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Should I do Standard II or Advanced Math? (1 Viewer)

AlienWithLiberty610

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Should I do Standard II or Advanced Math?

I’ve been thinking about this for way too long and still haven’t decided. And now, I am required to express my interest in one of these levels of math within a bit more than a week. Alas, I have no choice but to turn to educated strangers on the internet for their advice.

After a fair bit of research, I have come up with a few advantages and disadvantages for both choices. Hopefully, I can come to a final decision.

General notes about me:
  • I am currently doing the 5.3 course and exist in the highest math class in the school (however keep in mind that I don’t go to a selective or private school).
  • Average math student. Very average math student. There are many in my class that achieve better grades than me.
  • My grade average is probably B’s. I used to get D’s and E’s initially, but have gradually kicked those grades up (with hard work and determination, ofc). However, no matter how hard I try, I never seem to get anything higher than a B.
  • I don’t really like worded math problems and prefer more when they are to-the-point.
  • Other subjects I want to do in senior school include Chemistry, Biology, PDHPE, [undecided English course] and [subject 6, also undecided, however I am looking towards CAFS or Investigating Science.]
  • I asked my math teacher whether I should do standard or advanced. She said while I was capable of doing advanced, it was only if I truly wanted to do it. While she didn’t give me a straightforward answer, she said I probably shouldn’t do extension (definitely not doing that, I don't want to die).
  • In the future, I aspire to attain a medical degree and become a doctor (and we all know how high the ATAR requirements are).
  • My mother recommends I do standard, as there is less workload and I have a decent understanding of the concepts taught already.
  • My parents may get me tutoring if I need it.

Standard Math Benefits
  • Less workload. More time to dedicate to other subjects.
  • I will theoretically perform better in standard math than I will in advanced, as the questions are “easier”.
  • I am not competing against several math geniuses, hence a possible better rank.
  • I already have a fairly good understanding of the topics, so I’ll get a bit of a head start.
  • These benefits may lead to me ultimately achieving a better ATAR.

Standard Math Drawbacks
  • Worse scaling than advanced.
  • I’m doing 5.3, so doing it may feel like wasted true potential.
  • Cannot move up to advanced after I’ve locked in standard.
  • May find it boring.

Advanced Math Benefits
  • Scales better.
  • Universities look for advanced math; some degrees, including some medical degrees, have advanced as a prerequisite. More life opportunities in general.
  • More to-the-point than standard.
  • I’m doing chemistry, and advanced math may complement that.
  • I have more time to dedicate to it, as I am doing an accelerated subject, meaning I’ll do 2 units of the HSC in year 11 so I have more time in yr 12.
  • I can always move down to standard if I find it too difficult.

Advanced Math Drawbacks
  • It will take more time and effort, which may hinder my ability to focus on other subjects, whereas if I did standard I would have to dedicate less time to it.
  • I am not an extremely smart math student, and will be competing against, well, extremely smart math students.
  • I have a better developed understanding of standard than advanced.
  • These drawbacks may ultimately lead to me getting a lower ATAR, and missing my chance at getting into medicine.

Any words of wisdom that may help me finalise my decision will be heavily appreciated. Thank you!
 

cyniczny

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I currently do Standard at a selective school, and I don't (really) regret it. My school has compulsory 5.3 maths, but for me the course progressed a bit too fast (+ other factors including the obvious selective school/everyone around me is better at maths confidence loss and the fact that I'm not particularly maths-oriented) so I was an extremely average maths student and scraped by with the lowest possible mark for a B.

However, the way our school allocated senior maths courses was by grade, so A students could do Extension, B students Advanced and C Standard. This meant that technically, I could have done Advanced Maths, which the head teacher commented on. I ended up choosing Standard for very similar reasons as you, with the added factors of smaller class size (almost everyone does Advanced or Ext) and my very low maths confidence. So far, I have actually ended up ranking top in the class, where in Advanced I know I would have crashed and burned because it's a really similar pace to 5.3. So if you like the idea of a slower-paced and much, much more relaxed maths course, then Standard is for you - especially if you've found some 5.3 concepts difficult to grasp, since the whole course is basically 5.3 rehashed.

