Specialist maths is one of the most competitive subjects in VCE.
To put it into perspective, here are a few rough figures: there are 40,000 people in the state doing maths in VCE. Out of them, only 4500 are good enough to do specialist maths, and out of them, only 400 score a 40+ raw score. So you would have to be in the top 1% of VCE maths students to score a 40.
Having said that, it is definitely achievable if you are a strong maths student. I don't want you to feel discouraged, but at the same time, I want you to be aware of what you're up against.
For me, I have done roughly 120 hours of specialist maths studying this year (which equates to about 45 minutes per day) and I have scored 100% on every SAC so far.
If you're already doing 3+ hours of studying each day by year 10 level, then you should do very well in VCE. Just remember to study the correct things. For example, if you are going through your textbook in chronological order and you come across a topic that you know really well, then skip it. There's no point wasting your time repeating something basic which you already know (eg. basic algebra). Study effectively and you'll be set for VCE.
Good luck
Are you sure about those statistics? I'm fairly sure that for most subjects with substantial cohorts (Spec. being one of them), 40 raw = top 8-9% of the cohort.
Well 400 out of 4500 is roughly the top 8-9% of the cohort.
Oh yeah sorry, I thought you meant top 1% of Specialist maths students, not top 1% of Maths students.
I think that's slightly erroneous though, a lot of people who do Specialist aren't the "cream of the crop" of maths students, i.e. students doing Spesh. at some lower-ranked schools might only be as good as Methods students at top schools... in the end, I think you're essentially right though in that being in the top 400/4500 students in the Specialist cohort is relatively hard, BUT the good news is that even if you get a 33 raw you'll get a 45 scaled, which most people would be very happy with - so an incredibly difficult score in a different subject = relatively easy to get in Spesh.
Also, just pointing out, 38 in Spesh scaled up to a 50 - that means like the top ~600 Spesh students are getting scaled 50's which imo is incredible, your odds of getting a 45+ score in Spesh are substantially greater than in any other subject.