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March 01, 2021, 11:18:08 am

Author Topic: ✰Further Maths - Bound Reference, CAS Tips and Recommendations! | Guide✰  (Read 2550 times)  Share 

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Hi everyone!

I've been thinking about making a guide on Further for a long time now, but I never really thought I was good enough to be making one due to my final results. This guide has been sitting on my computer for a while and at one point, I was tempted to delete it but after much debate, here it is for you guys! I may have not did well in the exam, but there is definitely one thing I did well in this subject which is: *Drumroll please*

Making a bound reference and using my CAS! (The secret tips no one tells you about)

So this guide is going to be a step by step process on some ideas that you can use during the year to help you get better at making a bound reference that meets VCAA requirements as well as becoming best friends with CAS! I'll also be including into this guide some recommended study guides/exam companies as well as an overall approach to Further Maths!

Time for some CASual Further Maths!


✰Mini Intro to CAS✰ (This guide is for people using the TI-nspire CAS calculators)

Welcome to Further Maths 3/4, where your CAS means everything to you!
You CAS should be on Float, degrees and approximate mode in your calculator settings. Those that do Methods 3/4 or even Specialist 3/4 in conjunction with Further should be aware that you will need to change calculator settings constantly, so make sure you are using the right one.

Below is a list of the most common CAS Shortcuts that I have used frequently during the year. (I did Matrices/Geometry module so these CAS shortcuts will be based on those). You will also be using spreadsheet and data & statistics quite frequently too. (We never rearrange equations in Further, we CAS it!)

Most common CAS functions in Further:
Name of function : Shortcut
Solve : Menu -> 3 -> 1
Numerical Solve : Menu -> 3 -> 6
Multiple simultaneous equations : Menu -> 3 -> 7 -> 2
Determinant : Menu -> 7 -> 3
Transpose : Menu -> 7 -> 2
Financial Solver : Menu -> 8 -> 1
Effective Interest Rate : Menu -> 8-> 5 -> 2
Creating Matrices : "The button with 3 boxes next to the book Icon" or Menu -> 7 -> 1

One thing people seem to forget about the CAS is that it's a mini-computer, you can use Copy and Paste! If you want to copy something from another document hover over it till it highlights and press ctrl + c and then to paste press ctrl + v.
✰Bound References✰

Now the big question is, what is the ideal bound reference?

Well for starters the ideal one is one that passes VCAA standards. This includes:
· One horizontal or vertical spine
· Must be SECURELY attached. None of those clips that can hold paper and open. It needs to be permanent (There are people in the exam room that check/shake your bound reference so watch out).
· No tabs must extend off the page. You also can’t have brochure-style stuff stuck inside that may fold out beyond A4 size.

You should construct your bound reference on the very first lesson of Further ;D. I used a 128 Page exercise book as my bound reference for SACs during the year (highly recommend the grid paper one) and pretty much filled it with CAS functions and challenging questions. I also did a one-page summary sheet after each topic so, in an assessment, it would be easy to flick to what I want. After June, I started to type my bound reference up and by my last SAC, my final bound reference was only 5 double-sided pages! During the time of exam revision (September to November). I bought a small B5 notebook that would be my new mistakes book. Every time I did a question wrong, even for simple mistakes, it would go into this book and I would always check it to make sure I don't repeat the same mistakes.

My main reason for having a small bound reference was that when I did practise exams, I would rely more on the formula sheet. Once October hit, I pretty much stopped using a bound reference and formula sheet entirely. As weird as this sounds, my bound reference had photos of my friends and teachers inside with messages from my teachers so that if I did get stressed during reading/writing time, I could look at them to calm myself down. (The front cover of my bound ref is literally a drawing I did for my teacher for her birthday :P) My bound reference sole purpose was to make the exam not feel like an exam and to remind me I had one person who believed I could do well in this subject.