Nevertheless, your point about the other courses you'd like to do, plus your aspirations towards a medical degree would lead me to advise Advanced. This is because basically all science + medicine degrees require at least Advanced, especially if you want to go to a university like USyd or UNSW (even without going directly into medicine and doing a different pathway, Advanced is still going to benefit you greatly in terms of course pre-reqs etc.). And besides, if you do end up finding it too difficult or hard to cope with, Standard is always an option (I know a lot of people in my grade who have or are planning to drop down).

(Also, your point about worded maths problems definitely goes against Standard - almost all the questions (up until now) have involved some sort of word problem!)

Hope this helped - I was in a really similar dilemma during subject selection, but the best advice I can give is to look at your university options and check prerequisites, as well as balance up your feelings towards maths in general :)
 
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I went from the 5.2 course to advanced which was daunting at first, however I actually started liking maths and I am quite up there now. Keep in mind you are naturally going to get higher grades as you study more in year 11 and 12. I also believe math is the subject in which hard work pays off, so if you put the hours in I think you'll be sweet as it is not a wretched subject like english. But you can also just drop down to standard at the end of year 11. With the worded questions you are like me, I hate them but it seems like there are more in standard, I would say advanced is a bit more to the point. I can't really comment on the workloads as I don't really know but going off my mates I think the workload is not way more compared to standard but it is more.

I highly recomend you should do advanced since if I came up from 5.2 you can definately achieve. It might be slow at the start but you should get a rhythm.
 

fruitpunch

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I do standard maths and it is not boring also there isn't a drastic scaling difference between standard and advanced, essentially doing amazing in maths standard will be better than doing average in advanced.
 

BLIT2014

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Some degrees such as Commerce at USYD actually require you to do Advanced Mathematics for HSC. Why limit your opportunities to do a certain degree/go to a certain University, just because you want to take an "easier" route?
 

Leadmen4y

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I picked the exact subjects you mentioned lmao, I'd highly recommend advanced because the scaling difference is paramount with a state rank in standard being about a 94 ATAR (2020 UAC report). Also I'd warn you about choosing investigating science as since it's a new course, there's barely any resources for the subject, I have a very dedicated teacher so that's not that big of a deal for me, also not to mention the scaling of it so far has been HORRIBLE, worse than standard maths, as the cohort has not been the most competitive.

If you want to pursue undergrad med, I suggest you to do advanced English and maths on top of everything you've chosen, and probably drop investigating/cafs in year 12. Standard English is theoretically harder to score a band 6 compared to advanced for some reason, meaning you'll probably have to state rank it to get a 99+ atar and have a shot in med.

Also, start preparing for the UCAT now, a lot of unis take heavy consideration regarding your ucat score & percentile. And keep in mind, to get an offer solely based on your ATAR for med, you're looking at minimum 99.50 with many requiring the highest possible atar of 99.95, given you're still have so much time, start preparing.

Though, most people get into medicine through postgrad, perhaps think about what degree you would do if you can't do undergrad med, then take the GAMSAT or UCAT along the way during uni years, maintain a high GPA and perhaps that could also work.
 

Drongoski

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If you can handle it, do Advanced. Greatly widens your future options.
 

AlienWithLiberty610

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Firstly, I would like to thank everyone for all the support I have received. I think I might attempt advanced, and if I’m really that bad, I’ll move to standard.

I currently do Standard at a selective school, and I don't (really) regret it. My school has compulsory 5.3 maths, but for me the course progressed a bit too fast (+ other factors including the obvious selective school/everyone around me is better at maths confidence loss and the fact that I'm not particularly maths-oriented) so I was an extremely average maths student and scraped by with the lowest possible mark for a B.

However, the way our school allocated senior maths courses was by grade, so A students could do Extension, B students Advanced and C Standard. This meant that technically, I could have done Advanced Maths, which the head teacher commented on. I ended up choosing Standard for very similar reasons as you, with the added factors of smaller class size (almost everyone does Advanced or Ext) and my very low maths confidence. So far, I have actually ended up ranking top in the class, where in Advanced I know I would have crashed and burned because it's a really similar pace to 5.3. So if you like the idea of a slower-paced and much, much more relaxed maths course, then Standard is for you - especially if you've found some 5.3 concepts difficult to grasp, since the whole course is basically 5.3 rehashed.

