Difficulty: 5/10 · Time Commitment: 5/10 · Enjoyability: 8/10 · Mark: 86
I did MATH1141 (Higher Mathematics 1A) in Term 1 2021. The subject is has a lot of overlap with the HSC Maths Ext 2 syllabus and is really a continuation of Maths Ext 1. There is quite a bit of new content such as the mean value theorem and matrices. The course is taught well and is structured intuitively.
- Develops a strong basis for future maths courses
- Lots of resources to supplement learning
- Lectures aren’t really engaging
- Final exam is significantly harder than any questions in the course
MATH1141 has weekly modules to complete online which amount to about 2 hours a week. Apart from that, there are 2 lab tests, an assignment and a final exam. The course alternates between algebra and calculus, and there is a big emphasis on proofs.
Tutorials were offered in-person when I did the course, however, they weren’t really useful and I don’t think I gained much from attending them. Although the lectures were alright, it was much more effective to watch them at 2x speed and I often completely skipped them and watched the online tutorials instead because they covered most of the content really concisely.
MapleTA was the platform used for the homework modules each week. The platform was extremely slow and crashed frequently. Nonetheless, the questions provided each week were good for consolidating course materials and the how did I do button made them very effective.
Watching the online tutorials at the start of each module was a really effective way of understanding the content and I found that watching those carefully made the questions much more simple and quicker to complete. I didn’t take notes during the course and simply skimmed through the provided course notes when I was unsure of something.
There are two labs tests in MATH1141. Each one is the same as MATH1131 except conducted a week earlier because the more advanced course is supposedly working ahead. I found the lab tests to be very easy specifically because all the questions were released one week prior. I practiced every question beforehand and even looked at multiple iterations of certain questions until I completely understood them.
It is definitely a good idea to attempt the entire questionbank before each lab test and get very comfortable with using Maple. This is especially important for assignment 2 which is focused on using Maple software to complete the questions.
The biggest parts of the assignment were:
- Mean Value Theorem
- Intermediate Value Theorem
The assignment focused on writing properly formatted proofs and was very harsh when it came to elements like correct punctuation and thorough proofs. It’s a good idea to proofread each question multiple times before submitting because the markers aren’t very forgiving with mistakes.
- Use Maple - Maple is maths software which I really hated when I started off MATH1141. However, within a few weeks of properly learning it, I realised how powerful and useful it was for pretty much everything in the course. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to learn how to use the software properly and google how to do certain things with it because there is really good documentation online.
- Skip busy weeks - Doing so many maths questions every week gets very time consuming and weeks when multiple subjects have assignments are very chaotic. The course only takes the best 6 out of 9 weeks of online tutorials, so it’s sometimes a good idea to skip a week and then revise it right before the exam.
- Take advantage of flexi-week for assignments - I made the mistake of spending my entire flexi-week catching up on physics. This wasn’t a good idea because I meant that my assignment was much more stressful than it should’ve been. Using flexi-week to spread out different subjects prevents this.
- Don’t stress during finals - MATH1141 finals are really really really hard. I’m pretty sure the exam gets scaled a little and with a high pre-exam mark, the finals aren’t something to be worried about. Focus on understanding the content and applying it to the provided questions and try your best in the exam!