BlogStudyIs HSC Advanced Maths Hard and Should I Drop it?

Is HSC Advanced Maths Hard and Should I Drop it?

Are you considering dropping HSC Advanced Maths to HSC Standard Maths? Do you think advanced maths is too hard? Or maybe you’re considering dropping Math completely!? Well, we are here to make sure you have all the current, up to date Facts on Advanced Maths before you make the big decision!

One of the most common questions we hear almost daily from nervous senior students starting out the HSC has to be “is advanced maths hard?”

The answer is complicated. In short: Yes, but it’s worth it.

We’ve gone through the scaling data from UAC and the NSW public school course enrolment figures to create the ultimate fact sheet on drop rates for HSC Advanced Maths, percentage of Band 6 achievers, the top ATAR you can score and more!

Sound like something you need to hear?

Let’s dive in!

What to consider when dropping a subject?

Before we take a look at the numbers, there are a few key things you should consider before dropping HSC Advanced Maths. 

  1. Will dropping down to Standard Maths actually help you get a better mark than Advanced Maths?
  2. Is it a prerequisite for a university course you want to study?

To help you answer these questions, we’ve written an article on what you need to consider when dropping a subject. Check it out here!

Or check out our video below!

How many students drop from Advanced to Standard?

Between 2019 and 2020, 34% of students who were studying HSC Advanced Maths dropped it. This is exactly 4496 people or just over one in 3 students! We can probably guess that most of these students likely moved to Standard Maths, however, there may be a few who dropped Maths completely!

From 2012 to 2019 an average of 35% of Students taking Advanced Maths will eventually drop it – over 1 in 3 people!

Try getting some personalised help before you drop! Check out our HSC Maths Tutors Sydney who can help you balance the Advanced course and take the stress out of understanding complex concepts yourself. We’ve also got fantastic Maths tutors in Penrith who can help you achieve your goals.

How many people drop advanced maths?


Are more or less people dropping HSC Advanced Maths?

Observing the historical data for the past 8 years, the number of people dropping seems to hover around 35%. This means over the past 8 years, the number of people dropping has remained more or less the same.

Advanced Maths Drop Percentages

Are more girls or boys dropping?

There is only a 2% difference between boys and girls dropping Advanced Maths. On average, 36% of boys drop Advanced Maths compared to 34% of girls.

Advanced Maths Drop Rate Boys and Girls

Is Advanced Maths a popular subject to drop?

Finding the right level of Maths for your HSC is probably one of the biggest questions students ask themselves when selecting (and dropping) their subjects. It is definitely no surprise to see Advance Maths on the list of Most Dropped HSC Subjects!

In fact, *drum roll please* this subject is the most dropped subject in the entire HSC! With 4771 students on average dropping it each year!

Want more help in deciding whether to drop HSC Standard Maths? Check out our HSC Subject Decision Tree Tool!

Is Advanced Maths Hard?

So….Does taking Advanced Maths really mean you will get a better mark than Standard Maths?

Well, we’ve considered the historical data, crunched the numbers and found the average mark for students who’ve taken the subject across the past five years is 80.2. Just making it into the Band 5 range! The average mark for Advanced Maths has been between 79 and 81 since 2016!

And Standard Maths? Well, the average mark is 70.6, or a Band 4 – almost an entire band difference! The average mark for Standard Maths has only fluctuated a little bit the past five years, having been 71 in 2016 and 69 in 2020.

Average score for Advanced and Standard Maths

How likely is it that I’ll get a Band 6 in HSC Advanced Maths?

Now you know the average Advanced Maths mark is around 80…but how likely is it for you to get a Band 6 in the subject? Across the past five years, typically 24.4% of Advanced Maths students achieve a Band 6 on average. Which is nearly 1 in 4 people!

In Standard Maths, only 5.8% of students achieve a Band 6! Bare that in mind. 

What about the other Bands?

The majority of Advanced Maths students receive a Band 5 in the subject, with 28.6% of students doing so! The next largest group is Band 4, with 25.8% followed by Band 6 with 24.4%.

You can view the rest of the Bands breakdown below! 

Advanced Maths Band Distribution

If you’re aiming to achieve a Band 6 in HSC Maths, you should check out our tips here!

What’s the top ATAR I can get with HSC Advanced Maths?

This really is a trick questionthe top ATAR you can score doing any combination of subjects will be 99.95! The highest ATAR anyone can achieve!

For HSC Advanced Maths, the highest ATAR achieved for a student taking the subject has always been 99.95. 

Historically, however, a 99.95 ATAR hasn’t always been achieved in every subject! For example, the highest average ATAR for people who take Standard Maths is 99.48.

And that’s all of our facts and stats for drop rates and band distribution data! Good luck in your decision and your HSC!

Curious about the drop rates for other subjects?

Check out the stats and figures we’ve compiled for the following subjects:

Curious about the top 10 most dropped subjects? Check out our ultimate fact sheet here!

Losing motivation in school? Check out these 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Drop Out of Schoolto remind yourself where the HSC can take you!

Looking for extra help with HSC Maths?

We take pride in our inspirational HSC Maths coaches and mentors!

Whether you decide to stick with HSC Advanced Maths or drop down HSC Standard Maths, our tutors and mentors can help you feel confident! Learn your entire Maths Syllabus, have access to incredible resources and feel prepared for your HSC with 1 on 1 tutoring in your own home, in Castle Hill, online or at one of our campuses in the Hills or Hornsby!

Check out our HSC Maths tutoring options in Blacktown to achieve your academic goals today and secure your ATAR!

Over the past 10 years, Art of Smart has a proven track record of helping over 8,000 students feel confident and improve their marks by 20.7%!

To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today! 

Give us a ring on 1300 267 888, email us at [email protected] or check us out on TikTok!

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