Your bound reference is for you to constantly revise and remember concepts throughout the year! You should construct as much as you can by yourself and try to avoid making a bound reference solely on other people's notes as you may find it hard to find certain pieces of information during an assessment.

Everything you could possibly need in Further is on the formula sheet provided in the exam. Get familiar with it as it will stop you from going to your bound reference for simple formulas. Lastly, do not chuck excessive amounts of examples in your bound reference as a substitute for doing the work. It will not work. Don’t be that person, it will come to bite you at the end of the year exam. Study smart throughout the year and you won’t even need the bound reference, trust me. 8)
✰Study Guides✰

I went through quite a bit of stuff during Further 3/4. Here is a list of highly recommended, recommended and also some stuff I personally didn't find too useful:

Highly recommended guides/questions/notes:

A+ Notes: This was my saviour alongside Checkpoints the whole year. Has a great number of questions for each topic in preparation for SACs and has some good original questions you wouldn't find anywhere else.

Checkpoints: Past questions from other Further exams all mashed into one. Will spoil VCAA exams but are worth the investment.


Vic Maths Notes: Great for making sure you have everything you need for bound references!

ATAR NOTES Course Notes/Topic Tests: I loved using the course notes throughout the year as all the info was laid out in a simple and concise way. The topic tests were great for the core areas (Data Analysis and Financial) however, some of the modules (Matrices/Geometry) sections could have been a bit harder. (If it was a bit harder, this would most likely be in the highly recommended area) For the topic tests, you only have 10 tests to go through.

Not worth it:

NEAP: Don't do it. Just no. The quality of these questions are seriously everywhere and sometimes don't even relate to things in the current study design. Also avoid the practise exams for this company if possible. I really don't like saying this type of stuff about companies, but Neap and Further Maths do not mix together well.

Connect Education: If you have already purchased A+ Notes and/or ATAR NOTES course notes, don't buy this. The connect education notes don't really come with any questions and pretty much have the bare basics of what you need. For a maths subject, I wouldn't recommend these however I'm sure for more wordier subjects these notes would be great!
✰Company Practise Exams✰

Here is my take on the Further Maths Exam company hierarchy! I recommend doing anything but VCAA/VCAA NHT first as practice and then going straight to VCAA as they will be the closest exams you can get to the real thing! (This may also apply to Methods exams too)

   2. VCAA NHT
   3. Insight/Kilbaha/Heffernann

Do note: Heffernann is probably the closest you will get to VCAA excluding NHT. Highly recommend these exams!

The exam companies to avoid: (I'm really sorry)

NEAP: I had so many teachers and Further Examiners tell me to never touch a Neap exam and guess what I did? That's right, I did a few Neap ones to see if they were right and I can safely say that for my future maths studies in Methods that I will never touch Neap again. The questions are either really easy or they don't address the study design properly (not to mention they have a few mistakes in their solutions). I can't comment on their smart-study questions book but I can say after doing some of their commercial exams that it's a waste of your time.

QATs: Didn't find the questions really challenging and the wording was quite ambiguous at times.
✰Ashmi's Bound Reference✰

Here is a copy of my Bound Reference for those interested!

- TO BE UPDATED (Hopefully some common mistakes soon!)-
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 07:59:29 pm by ashmi »
2019-2020: ☆The CASual Journey to the End | Ashmi's VCE Journal☆
2021: ☆A Particle in an Electric Field | Ashmi's Uni Journal☆

Bachelor of Science (Physics)/Master of Engineering (Electrical) @UniMelb

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Thanks so much for this Ashmi !  :D :D :D
2019/2020 - Psychology | Biology | Chemistry | Methods | Further | English
2021 - Science @ Melbourne University


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This is awesome Ashmi!!
I know this will not only benefit me but SO many other students!
— VCE —
English 29, Further Maths 32, Biology 31, Legal Studies 26, Psychology 32

— University —
Bachelor of Nursing @ Monash


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Thanks so much for this Ashmi !  :D :D :D

This is awesome Ashmi!!
I know this will not only benefit me but SO many other students!

