Five Things Every Maths Methods Student Gets Wrong

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Maths can be a challenging subject, especially at the high school level. For students studying Maths Methods, the journey can be particularly demanding. However, it’s not uncommon for students to encounter certain misconceptions and errors along the way. In this blog post, we’ll explore five common mistakes that many Maths Methods students make and how to avoid them.

Rushing the Basics

The foundation of Maths Methods lies in a solid understanding of fundamental concepts, such as algebra and trigonometry. One common mistake is rushing through these basics without a thorough grasp. It’s essential to take the time to build a strong foundation, as advanced topics often build upon these fundamentals.

Solution: Revisit topics that you have struggled with in the years prior. Review and practice core concepts regularly. If you’re struggling with a particular topic, seek help from your teacher or use online resources to reinforce your understanding.

Misinterpreting Worded Problems

Maths Methods often presents real-world scenarios in mathematical terms, and students can get lost in translation. This is is particularly important with probability and calculus.

Solution: Slow down and carefully read the problem. Identify key information, translate it into mathematical language, and determine what you’re asked to find. Creating a visual representation or equation can often clarify the situation.

Misusing Formulas

It’s easy to misuse or misunderstand formulas, especially when they involve complex concepts like trigonometry or calculus. Using the wrong formula can lead to significant errors.

Solution: Familiarise yourself with the formulas relevant to your current topics. Understand when and how to apply them. Don’t hesitate to seek clarification from your teacher if you’re unsure.

Skipping Steps

Maths is a step-by-step process. Students often try to skip steps when solving problems, thinking it will save time. However, this approach can lead to errors and confusion, especially in complex calculations. It also makes it harder for your assessors to follow your thinking which will cost you marks.

Solution: Always show your work and follow a systematic approach when solving problems. This not only helps you avoid mistakes but also allows your teacher to provide feedback if you go astray.

Ignoring Units

In Maths Methods, units are crucial. Ignoring units or failing to convert them correctly can result in incorrect answers. This is a common mistake that can be easily avoided.

Solution: Pay attention to units in every problem. Make it a habit to check your units at the end of every SAC or exam. If you’re given measurements in different units, make sure to convert them to a consistent unit before performing calculations.

Not Practicing Enough

Maths Methods requires practice. Many students believe that they can understand a concept after a few examples, but in reality, mastering maths often requires repetitive practice.

Solution: Regularly work through problems and practice sets, especially on topics that challenge you the most. Your school may provide you with SACs from previous years that you can use to practice. Old VCAA exams are available for free through their website. Repetition is key to building confidence and accuracy in Maths Methods.

Fearing Mistakes

Maths is all about trial and error. It’s okay to make mistakes along the way. Some students become anxious about getting everything right, which can hinder their learning process.

Solution: Embrace mistakes as opportunities for learning and improvement. Discuss your errors with your teacher or classmates, and use them as a stepping stone to understanding the concepts better.


Maths Methods can be a complex and demanding subject, but with the right approach, you can overcome common mistakes and excel in your studies. Remember to build a strong foundation, show your work, pay attention to units, practice regularly, and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. With persistence and a willingness to learn from your errors, you can navigate the challenges of Maths Methods and achieve success in your high school math journey. 📐📈🔢

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  • Mayu is a doctor, researcher, and founder of Intuition Academics. His passion for education has culminated in years of teaching high school and medical students. In his spare time you'll find him perched on a mountain with a camera in one hand, and a tripod in the other.

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