Unsure if you should drop Maths Methods and take on General Maths as a result? We’re here to help!

The gap in difficulty between Maths Methods and General Maths is very substantial. It can often be tricky to gauge which subject is right for you, especially at the beginning of Year 11, when you’re just starting out.

Keep reading to discover things you should consider if you’re thinking about dropping out of Maths Methods!

How big is the difference between the levels of Maths?

Which level of Maths is best for your ATAR?

Which Maths subject is best for your degree choice?

Reasons to Consider Dropping Maths Methods

**How big is the difference between the levels of Maths?**

Pretty big! **Maths Methods is primarily based around calculus, limits and more ‘abstract’ mathematical concepts.** To simplify, Methods is, in essence, a later pathway into the more theoretical side of mathematics, rather than practical.

It’s **the sort of understanding that is required for future doctors, physicists, chemists, and higher branches of science**. Of course, if you thoroughly enjoy Maths, and you are exceptionally good at it, **you can consider joining Specialist Maths**, which is even more theoretical and abstract than Methods — but our focus today is on Methods or General.

While Methods is required for mathematical concepts that go beyond your day to day life, **unless you work as a high-end scientist, General Maths is exactly that: generalised maths!**

It gives you a good understanding of some **everyday mathematical concepts that you would use in the workforce**, and even personally. Across the four units, there is a **special focus on finance, networks, basic stats and linear graphing** – which can end up being extremely useful.

Funnily enough, just like if you gave a General Maths student a Methods paper, **a Methods student is pretty unlikely to be able to ace a General Maths paper either**!

**They’re just really different kinds of maths. Both require effort and learning. **

**Which level of Maths is best for your ATAR?**

This is a complicated question. If we were to **look at the subjects themselves, **assuming you were to achieve the exact same grade in both,** Maths Methods would be worth more points towards your final ATAR than General Maths**. That said, this scenario is rarely the case.

While you can totally ace Methods, **most people will tend to do worse in this subject, as the gap in knowledge between its standard counterpart is so large.** In other words, an very high grade in General Maths will ultimately get you more ATAR points than a scraping through ‘pass’ Maths Methods, despite the latter being a more worthy subject overall in terms of scaled results.

The truth is, **if you were to do well in all your subjects, the difference wouldn’t matter much, and might not even turn out to exist.** Don’t be discouraged to remain in Methods if you’re good at it though!

**Which Maths subject is best for your degree choice?**

A big factor in choosing your level of Maths is **whether the subject is a requirement of your desired university course.**

Check out our guide to filling out your QTAC application!

You may not need Methods for some courses, however **the majority of Science, Mathematics and Engineering degrees will likely require methods as a prerequisite.** If this is the case for you, you don’t really have a choice (just push through with some help!)

In another scenario, it may be that **your course does not require Methods as a prerequisite, but may have Methods as assumed knowledge**. In this case, do not stress! At uni, you’ll be taught the mathematical skills needed in your degree anyway!

On the other hand, a tonne of degrees like **Business, Finance and Psychology **heavily refer to the same content learned in the General Maths syllabus.

All throughout my

dual Business/Psychology degree, I was using the samefinancial maths,networks,flow charts, anddescriptive statisticsthat I learned in Year 11 and 12General Maths– in hind sight I am lucky to have dropped!

This article isn’t meant to discourage you from taking Methods, but rather to **be aware that dropping into General isn’t an academic failure!** On the contrary, it can impact your grades positively overall, and in case you’re no good at Methods, you can totally regain ground lost in general towards your ATAR.

Read more on if

dropping a QCE Subject might be the right move for you!

**Reasons to Consider Dropping Maths Methods**

**Reason #1: Stress**

This is largely subjective. **Most people, however, tend to find Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Maths Methods stressful.**

This is because** the amount of knowledge and inflexible problem solving skills required are a lot **compared to other subjects, where problems are more varied, but easier to solve.

If you’re trying to get into a degree where two or three sciences are required, chances are you’ll be pretty stressed already, and this isn’t good for your grades. Add to this another stressful subject, and you might end up not doing so well.

Likewise, **if you are meticulous, can manage stress well and you enjoy or are naturally talented at sciences and maths, there is no reason to drop Maths Methods if it is something you enjoy doing**.

Of course, for most people this isn’t the case. Not everyone is working towards a career as a doctor or engineer ultimately.

**Reason #2: Time**

Methods can be a great preparation for those professions that require constant work and precision, as well as meticulousness, in an academic sense. **The content to learn, practise and get right in Methods is roughly double that of General, and much more difficult. **

So expect to spend a lot of time studying. If that’s your thing, great! Maybe you’re so good that you can pick up things on the go with little practise. If this is you, stick with it.

**However, most of us would like some time to work, go out with friends and have fun.** The amount of time you should be spending studying should be no more than what’s necessary, and most people are not prepared to.

**Reason #3: Grades**

This is the most common reason and the best reason that you should drop Methods — your grades. **The difficulty gap is so big that your grades may suffer** if you are not a Maths person.

In this case you should seriously consider dropping down. This will mean that **you’ll be playing at your preferred difficulty, without sacrificing the grades, which will ultimately yield a better ATAR.** This applies only if you find Maths challenging.

**There you have it!**

Now you’ve got an idea of the main things you should factor into your decision to drop Maths Methods. Something you should keep in mind is how your decision will impact your ATAR!

If you’re looking to study at uni once you finish high school, you’ll want to maximise your ATAR for direct entry into uni. Sometimes, this will mean dropping out of a subject if it isn’t required for your degree.

At the end of the day though, it’s your choice as to whether you stick with Maths Methods or General Maths! Good luck!

Based in Brisbane and curious to know about which schools perform well based on ATAR results? We’ve got the lowdown with

The Ultimate Brisbane ATAR School Ranking List.

**Are you looking for some extra guidance with Maths?**

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**Vittorio Manessi** is an Art of Smart tutor based in Queensland studying environmental science. He was one of the first Year 12 students to study under the new ATAR system in Queensland. He enjoys Maths, Science, English and Ancient History and is keen to share his knowledge of the QCE by making awesome resources.