Year 10 Overview
Just like in Year 9, there are three Maths streams available for Year 10 students, depending on their level of achievement the previous year. These are: Standard (Stage 5.1), Intermediate (Stage 5.2) or Advanced (Stage 5.3). Depending on their mastery of the topics in Year 10 Maths, students will go on to either General, Advanced or Extension Maths in Year 11.
After Year 10, Maths is no longer compulsory, meaning for students who study at a Standard level and achieve only basic competency in Year 10, this could be their final year of Maths study.
For some students, Year 10 may also be their final year of schooling, as they are legally able to leave school at the end of this year – as long as they continue into some form of further education, training or employment.
For most, Year 10 is an important year to gain skills and understanding of mathematical concepts before moving into senior secondary school and studying towards their Senior Certificate.
What’s included in Year 10 Maths?
The Year 10 Maths curriculum includes the proficiency strands understanding, fluency, problem solving and reasoning, which are taught through three content strands: number and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability.
Provided students achieve a good standard of learning in Year 9 Maths and have some understanding and recall of the concepts taught at that level, they should find the curriculum continues on at a steadily inclining pace in Year 10. Any gaps in knowledge should be filled to ensure they don’t fall behind.
What can students expect in Year 10 Maths?
At this year level, the proficiency strands will include the following content:
- Understanding of the four operations to algebraic fractions, being able to find unknowns in formulas after substitution, knowing how to make the connection between equations of relations and their graphs, forming comparisons between simple and compound interest in financial contexts and determining probabilities when working with two- and three-step experiments.
- Fluency involves factorising and expanding algebraic expressions, being able to use a range of strategies to solve equations, and the use of calculations when investigating the shape of data sets.
- Problem-solving at this level means calculating the surface area and volume of a diverse range of prisms in order to solve practical problems, discovering unknown lengths and angles through applications of trigonometry, using both algebraic and graphical techniques to find the solutions to simultaneous equations, and finding inequalities and investigating independence of events.
- Reasoning in Year 10 includes formulating geometric proofs with congruence and similarity, being able to interpret and evaluate media statements, and interpretation and comparison of data sets.
In terms of content strands and what they include, here’s what to expect in Year 10:
Year 10 Number and Algebra includes:
- Money and financial mathematics
- Patterns and algebra
- Linear and non-linear relationships
Year 10 Measurement and Geometry includes:
- Using units of measurement
- Geometric reasoning
- Pythagoras and trigonometry
Year 10 Statistics and Probability includes:
- Data representation and interpretation
Important skills to nail in Year 10
Many Year 10 Maths students struggle with quadratic equations, especially when it comes to finding the x intercepts in the equation. This often comes from a lack of understanding of Year 9 factorisation techniques. If there are gaps in this learning, or even if students could just do with a refresher, it may help to back-pedal slightly and ensure they can do the basics before moving into the world of quadratic equations.
Three dimensional trigonometry will be a new concept for most students and is often difficult to visualise. However, putting the time in to ensure a full understanding of this will stand them in good stead for moving into more difficult trigonometry problems in Years 11 and 12. Rather than rote learning, it is important to have a good understanding of the meaning of trigonometric ratios and how they are derived. This knowledge will make it easier to solve problems in exam situations.
Similarly, having a solid grounding in the conceptual knowledge behind logarithms is essential for manipulating equations into logarithmic form.
With a lot of concepts to absorb in Year 10 Maths, it is important that students ask for help when they don’t understand, rather than allowing gaps to grow in their knowledge. Each step leads onto the next, so any gaps will only grow bigger without clarification.
How to study effectively for Year 10 Maths
Effective study at this level is not a matter of rote learning but the application of logic, based on knowledge of the concepts involved. Good study habits will be regular and consistent, with time given to learning theory as well as putting this theory to work by solving practice equations.
Keeping track of errors and re-visiting those equations that students find difficult will allow them to gain a better understanding of the gaps in their knowledge and to bridge those gaps.
Practice tests are essential for checking how this knowledge applies when placed under time pressure. Many of these can be found online.
What assessments to expect in Year 10
The majority of schools will hold in-school exams in Year 10 to help prepare students for the senior secondary years. For those leaving at the end of this year, a Year 10 Certificate will be provided if work is achieved at a satisfactory level and there is a good record of attendance at school.
Year 10 achievement standards are based on a portfolio of work achieved over the course of the year, rather than final exams. Achieving well at this level should be seen as setting students in good stead for the Year 11 and 12 Senior Secondary school years and the Secondary Certificate exams and assessments.
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