Thank you so much for your support!! 💕
I hope that you find it useful for your Further Maths Journey and if there is anything you would like specific on the mini-guide, let me know ;D
2019-2020: ☆The CASual Journey to the End | Ashmi's VCE Journal☆
2021: ☆A Particle in an Electric Field | Ashmi's Uni Journal☆

Bachelor of Science (Physics)/Master of Engineering (Electrical) @UniMelb


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Hey Everyone!! Back with another update for this Further Maths Guide~

Before I begin, I just want to say thank you so much to anyone that actually reads this! It takes quite a bit of effort to go hunting through examiner's reports and forming a few key ideas to share with you all and I'm really grateful to be apart of a supportive community like this. ;D I hope you find this useful for your Further studies!

Ok now onto the juicy stuff! Today's topic will be: *DRUMROLL PLEASE*

✰Common Exam Mistakes!!✰

Also, before I continue, the modules I did were the Matrices and Geometry modules (I'm sorry Networks and Graph and Relations).

✰Data Analysis✰
What you should be aware of!
· Ordinal and Nominal Data
A common Exam 1 and usually one of the first Exam 2 questions you will see. Although its quite easy to tell the difference between ordinal and nominal (one order is significant), VCAA has ways of making this not seem obvious. For example, (Under 50/ 50 & Over) is considered ordinal. In Further, most categorical variables will have brackets like: Gender (Female, Male).
· Picking the right variable and how to graph it correctly.
· Describing the shape of a distribution
· Using correct terminology such as positively skewed with outliers.
· The slope of a regression line/variation in response and explanatory variables. (Default templates in my bound reference to cover every possible question from 2005)
· 5 Figure summary and outliers must be included
· When doing your 5-figure summary and there are outliers present, they will be apart of your data. For instance, if you had an outlier at the top of the data which was 50, then the maximum would be 50 for your 5 Fig summary.
· When asking for association you need to refer to a change in the variables

✰Recursion and Financial Modelling✰
· When a question asks ‘show that’ you must show all working out.
· When given variables Vn, Vn+1 and V0 you must use them.
· Recursion VS Rules. They are two different things.
· Rounding to the nearest cent.
· Using finance solver and the correct sign values.
· Understanding loans and investments graphically
· Perpetuities
· Interest during the second year vs interest in total. The vocabulary makes a difference!

One of the smallest chapters in the book but one of the hardest SACs you will ever face if taken lightly. Some common problems that occur in examiner’s reports include:
· If the answer asks for a matrix, you need to show the brackets!
· Being able to write a calculation to show an answer in a matrix.
· Drawing transition diagrams from a matrix and vice versa
· Not answering the question with the matrix. Extracting the information.
· Using the rule Sn+1 = TSn + B. No shortcuts.
· Finding the percentage of people that move from one place to another.
· Steady State. Not understanding how proportions will always stay the same.

✰Geometry and Measurement✰
· Scale factor. This includes linear, area and volume. Not understanding the relationship between these. Circles and equilateral triangles will always be similar, but you must compare area to area to get scale factor.
· Forgetting units and Rounding answers
· Time-zones and not understanding differences
· Parallels of latitude and finding the small radius.
· Sun rising/setting. Rises in the East, sets in the west.
· Ambiguous Case
. Meridians are only half. Great circle is full circles around the Earth.

That's it for now! Thank you so much for reading💕.
Also, shout out to that girl at my school who literally printed my bound reference from ATAR Notes and told me how awesome it was. Little did she know that was mine🤣
2019-2020: ☆The CASual Journey to the End | Ashmi's VCE Journal☆
2021: ☆A Particle in an Electric Field | Ashmi's Uni Journal☆

Bachelor of Science (Physics)/Master of Engineering (Electrical) @UniMelb