Nevertheless, your point about the other courses you'd like to do, plus your aspirations towards a medical degree would lead me to advise Advanced. This is because basically all science + medicine degrees require at least Advanced, especially if you want to go to a university like USyd or UNSW (even without going directly into medicine and doing a different pathway, Advanced is still going to benefit you greatly in terms of course pre-reqs etc.). And besides, if you do end up finding it too difficult or hard to cope with, Standard is always an option (I know a lot of people in my grade who have or are planning to drop down).

(Also, your point about worded maths problems definitely goes against Standard - almost all the questions (up until now) have involved some sort of word problem!)

Hope this helped - I was in a really similar dilemma during subject selection, but the best advice I can give is to look at your university options and check prerequisites, as well as balance up your feelings towards maths in general :)
Thank you. Really good advice. Don’t want to a larger number of worded problems, and also want to get into med so advanced is probably best. I do enjoy a quieter classroom, however in my instance it would be the advanced class. In my class (one of only two classes in the grade doing 5.3), only 3 people I have asked are wanting to do advanced. Even those that are slightly better than me are opting out of advanced, which leaves me with all the math geniuses. That’s gonna suck, but I want to give it a shot.
I went from the 5.2 course to advanced which was daunting at first, however I actually started liking maths and I am quite up there now. Keep in mind you are naturally going to get higher grades as you study more in year 11 and 12. I also believe math is the subject in which hard work pays off, so if you put the hours in I think you'll be sweet as it is not a wretched subject like english. But you can also just drop down to standard at the end of year 11. With the worded questions you are like me, I hate them but it seems like there are more in standard, I would say advanced is a bit more to the point. I can't really comment on the workloads as I don't really know but going off my mates I think the workload is not way more compared to standard but it is more.

I highly recomend you should do advanced since if I came up from 5.2 you can definately achieve. It might be slow at the start but you should get a rhythm.
Thank you so much! Your story has really boosted my confidence, and I now feel more esteemed to take on the course.

Some degrees such as Commerce at USYD actually require you to do Advanced Mathematics for HSC. Why limit your opportunities to do a certain degree/go to a certain University, just because you want to take an "easier" route?
Good point.
If you can handle it, do Advanced. Greatly widens your future options.
Mm hm. That’s probably one of my main reasons for wanting to take on the course.


I picked the exact subjects you mentioned lmao, I'd highly recommend advanced because the scaling difference is paramount with a state rank in standard being about a 94 ATAR (2020 UAC report). Also I'd warn you about choosing investigating science as since it's a new course, there's barely any resources for the subject, I have a very dedicated teacher so that's not that big of a deal for me, also not to mention the scaling of it so far has been HORRIBLE, worse than standard maths, as the cohort has not been the most competitive.

If you want to pursue undergrad med, I suggest you to do advanced English and maths on top of everything you've chosen, and probably drop investigating/cafs in year 12. Standard English is theoretically harder to score a band 6 compared to advanced for some reason, meaning you'll probably have to state rank it to get a 99+ atar and have a shot in med.

Also, start preparing for the UCAT now, a lot of unis take heavy consideration regarding your ucat score & percentile. And keep in mind, to get an offer solely based on your ATAR for med, you're looking at minimum 99.50 with many requiring the highest possible atar of 99.95, given you're still have so much time, start preparing.

Though, most people get into medicine through postgrad, perhaps think about what degree you would do if you can't do undergrad med, then take the GAMSAT or UCAT along the way during uni years, maintain a high GPA and perhaps that could also work.
Thank you for all the exceptional advice! I think I might take your word for it and do Advanced English as well. Maybe not investigating science then..I’m still deciding. True, med school doesn’t come easy, so I should probably start preparing.

I do standard maths and it is not boring also there isn't a drastic scaling difference between standard and advanced, essentially doing amazing in maths standard will be better than doing average in advanced.
Fair enough. I’m probably going to advanced though, as it’s a prerequisite for many degrees I want to do. It’s good to know standard isn’t boring though, so if I do decide to drop advanced, I won’t feel too bad about it.

Alright then that’s about settled, however any additional advice anyone has to offer is also appreciated.
 

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