Are you thinking of picking up 4 unit Mathematics? Or maybe you’re already in 4U but are looking for some study tips.
Well, worry no more, because we’ve got you covered! Today we’re talking to Keean who initially took 4U Maths so he could drop Business Studies, and ended up excelling in the HSC with a mark of 91.
So let’s find out more about how Keean settled on the decision to pick up 4U, some study advice, how he prepared for exams, the workload you could expect, and his top tips!
Why did Keean decide to pick up 4 Unit Mathematics?
Keean’s initial motive for taking on 4U Maths in Year 12 was his will to drop Business Studies! Regardless, Keean was performing well in Extension 1 Maths and enjoyed studying the subject, so 4U was a better option over struggling with Business Studies which he wasn’t enjoying.
“So if I wanted to drop Business Studies, I’d have to take up some other kind of unit and the only option available for me was Extension 2 Maths and… considering what I heard about Extension 2 Maths it seemed very intimidating,” Keean said.
It really is a matter of weighing up the pros and cons, especially as everyone’s situation is different — think about how you’re performing in Extension 1 and whether the time and effort you put into the subject is equating to your marks. If you enjoy maths and it’s relevant to your future studies, beyond high school, then this may be another reason to take on 4U!
It might also be worthwhile asking your family for their opinions, talking to your maths teachers of course, and perhaps asking some older students about their experience in 4U Maths.
Keean said, “I wasn’t necessarily topping Extension 1, but I was doing fairly well and my teacher recommended it so I felt he had confidence in me.”
What is the workload like for 4 Unit Mathematics?
4U Maths is notorious for being a heavy workload subject and one that requires a lot of dedication. Keean agreed in saying that 4U did have a greater workload — he found himself dedicating at least an hour or two every day to the subject.
“In the end I think it did increase the workload, but because I kind of enjoyed Maths more, it didn’t matter to me as much. Me and my friends created a study group, so every Wednesday we would meet up after school and would stay like two hours in our local library studying Maths together,” Keean said.
Essentially, 4U Maths is a daily commitment, and you can expect to spend around 10 hours on it every week — which is on top of your school classes. Although this is a huge commitment, if you are interested in maths, and can manage your time amongst your other subjects, then 4U is likely a suitable choice for you!
How to Study for 4 Unit Mathematics
The nature of 4U Maths is complexity. As opposed to, say Business Studies, a subject where there is a content heavy syllabus and a lot of memorisation involved, 4U Maths is a matter of understanding material in depth and being able to apply your skills to various questions.
Keean’s advice is, “Take it slow… it can be very challenging and you can get stuck on questions. I would say, don’t be discouraged by that because that’s the kind of level of Maths that it is, that is the difficulty of it — but that doesn’t mean it’s unachievable.”
He found breaking up homework exercises into smaller chunks, and tackling a couple questions each day is a great approach. Spacing out the content and taking your time to properly understand the process, rather than just getting the answer right, is crucial!
Preparing Yourself for the Exams
#1: Practice, practice, and even more practice!
When it comes to 4U Maths exams, it’s a matter of being able to apply your skills to any question that gets thrown at you. So the best way to prepare — expose yourself to every type of question out there!
#2: Go over your notes and formulas
Keean also reviewed his notes and formulas before doing past papers and practice questions. He also took note of questions that he had more difficulties with to target more time on understanding them.
#3: Get extra help with tutoring
Sarah, one of our tutors at Art of Smart, was also helping Keean out with one-on-one sessions to work on areas he found more difficult. Keean was struggling to understand one of his Maths teachers because of their accent, and also didn’t perform well in the first exam — barely passing.
“I wanted someone who could help navigate those difficult questions instead of spending two hours glued on one question being like, ‘what am I doing?’ At least with Sarah’s help, it reduced the time and we’d be able to get through more of those difficult questions,” Keean said.
“I kind of weirdly grew a love for the difficult questions because I loved the satisfaction of spending so much time just thinking about it and then at the end being able to have an answer!” Keean added.
Keean’s Top 3 Tips!
Tip #1: Don’t beat yourself up
4U Maths is challenging, there’s no doubt about that! But take on new skills slowly and take it one step at a time and don’t rush to get the answer.
Tip #2: Study with friends
Finding the right group of friends that you can not only have fun with, but also focus on your studies with, is an incredibly helpful resource to help you stay motivated to study!
Keean recommends a study group, because 4U Maths can get frustrating, so having friends in the same boat as you makes the studying a lot more bearable, if not, enjoyable.
Tip #3: Ask your Teacher for Advice
Your teachers are there to help you! Have questions to ask them, because their advice and guidance is invaluable. If you don’t ask questions your teacher won’t know what you’re struggling with, so it’s a matter of seeking further help or explanations.
So there you have it — how to figure out if 4 Unit Mathematics is for you, ways to prepare, study and navigate this tricky subject!
Hopefully you’ve been able to take on some new tips from Keean, and if you need the extra hand with figuring out those difficult questions, get in touch with one of our tutors at Art of Smart!
Are you looking for some extra help with HSC Mathematics?
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We offer tutoring and mentoring for Years K-12 in a large variety of subjects, with personalised lessons conducted one-on-one in your home or at one of our state of the art campuses in Hornsby or the Hills! You can also get some useful support from one of our Maths tutors in Penrith.
To find out more and get started with an inspirational tutor and mentor get in touch today!
Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.