Accreditation period Units 1-4: 2023-2027
General assessment advice
Advice on matters related to the administration of Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) assessment is published annually in the
VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook.
Updates to matters related to the administration of VCE assessment are published in the
VCAA Bulletin.
Teachers must refer to these publications for current advice.
The principles underpinning all VCE assessment practices are explained in
VCE assessment principles.
The
glossary of command terms provides a list of terms commonly used across the Victorian Curriculum F–10, VCE study designs and VCE examinations and to help students better understand the requirements of command terms in the context of their discipline.
VCE Specialist Mathematics examination specifications, sample examination papers and corresponding examination reports can be accessed from the
VCE Specialist Mathematics examination webpage.
Graded Distributions for Graded Assessment can be accessed from the
VCAA Senior Secondary Certificate Statistical Information webpage.
Excepting third-party elements, schools may use this resource in accordance with the
VCAA’s Educational Allowance (VCAA Copyright and Intellectual Property Policy).
Scope of tasks
For Units 1–4 in all VCE studies, assessment tasks must be a part of the regular teaching and learning program and must not unduly add to the workload associated with that program. They must be completed mainly in class and within a limited timeframe.
Points to consider in developing an assessment task:
- List the relevant content from the areas of study and the relevant key knowledge and key skills for the outcomes.
- Develop the assessment task according to the specifications in the study design. It is possible for students in the same class to undertake different tasks, or variations of components for a task; however, teachers must ensure that the tasks or variations are comparable in scope and demand.
- Identify the qualities and characteristics that you are looking for in a student response and map these to the criteria, descriptors, rubrics or marking schemes being used to assess level of achievement.
- Identify the nature and sequence of teaching and learning activities to cover the relevant content, and key knowledge and key skills outlined in the study design, and to provide for different learning styles.
- Decide the most appropriate time to set the task. This decision is the result of several considerations including:
- the estimated time it will take to cover the relevant content from the areas of study and the relevant key knowledge and key skills for the outcomes
- the possible need to provide preparatory activities or tasks
- the likely length of time required for students to complete the task
- when tasks are being conducted in other studies and the workload implications for students.
The students’ level of achievement in Units 1 and 2 is a matter for school decision. Assessments of levels of achievement for these units will not be reported to the VCAA. Schools may choose to report levels of achievement using grades, descriptive statements or other indicators.
In each VCE study at Units 1 and 2, teachers determine the assessment tasks to be used for each outcome in accordance with the study design.
Teachers should select a variety of assessment tasks for their program to reflect the content and key knowledge and key skills being assessed and to provide for different learning styles. Tasks do not have to be lengthy to make a decision about student demonstration of achievement of an outcome.
A number of options are provided to encourage use of a range of assessment activities. Teachers can exercise flexibility when devising assessment tasks at this level, within the parameters of the study design.
Note that more than one assessment task can be used to assess satisfactory completion of each outcome in the units, and that an assessment task can typically be used to assess more than one outcome.
There is no requirement to teach the areas of study in the order in which they appear in the units in the study design. In mathematics an activity or task will often draw on content from one or more areas of study in natural combination, and involve key knowledge and skills form all three outcomes for the study.
In VCE Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4, the student’s level of achievement will be determined by School-assessed Coursework and two end-of-year examinations. The VCAA will report the student’s level of performance as a grade from A+ to E or UG (ungraded) for each of three Graded Assessment components: Unit 3 School-assessed Coursework, Unit 4 School-assessed Coursework and the end-of-year examination.
In Units 3 and 4, school-based assessment provides the VCAA with two judgments:
S (satisfactory) or N (not satisfactory) for each outcome and for the unit; and levels of achievement determined through the specified assessment tasks in relation to all three outcomes for the study. School-assessed Coursework provides teachers with the opportunity to:
- use the designated tasks in the study design
- develop and administer their own assessment program for their students
- monitor the progress and work of their students
- provide important feedback to the student
- gather information about the teaching program.
Teachers should design an assessment task that is representative of the content from the areas of study as applicable, addresses the outcomes and the key knowledge and key skills in accordance with the weightings provided in the study design, and allows students the opportunity to demonstrate the highest level of performance. It is important that students know what is expected of them in an assessment task. This means providing students with advice about relevant content from the areas of study, and the key knowledge and key skills to be assessed in relation to the outcomes. Students should know in advance how and when they are going to be assessed and the conditions under which they will be assessed.
Assessment tasks should be part of the teaching and learning program. For each assessment task students should be provided with the:
- type of assessment task as listed in the study design and approximate date for completion
- time allowed for the task
- nature of the assessment used to measure the level of student achievement
- nature of any materials they can utilise when completing the task
- information about the relationship between the task and learning activities, as appropriate.
Following an assessment task:
- teachers can use the performance of their students to evaluate the teaching and learning program
- a topic may need to be carefully revised prior to the end of the unit to ensure students fully understand content from the areas of study and key knowledge and key skills for the outcomes
- feedback provides students with important advice about which aspect or aspects of the key knowledge they need to learn and in which key skills they need more practice.
Authentication
- The teacher must consider the authentication strategies relevant for each assessment task. Information regarding VCAA authentication rules can be found in the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook section:
Scored assessment: School-based Assessment.
