Year 9 Overview
Depending on the achievement level in Year 8 Maths, students will study at either a Standard (Stage 5.1), Intermediate (Stage 5.2) or Advanced (Stage 5.3) level in Year 9. Studying Maths is compulsory until Year 11, when students may choose to skip the subject.
For students who claim to not like Maths but achieve well in the subject, it is beneficial to keep on with learning at a high level as it can be possible to lose interest if the content is too easy. For some, the conceptual and creative side of Maths may come to light in Year 9, making the subject more interesting and motivating students to continue on with higher level Maths. For those who don’t excel in the subject, Standard Maths will still provide a challenge and achieving at this level should not be seen as a failure.
With the senior years of high school approaching, it can be helpful at a Year 9 level to assess possible career pathways and whether Maths will be needed to pursue these. This may help motivate students to study and achieve well this year. Often, students are surprised to find Maths included in what they considered an unrelated post-secondary education course or career.
What’s included in Year 9 Maths?
The Year 9 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.
While these same content strands have been taught in the previous two years, there is of course a progressive increase in difficulty and complexity in Year 9, but it will be achievable for most students who were able to keep up in previous years.
What can students expect in Year 9 Maths?
Here’s are the proficiency strands broken down for Year 9 Maths and what is included in each:
- Understanding means being able to describe the relationship between graphs and equations, simplify algebraic expressions, explain relative frequencies for estimating probability, as well as knowing and expressing the trigonometric ratios for right angle triangles.
- Fluency is the ability to apply index laws to expressions with integer indices, express numbers in scientific notation, list outcomes for experiments, become familiar with calculations that involve the Cartesian plane, and calculate area and surface area for shapes and prisms.
- Problem solving includes applying ratio and scale factors for similar figures, finding solutions for practical situations involving surface area and volume, using right angle trigonometry to solve problems, and collecting and using data to investigate a problem.
- Reasoning is being able to follow mathematical arguments, evaluate media reports and use statistics to find clarity in practical situations, create a strategy for looking into similarity and being able to sketch linear graphs with accuracy.
And here’s an overview of the content strands and what will be included in this learning:
Year 9 Number and Algebra includes:
- Understanding and working with the concept of real numbers
- Money and finances
- Working with and discovering mathematical patterns
- Algebraic equations
- Defining and investigating linear and non linear relationships
Year 9 Measurement and Geometry includes:
- Defining and using units of measurement
- Working with geometric reasoning
- Defining and working with the Pythagoras theorem
- Using Trigonometry to find measurements
Year 9 Statistics and Probability includes:
- Investigating chance
- Working with data representation and interpretation
Important skills to nail in Year 9
Keeping on top of all vocabulary will help Year 9 students to understand the concepts being taught and developed this year. There will be quite a few new terms to learn and use, and knowing the language of maths can be helpful for unpicking exactly what is being asked. Equally, working hard to understand the conceptual side of algebra, for example, rather than simply rote learning methods for solving problems, will help make Maths more interesting.
Conceptual knowledge is key this year, as these underpinning concepts will only become more challenging in years to come. Having a good grasp of the reasoning and meaning behind the strands in the Year 9 curriculum will make good results more accessible in future.
How to study for Year 9 Maths
Developing good study practices throughout the year, such as revising notes from classwork and doing some practice for newly learned problem solving methods, will set students in good stead as they continue on with the curriculum and eventually sit tests.
Remembering to show steps rather than jumping to the end result is also an important skill to practise in year 9, as results alone will not gain full marks. Effective study is regular throughout the year – not just at test time. This is essential when a particular concept or method is unclear in class. If students are getting it wrong during checkpoint tests, it’s best to muscle through it now rather than leaving it for later.
When it comes to the real assessment, regular short bursts of study at test time will always be better than cramming. Parents should help students to find windows of time to fit in study as their lives become busier with social occasions.
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What assessments to expect in Year 9
Year 9 students will sit their National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests, which are usually held near the beginning of term 1. This is not a formal exam as such but does assess the levels students are at and where any gaps in their learning may be.
Many schools will also have in school exams this year, to help students become more familiar with exam settings. While these have no real consequence for a student’s future career or further study, revising and studying for them is a good way to ensure the learning is solidified in the student’s mind before they move into Year 10.
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