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Advice for HSC maths examinations

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Advice for students attempting HSC mathematics examinations

Bring the right equipment to the examination

Make sure you bring the following equipment to the examination:

  • a black or blue pen (black is preferred)
  • a ruler
  • a pair of compasses
  • a NESA-approved calculator
  • a 2B pencil
  • an approved mathematical template.

Show all your working for questions in Section II

Your ability to communicate and reason mathematically is assessed in the examination, so you should make sure you include mathematical reasoning and/or calculations in your answers in Section II.

Section II includes the following questions:

  • Mathematics General 2 – Questions 26 to 30
  • Mathematics – Questions 11 to 16
  • Mathematics Extension 1 – Questions 11 to 14
  • Mathematics Extension 2 – Questions 11 to 16.
  • Show all your working. You may still get some marks even if your final answer is incorrect.
  • Always write what is displayed on your calculator in your response before rounding your answer – markers can see that you have rounded correctly, even if the answer is not correct – but remember, don’t round off your answer until the last step of working.
  • Make sure you justify your answer with words and/or calculations if asked to do so.
  • In Mathematics General 2, the space provided should be enough to answer the question asked. If you need to rewrite an answer or if you require more space, ask for an extra writing booklet.

During the examination

  • Set out your work in a logical manner.
  • In Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2, label each part of your question clearly, for example Q.13 (e) (i).
  • Take note of diagrams where ‘NOT TO SCALE’ is indicated – don’t waste time measuring lines or angles. 
  • Familiarise yourself with the reference sheet/formulae and data sheet provided and use it carefully.
  • If you make a mistake, put a line through the work. Make it clear what you want the marker to mark.
  • Draw large, clear, well-labelled diagrams and include given information, as well as information calculated while responding to the question.
  • Don’t waste time proving or deriving a result when the question states ‘Do NOT prove this’.
  • Check your working and consider the reasonableness of your answers within the context of the question.
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