School-assessed Coursework for Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4
- For each of Unit 3 and Unit 4, School-assessed Coursework contributes 20 per cent to the study score. It provides the opportunity for non-routine contexts to be explored in some depth and breadth over a longer continuous period of time, where modelling, problem-solving, or investigative techniques or approaches, and for the related use of technology to be suitably incorporated.
Contexts used may be practical, theoretical or a combination of both. In particular, students will consider assumptions, conditions and constraints involved, make decisions involving general case analysis and communicate key stages of mathematical reasoning: formulation, solution, and interpretation with respect to the context.
Each of the following assessment tasks is linked to the sample course. They illustrate some of the ways in which aspects of mathematics learning can be assessed, and include a cross reference to content from the areas of study and key knowledge and key skills for the outcomes.
School-assessed Coursework videos
A series of videos and materials to help teachers develop School-assessed Coursework.
The VCAA performance descriptors are advice only and provide a guide to developing an assessment tool when assessing the outcomes of each area of study. The performance descriptors can be adapted and customised by teachers in consideration of their context and cohort, and to complement existing assessment procedures in line with the
VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook and the VCE assessment principles.
The following performance criteria and related advice have been developed to assist teachers in the assessment of School-assessed Coursework for Specialist Mathematics Units 3 and 4. The performance criteria for the Application task in Unit 3, and for the two modelling or problem-solving tasks in Unit 4, relate the mark weightings for the outcomes to these assessment tasks and provide a basis for decision about level of achievement.
Unit 3, Outcome 1
Unit 3 Outcome 1 Define and explain key concepts as specified in the content from the areas of study and apply a range of related mathematical routines and procedures. | Mark range | Criterion |
---|
0–3 |
Appropriate use of mathematical conventions, symbols and terminology Application of mathematical conventions in diagrams, tables, and graphs, such as axes labels and conventions for asymptotes. Appropriate and accurate use of symbolic notation in defining mathematical terms or expressions, such as formulas, equations, transformations and combinations of functions. Use of correct expressions in symbolic manipulation or computation in mathematical work. Use of correct terminology, including set notation, to specify relations and functions, such as domain, co-domain, range, and rule. Description of key features of relations and functions as applicable, such as symmetry, periodicity, asymptotes, coordinates for axial intercepts, stationary points and points of inflection. |
0–6 |
Definition and explanation of key concepts Definition of mathematical concepts using appropriate terminology, phrases, and symbolic expressions. Provision of examples which illustrate key concepts and explain their role in the development of related mathematics. Statement of conditions or restrictions which apply to the definition of a concept. Identification of key concepts in relation to each area of study and explanation of the use of these concepts in applying mathematics in different practical or theoretical contexts. |
0–6 |
Accurate use of mathematical skills and techniques Use of algebra and numerical values to evaluate expressions, substitute into formulas, construct lists and tables, produce graphs and solve equations. Use of mathematical algorithms, routines and procedures involving algebra, functions, coordinate geometry, calculus to obtain results and solve problems. Identification of domain and range of a function or relation and other key features using numerical, graphical, and algebraic techniques, including approximate or exact specification of values. |
Outcome 1 mark allocation |
15 marks |
Unit 3, Outcome 2
Unit 3 Outcome 2Apply mathematical processes in non-routine contexts, including situations with some open-ended aspects requiring problem-solving, modelling or investigative techniques or approaches, and analyse and discuss these applications of mathematics. | Mark range | Criterion |
---|
0–4 |
Identification of important information, variables and constraints Identification of key characteristics of a problem, task or issue and statement of any assumptions underlying the use of relevant mathematics in the given context. Choice of suitable variables, parameters, and constants for the development of mathematics related to various aspects of a given context. Specifications of constraints, such as domain and range constraints, and relationships between variables, related to aspects of a context. |
0–8 |
Application of mathematical ideas and content from the specified areas of study Demonstration of understanding of key mathematical content from one or more areas of study in relation to a given context. Use of specific and general formulations of concepts and mathematical content drawn from the areas of study to derive results for analysis in this context. Key elements of algorithm design including sequencing, decision-making and repetition, and their representation and implementation. Appropriate use of examples to illustrate the application of a mathematical process, or use of a counter-example to disprove a proposition or conjecture. Use of a variety of approaches to develop functions as models for data presented in tabular, diagrammatic, or graphical form. Use of algebra, coordinate geometry, derivatives, gradients, anti-derivatives, and integrals, to set up and solve problems. |
0–8 |
Analysis and interpretation of results Analysis and interpretation of results obtained from examples or counter-examples to establish or refute general case propositions or conjectures related to a context for investigation. Generation of inferences from analysis to draw conclusions related to the context for investigation, and to verify or modify conjectures. Discussion of the validity and limitations of any models. |
Outcome 2 mark allocation |
20 marks |
Unit 3, Outcome 3
Unit 3 Outcome 3 Apply computational thinking and use numerical, graphical, symbolic and statistical functionalities of technology to develop mathematical ideas, produce results and carry out analysis in situations requiring problem-solving, modelling or investigative techniques or approaches. | Mark range | Criterion |
---|
0–6 |
Appropriate selection and effective use of technology Relevant and appropriate selection and use of technology, or a functionality of the selected technology for the mathematical context being considered. Distinction between exact and approximate results produced by technology, and interpretation of these results to a required accuracy. Use of appropriate range and domain and other specifications which illustrate key features of the mathematics under consideration. |
0–9 |
Application of technology Use and interpretation of the relationship between numerical, graphical, and symbolic forms of information produced by technology about relations, functions and equations and the corresponding features of those relations, functions, or equations. Analysis of the relationship of the results from an application of technology to the nature of a particular mathematical question, problem, or task. Use of tables of values, families of graphs or collections of other results produced using technology to support analysis in problem-solving, investigative, or modelling contexts. Production of results efficiently and systematically which identify examples or counter-examples which are clearly relevant to the task. Use of computational thinking, algorithms, models and simulations to solve problems related to a context. |
Outcome 3 mark allocation |
15 marks |
A
sample record sheet for the application task can be used to record student level of achievement with respect to the available marks for the performance criteria relating to each outcome, and to indicate pointers corresponding to relevant aspects of the task.
