 80s. there's a trend where most high achievers have specialist in their subjects, i feel slightly compelled by that.


mabajas76

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Re: Should I Do Specialist Maths?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2021, 11:18:22 pm »
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Hey! I am currently doing spec and whilst I am not doing psych, several of my friends r doing the 1/2 and 3/4 (booooo). The questions you need to ask yourself are: Do you enjoy the subject, Do you need it, Are you good at it, Who is the teacher and who else does the course.
In terms of enjoyment, spec is easily my favorite subject for a multiple of reasons: The content for the 1/2 isn't actually that hard, it certainly appears intimidating (Take a peak at the polar form of imaginary numbers!) and some of it does take a bit to wrap your head around but honestly, it is a great feeling once you look at something you once thought impossible and then realize it is actually kinda easy. So whilst the content isn't as hard as some people say, it still isn't easy and that is what makes it so fun! It covers some really weird and sometimes amazing areas of math which just make u go "Woah, that actually works huh?" (Examples r imaginary numbers which r used in circuits, the golden ratio which is found in nature etc). Another reason I enjoy it so much is the style of thinking. Unlike in some other subjects (methods), u can't always do well by just memorizing a bunch of formulas, to really do well u need some good understanding of the theory, and also in exams and sacs (this goes for year 12 i'm pretty sure) the problem style is way different than methods. In methods, they might give u just a heap of information and u have to find a bunch of different blahs and stuff and cypher through information and the use specific rules to solve things. In spec, it is much simpler. Here is a problem, solve it. Don't care what methods u use, as long as it is within the methods (it is pre req knowledge) or spec guideline, do WHATEVR u want, just show u can. It is some great creativity, for example alot of geometry questions I would turn into a graph and then solve with algebra (two circle with radius (one with r=3 and one with r=4) 5 cm apart that intersect at 2 points becomes the equations x^2+y^2=9 and (x-5)^2+y^2=16 and solved using basic algebra). So it is quite freeing in that sense.
In terms of needing it: It depends on what u want to do, it isn't a pre req for like almost everything however NOT doing it does typically mean u need to take a few units in first year uni to catch up, where as if u get above like 25 in spec, u can do more advanced options and stuff, or repeat and get good grades :).
Assuming u r in year 10 and accelerating methods, bruh u will do fine in the 1/2. Alot of it is easier than it looks and there are literally some chapters which r just like...seriously? Like ratios r in here??? But yeah do be warned some stuff DOES get a bit trippy, just keep to it and u will be fine tho. If u r in year 11 and thinking of picking up spesh 3/4 next year, do not stress, the 3/4 is very unrelated to the 1/2. There r like 5 chapters at most to look over and not everything in them will be relevant so don't stress there.
In my experience, the only teachers willing to take spesh r super smart/chill but depends on u.
All 4 units crosses over with methods quite a bit, in year 11 it is mainly the algebra topics that typically make up the first semester, the circle geometry/trig stuff and combinations/permutations. In year 12, it is mainly the calculus topics and the circle geometry from year 11 spec is pretty relevant to the year 12 methods stuff. Don't bother with the study design tho, they r whack for math.
All in all, it is a very good, creative, challenging and fun subject which I highly recommend. Don't EVER do it just for scaling but do remember it has scaled by 13 in the past.
"Don't give up, and don't put too much effort into things that don't matter"-Albert Einstein, probably.

schoolstudent115

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Re: Should I Do Specialist Maths?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2021, 11:47:48 am »
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i thought i wasn't going to pick specialist at all in vce, but here i am stuck whether i should pick specialist over psych or the other way around. i really do enjoy psych, but it's not in any of my prerequisites. i'm currently finding methods sometimes interesting, at most times i don't mind it. i feel like doing specialist would be more rewarding, my average in methods 1/2 is currently in the high 80s. there's a trend where most high achievers have specialist in their subjects, i feel slightly compelled by that.
Im currently doing Specialist Maths (year 12). You say you are getting high 80s average in methods 1/2, which is certainly high enough to do spec math. However, it is the sort of subject where you need to be really motivated, since the concepts can get quite abstract. If you enjoy methods and are willing to put in the effort required, Id highly recommend doing specialist maths (as its very rewarding and seems to also build abstract thinking skills).
2021: ATAR: 99.95
2022-2024: University of Melbourne, BSci (Major in Mathematics and Statistics)