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Diya Jain

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When doing practice questions for maths exams, what textbooks should you reference other than the school textbook? My school uses New Senior Mathematics for year 11 and 12 and is it necessary to use other textbooks for other subjects such as 2u Eng, Business, Economics, IPT.
 

thetestdude

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Not really necessary for Business and IPT. Knowing the content/syllabus is what you need the most in these 2 subjects and your textbook and/or any other resources you might be given at school are good enough.
 

Saint Dev

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If you don't have either Maths in Focus or Cambridge Mathematics text books, I can recommend them.
 

coxdenis32

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These promises work against the population. I think that you can publish several such books
 

Etho_x

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When doing practice questions for maths exams, what textbooks should you reference other than the school textbook? My school uses New Senior Mathematics for year 11 and 12 and is it necessary to use other textbooks for other subjects such as 2u Eng, Business, Economics, IPT.
New Senior maths is good and has a pretty substantial question range however I’d try to use Cambridge as well or any other resources you can find off the internet on websites such as this (BOS) or perhaps even old past papers with questions applicable to new syllabus etc which can be found on THSC. Maths in Focus as a textbook is a big no no unless you need help to consolidate your basic understanding of a topic, otherwise avoid MiF at all costs as the questions are rather basic
Eng there isn’t really much out for and idk about the others you mentioned
 

Saint Dev

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Challenge questions are still quite foundational imo but ye I guess they’re better than the main questions
I'm merely trying to provide additional questions that aren't stupidly easy. At some point, you're going to have completed the Cambridge Review questions and the past papers online (not that any of those helped at all for this year's Extension 1 examination), so it is good to have another source of questions that cover the syllabus. I am not suggesting that the other questions are good.
 

Etho_x

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I'm merely trying to provide additional questions that aren't stupidly easy. At some point, you're going to have completed the Cambridge Review questions and the past papers online (not that any of those helped at all for this year's Extension 1 examination), so it is good to have another source of questions that cover the syllabus. I am not suggesting that the other questions are good.
Ye I guess so I mean sometimes you’d never know if similar challenge questions from Math in Focus would appear on the HSC exam but that’d be rare as hell if they did
 

Saint Dev

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Ye I guess so I mean sometimes you’d never know if similar challenge questions from Math in Focus would appear on the HSC exam but that’d be rare as hell if they did
I'm not here to argue, however, not all questions in the HSC are aimed at the top 1% of the state. There are difficult differentiating questions, but you will be hard-pressed to find accurate examples of these in any textbook. I don't think that it is completely wise just to complete stupidly difficult questions from past papers. Whilst it feels great to be able to complete some ridiculous 9 mark projectile motion from James Ruse, that doesn't help you much when faced with a fairly straightforward binomial/permutations proof but you have forgotten the foundations and thus foregone 10% of the exam.

It is difficult to judge all of this because the new syllabus has only one HSC examination so take this with a grain of salt.
 

Etho_x

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I'm not here to argue, however, not all questions in the HSC are aimed at the top 1% of the state. There are difficult differentiating questions, but you will be hard-pressed to find accurate examples of these in any textbook. I don't think that it is completely wise just to complete stupidly difficult questions from past papers. Whilst it feels great to be able to complete some ridiculous 9 mark projectile motion from James Ruse, that doesn't help you much when faced with a fairly straightforward binomial/permutations proof but you have forgotten the foundations and thus foregone 10% of the exam.

It is difficult to judge all of this because the new syllabus has only one HSC examination so take this with a grain of salt.
I’d agree with that and hence I wouldn’t just use past papers in preparation of an exam, of course I would use textbooks too as a range of resources are quite essential in preparation. Maths in Focus is therefore good for those basics, those times where you don’t fully understand the concepts, so it has a place as a textbook but may not be the best alternative to use
 

Saint Dev

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I’d agree with that and hence I wouldn’t just use past papers in preparation of an exam, of course I would use textbooks too as a range of resources are quite essential in preparation. Maths in Focus is therefore good for those basics, those times where you don’t fully understand the concepts, so it has a place as a textbook but may not be the best alternative to use
For sure, don't use the Maths in Focus textbook to learn the entire course from, Cambridge is definitely superior in that regard, but if you find yourself looking for more questions on a specific topic, which can be hard to find from past-papers, it has some value. I utilised the Cambridge textbook for all my internal assessments, so by the time that I got the HSC I could essentially remember most of the review and chapter answers and since I had MiF, used it occasionally for both Extension and Advanced (particularly advanced). Unfortunately, I did end up relying too much on past and trial papers from other schools - most of the latter did not quite accurately represent the HSC.
 

Etho_x

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For sure, don't use the Maths in Focus textbook to learn the entire course from, Cambridge is definitely superior in that regard, but if you find yourself looking for more questions on a specific topic, which can be hard to find from past-papers, it has some value. I utilised the Cambridge textbook for all my internal assessments, so by the time that I got the HSC I could essentially remember most of the review and chapter answers and since I had MiF, used it occasionally for both Extension and Advanced (particularly advanced). Unfortunately, I did end up relying too much on past and trial papers from other schools - most of the latter did not quite accurately represent the HSC.
It just boils down to personal experience really, personally I haven’t really found MiF to be an overly good book even with the challenge questions but I guess for some it’ll be different. I used MiF quite a bit for Year 11 and it didn’t really help at all and now since I’m in Year 12 I don’t want to make that same mistake again tbh. I’ve found past papers to be a rather useful source of questions even if they aren’t an exact representation of the HSC as in the HSC exam there may be similar questions or questions which require something similar that was figured out in a question in a past paper
 

Saint Dev

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It just boils down to personal experience really, personally I haven’t really found MiF to be an overly good book even with the challenge questions but I guess for some it’ll be different. I used MiF quite a bit for Year 11 and it didn’t really help at all and now since I’m in Year 12 I don’t want to make that same mistake again tbh. I’ve found past papers to be a rather useful source of questions even if they aren’t an exact representation of the HSC as in the HSC exam there may be similar questions or questions which require something similar that was figured out in a question in a past paper
Of course, you have to do what works best for you. I guess my main gripe (which accounts for my perspective) is that for the Extension 1 2020 HSC, they introduced content into the new syllabus but then just reverted the majority of the examination back to topics that stem from Year 11, featured calculus galore, and didn't touch on the new topics. This has turned me off recommending past papers alone for that course (it must have been the first test in a decade not to have any substantial projectile motion, which I guess could be expected since it is a new syllabus, though not many predicted the alternative) but don't let that influence you to not complete any of them! I think it is probable that they will change the content up again for 2021 HSC, but who really knows?
 

thetestdude

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I know a person who used Maths in Focus and ended up with a 99.55 ATAR. But no state ranks as far as I’m aware.
 

thetestdude

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They would have used other books obviously since using Maths in Focus as your only source of questions would probably guarantee a Band 4 at best
Good point. I haven’t used Maths in Focus personally but I haven’t heard great things about it either.
 

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