What are the different levels in high school maths for Year 11 and 12?


The purpose of this blog is to act as a quick guide to help parents better understand the different levels of mathematics that are being offered in school and what are the potential opportunities these different levels of maths can have on your child’s future.

It is a good idea to read this, so that way when you are speaking to friends, family or other parents about how your child is doing at school and what level maths they are doing, you don’t sound like this:

‘uuuuuughhh……… not.. too sur – I think he is doing something called 2 unit maths’

And you just made that up.

What is 2 unit maths?

To begin with, some of you may not know, students now days get an ATAR, which stands for Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. Some students can go through the education system in Year 11 and 12 and choose not to get an ATAR.

In Year 11, students are required to compete a total of 12 units and in Year 12 only 10 units worth of subjects are counted towards their ATAR.

There are a total of 5 different levels of maths. This is going from the lowest to the highest level of mathematics.

General Mathematics 1

This is also known as No ATAR General Mathematics and it is the only maths course that will not provide students an ATAR result. Students that do not want an ATAR at the end of Year 12, can choose to do this level of maths because is no pressure to perform, compete or maximize marks. The content for General Mathematics 1 is similar to General Mathematics 2.



General Mathematics 2

This level of mathematics is an ATAR maths course. This course is aimed at being as practical as possible to real life situations. For example, students will learn about bills, electricity, buying a car, depreciation, tax income as well.

It has alot of overlapping content that is similar with General Mathematics 1.

Advanced Mathematics

Advanced Mathematics is generally the minimum level of mathematics that high achieving students and parents expect their child to make into and hopefully do well in.

This course is also known as 2 unit mathematics. This can be very confusing for a lot of parents, because the general course (such as, biology, chemistry, business studies etc) in high school is ‘worth 2 units’, even general maths is worth 2 unit.

However, when people ask what level maths your child is studying, advanced mathematics – people can also refer it to as ’2 unit maths’. But General Mathematics is NOT called 2unit maths, it is however ‘worth 2 units’.

In terms of content, there are significant differences between advanced mathematics and general mathematics. The content in advanced mathematics is very algebra heavy, meaning you child must know it incredibly well. It is also more theoretical and less practical then General Mathematics.

In certain professions, you need to obtain a university qualifications and for those qualifications they may require you to study a minimum level of mathematics. In that case, Advanced Mathematics may or may not be sufficient for your child.

For example, Advanced Mathematics is a very useful stepping stone for students wanting to go to university and study courses such as architecture, engineering, medicine, etc.

Parents must be VERY careful about enrolling students into Advanced Mathematics, there has been too many times where I see significant numbers of students that are unable to handle this level of mathematics and thus drop down to General Mathematics.

Extension 1 Mathematics

This is also an ATAR course. It is also known as ‘3 unit maths.’ This course is however only worth 1 unit unless the student takes on Extension 2 Mathematics in the HSC, then it would be worth 2 units. If students do not take on Extension 2 Mathematics in the HSC, the Extension 1 Mathematics is only worth 1 unit.

The content for Extension 1 Mathematics is an EXTENSION to Advanced Mathematics. In other words, you must have a strong knowledge and basis of Advanced Mathematics in order to do well in Extension 1 Mathematics.

The secret to performing well in this course, you can find out here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-secrets-to-success-pitfalls-to-avoid-to-get-ahead-at-school-tickets-35163281321


Extension 2 Mathematics

This is the highest ATAR Mathematics course that students can go to. It can only be elected once the student is in Year 12, as it is not offered in Year 11. This course is worth 2 units.

Again, this is an extension to Extension 1 Mathematics Courses. This course is highly recommended for students considering profession such as Engineering.

The secret to performing well in this course, you can find out here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-secrets-to-success-pitfalls-to-avoid-to-get-ahead-at-school-tickets-35163281321

Ultimately, what level of maths should your child take? Really it is about what you want and a balance of several factors.

  • What level of maths can they best perform in?
  • Is your child the type that can be challenged, patient and expand their ability level?
  • Do they have much time to cope with large amount of work load?
  • What career do they want to follow in the future?
  • What are high school pre-requisites for completing the desired qualifications in university?
  • What university does your child want to go to and is mathematics compulsory?
  • And lots lots more.

To have your child assessed and receive expert advice FOR FREE contact markitup at info@markitup.com.au


Call: 0433 790 782


Attend one of our free information events below where we go into deeper details into the different levels of maths and the secrets to performing well.