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Choosing the Perfect HSC Maths Course for You

By Grace Steriovski in HSC
24th of February 2021

Entering your final two years of high school come with a lot of stress, specifically maths. There is added expectations from those around you as you yearn closer to adulthood and added pressures as you are soon to be forced into the real world and chose a career path. Then there is the dreaded subject selection which many students believe will determine their future (let me tell you it won’t). However, careful subject selection can make your final two years in high school a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Now one of the most conflicting choices is choosing which maths is right for you (if any!). Some believe that a maths in HSC is necessary to succeed (which is isn’t). Yet, for those who chose to pursue a maths course during HSC they are thrown the choice of which difficulty based off their skills in previous years.

I remember when choosing my maths course for HSC I was told by my family and my teachers that I wasn’t smart enough for Extension 1. Which I won’t lie, it hurt being told you aren’t good enough. So, I’m sorry to you soldiers who may have been told the same thing. However, I did come out with a glorious Band 6 in the advanced course which did in fact put a smile on my face knowing my hard work had paid off. Now, in hindsight I probably could have chosen Extension 1, but would it have been worth it? Would I have done as well in Advanced? Simple answer. We will never know. We need to live with our choices. So have a think about what maths is good for you!

There are numerous points throughout the HSC journey which students are forced to choose and choose again whether the maths course they have chosen is the best of them. There is obviously the initial selection, but after each exam and road bump you encounter where you find yourself disappointed in you mark received. You further contemplate that the hours of effort you put in aren’t directly correlating to better marks, questioning whether it is truly worth continuing in that maths course. No matter your point in the HSC marathon, if you are considering that the maths you have chosen is not correct for you, you should evaluate why you chose it in the first place.


So here are a few questions to reflect on if you are hesitant about your maths course:

* Do I need it for a post school career path (e.g university, TAFE)?

* Am I doing it because I feel obligated by teachers/peers/family?

* Am I disappointed in the marks I received for maths considering the time I invest in the subject?

* Am I struggling to keep up with the content/feel my teacher is moving too fast for me to keep up?

* Am I taking it because I believe it will look better on my HSC certificate?

Now, I want you to reflect on the questions and how important you believe they are. I was told that maths extension 1 was assumed knowledge for my engineering course at university, so as someone who didn’t want to be left behind I took a two week bridging course. Honestly I didn’t draw much benefit from that, but who knows someone like you might! The point I am trying to get at is that there are always other paths and bridges offered by places like universities and TAFE to help you get to exactly where you want to. So that shouldn’t be your biggest concern right now.

But, if you are hesitant about your maths course and feel that your stress levels have significantly increased, you are allowed to reconsider your choice and drop to a lower maths course, or none at all. HSC is about finding what is right for you and hopefully selecting subjects that feel right, so if you feel that it isn’t right,  you are allowed to do something about it!

And with all this said I wish you luck in selecting the best maths for yourself, even if you are halfway through HSC and considering dropping down now, it is never too late especially with the right amount of determination and hard work.