The Standard Maths syllabus has 96 pages.
This may sound like a lot of content to sift through, especially when you have other subjects to study for. Did you know that you can turn the syllabus into an easy to follow checklist?
This checklist will help you figure out what you already know and what you need to revise. We’ll teach you all the tips and tricks to simplify prep for your Standard Maths exam and make all those dotpoints less intimidating!
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
What’s in the Syllabus?
Making that Checklist
What’s in the Syllabus?
Let’s get into the Standard Maths syllabus – click here to check it out!
Understanding how it is set out will allow you to break it down into a checklist while not excluding anything important.
Syllabus Structure
On page 65 is a summary of Year 12 Mathematics Standard 2 content – it in itself is a checklist, but it is by topic, so it is won’t be helpful for being able to judge whether or not you know all the content. You’ll also find the Year 11 content on page 30!
Let’s break it down:
Both Year 11 and Year 12 have four shared topics, with Year 12 having an additional topic called ‘Networks’:
Remember, Year 11 content is examinable in the HSC years and the final examination, so that’s why I’ve included it. A lot of students miss some of the preliminary content from the shared topics, so keep that in mind.
Each topic is broken down into subtopics. For example, let’s take the Year 12 Financial Mathematics topic.
The subtopics lying under Financial Mathematics are:

 Investments and Loans
 Annuities
Pro tip: The topics are given codes which are useful for finding specific pages, detailing the topic, by using the ‘finding’ function (CTRL+F) on the syllabus document. For fun, MSN4 is simply Mathematics Standard –Financial Topic 4.
Breaking Down Topics
Topics are broad, so when it comes to revision, it doesn’t serve much purpose. I liken knowing the topic to knowing a sport, but the rules and how to play is the content.
So to make sure we are on the same page.
This content includes dotpoints that you are familiar with from other subjects, using terms like investigate, calculate and determine.
Making that Checklist
Syllabus Layout
Okay. That was a lot to take in.
A little more to go. The Standard Maths syllabus is set out as follows (to keep it short, I only used 3 topics).
The pages for the topics include, as we described in the breakdowns, the content in dotpoints – the skills you will learn from that topic.
How to Set Out Your Checklist
Now that you know how the Standard Maths syllabus is set out, you can now set out your checklist in the same way. The checkpoints are going to include all the dotpoints below ‘Content’ for each topic.
Here’s an example from the topic Algebra and the subtopic ‘Types of Relationships’ (pg 6768 of the syllabus).
Financial Mathematics
 Investments and Loans
 Content (Investments, Depreciation and Loans)
 Annuities
 solve compound interest related problems involving financial decisions, e.g. a home loan, a savings account, a car loan or an annuity
 identify an annuity as an investment account with regular, equal contributions and interest compounding at the end of each period
 identify an annuity as a single sum investment from which regular, equal withdrawals are made
 model an annuity as a recurrence relation and investigate (numerically or graphically) the effect of varying:
 the amount and frequency of each contribution
 the interest rate or
 the payment amount on the duration and/or future value of the annuity
 use a table of interest factors to perform annuity calculations, eg:
 calculate the present or future value of an annuity,
 calculate the contribution amount required to achieve a given future value or
 calculate the single sum that would produce the same future value as a given annuity
Okay, let’s talk about what I did.
 Start with breaking down each topic with the various subtopics.
 Create one checklist per subtopic, which includes all the dotpoint content.
 Break dotpoints down further to make the skills you need to learn much clearer.
Complete the subtopic, Investments and Loans, and you are done with 1/5 of the topics for Year 12 Standard Maths. Then do the same for the rest of the topics and you will be done with the HSC section!
But you aren’t done yet – there is still the Year 11 section, which a lot of students, as I stated before, often forget. It isn’t a lot of work though – the content dotpoints are a simple copy and paste.
The only real effort put into forming this checklist is creating additional dotpoints to break the content down further, making it easier to understand.
This requires a little bit of thought and what you include will differ from person to person. It also requires you to have covered the content for you to know what is important enough to include.
You might even want to include formulas or ratios relevant to the subtopic! Remember, it is better to have a longer checklist than a shorter one.
And that’s it!
It may seem like creating a checklist for each subtopic for every single topic is going to take a long time. But remember, you are making this over two years!
As you progress with your content, you are creating this checklist. Fit it in your schedule, in the evening/night, after you learn the content while it is fresh in your mind.
Aiming for a Band 6 in HSC Standard Maths? Check out our tips here!
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Thomas Zheng enjoys using numbers in every aspect of life. So much so that he just had to take Civil Engineering at UNSW, because even Extension 2 in high school did not satisfy that need. Now he’s writing (with actual words) for Art of Smart because he understands the importance of balance in life. I guess that’s why he spends most of his time watching TV shows and movies as opposed to doing ‘something productive’ as his teachers used to say, because that totally demonstrates how much he understands that balance thing.