Specialist Maths Tutoring Overview
The highest level of maths subject available to students, many say that Specialist Maths is the hardest subject in VCE. It exposes students to genuinely challenging mathematical problems and lays a valuable foundation of knowledge for students considering STEM-based courses at a tertiary level. Hence, a robust understanding of sometimes intense mathematical concepts is necessary, but Specialist also demands excellent exam technique. Students should be able to work quickly, and with accuracy: in some study score ranges, just a few marks on the exam can translate to actual study score points, such is the competitive nature of the subject. .
What to look for in a Specialist Maths tutor:
An ideal Specialist Maths tutor should have a firm grasp of both the mathematical concepts and the theory behind them. Look for a tutor who can explain how the mathematical formulas are actually relevant and related to the topic at hand, instead of just telling you to rote learn them: it will make learning the course far easier.
The Specialist Maths study design also changed in 2016, introducing additional content on statistics and probability. Be aware that some tutors may have been more familiar with the course prior to the introduction of this content – in looking for a tutor, ensure they have as firm a grasp on statistics and probability as they do on everything else.
Finally, make an effort to ensure that any tutor you engage with can assist you in converting worded questions into a purely mathematical problem. This can be a big sticking point for students, and sometimes, a difficulty for tutors to explain – but getting it right can be worth a lot of marks!
How Specialist Maths tutoring could benefit you:
Confidence and self-belief can be a genuine benefit for many students. Often, Specialist Maths students underestimate their own ability and choose not to attempt questions under the presumption that it is too difficult. This mindset stems from overstating the difficult of the subject and harboring a perception that it is “impossible”. As you can imagine, this can be quite costly to a study score over the course of a year, so finding someone that can make your goals seem achievable and who can foster your self-belief can be genuinely beneficial.
In terms of exam technique, a tutor could be beneficial in improving two key areas: speed and accuracy. Regarding accuracy, a tutor can ensure that students understand the key concepts and equip them with problem-solving strategies relevant to a range of different situations. Similarly, in terms of speed, a good tutor can teach students methods to make their working more efficient and improve the rate of marks-per-minute, meaning students can consistently get through exam papers without running out of time.