Unit 4, Outcome 1
Unit 4 Outcome 1 Define and explain key terms and concepts as specified in the content from the areas of study and apply a range of related mathematical routines and procedures. | Mark range | Criterion |
---|
Task 1 0–2 |
Appropriate use of mathematical conventions, symbols and terminology Application of mathematical conventions in diagrams, tables, and graphs, such as axes labels and conventions for asymptotes. Appropriate and accurate use of symbolic notation in defining mathematical terms or expressions, such as equations, transformations and combinations of functions. Use of correct expressions in symbolic manipulation or computation in mathematical work. Use of correct terminology, including set notation, to specify relations and functions, such as domain, co-domain, range and rule. Description of key features of relations and functions, including probability mass and density functions as applicable, such as symmetry, periodicity, asymptotes, coordinates for axial intercepts, stationary points and points of inflection. |
Task 2 0–2 |
Task 1 0–3 |
Definition and explanation of key concepts Definition of mathematical concepts using appropriate terminology, phrases, and symbolic expressions. Provision of examples which illustrate key concepts and explain their role in the development of related mathematics. Statement of conditions or restrictions which apply to the definition of a concept. Identification of key concepts in relation to each area of study and explanation of the use of these concepts in applying mathematics in different practical or theoretical contexts |
Task 2 0–2 |
Task 1 0–3 |
Accurate use of mathematical skills and techniques Use of algebra and numerical values to evaluate expressions, substitute into formulas, construct tables, produce graphs and solve equations. Use of mathematical routines and procedures involving algebra, functions, coordinate geometry, calculus, probability, and statistics to obtain results and solve problems. Identification of domain and range of a function or relation and other key features using numerical, graphical and algebraic techniques, including approximate or exact specification of values. Identification and representation of sample spaces. |
Task 2 0–3 |
Outcome 1 mark allocation |
15 marks |
Unit 4, Outcome 2
Unit 4 Outcome 2 Apply mathematical processes in non-routine contexts, including situations with some open-ended aspects requiring problem-solving, modelling or investigative techniques or approaches, and analyse and discuss these applications of mathematics. | Mark range | Criterion |
---|
Task 1 0–2 |
Identification of important information, variables and constraints Identification of key characteristics of a problem, task or issue and statement of any assumptions underlying the use of relevant mathematics in the given context. Choice of suitable variables, including random variables, parameters, and constants for the development of mathematics related to various aspects of a given context. Specifications of constraints, such as domain and range constraints, and relationships between variables, related to aspects of a context. |
Task 2 0–2 |
Task 1 0–4 |
Application of mathematical ideas and content from the specified areas of study Demonstration of understanding of key mathematical content from one or more areas of study in relation to a given context. Use of specific and general formulations of concepts and mathematical content drawn from the areas of study to derive results for analysis in this context. Key elements of algorithm design including sequencing, decision-making and repetition, and their representation and implementation. Appropriate use of examples to illustrate the application of a mathematical process, or use of a counter-example to disprove a proposition or conjecture. Use of a variety of approaches to develop functions as models for data or distributions presented in tabular, diagrammatic, or graphical form. Use of algebra, coordinate geometry, derivatives, gradients, anti-derivatives, and integrals, to set up and solve problems. |
Task 2 0–4 |
Task 1 0–4 |
Analysis and interpretation of results Analysis and interpretation of results obtained from examples or counter-examples to establish or refute general case propositions or conjectures related to a context for investigation. Generation of inferences from analysis to draw conclusions related to the context for investigation, and to verify or modify conjectures. Discussion of the validity and limitations of any models. |
Task 2 0–4 |
Outcome 2 mark allocation |
20 marks |
Unit 4, Outcome 3
Unit 4 Outcome 3 Apply computational thinking and use numerical, graphical, symbolic and statistical functionalities of technology to develop mathematical ideas, produce results and carry out analysis in situations requiring problem-solving, modelling or investigative techniques or approaches. | Mark range | Criterion |
---|
Task 1 0–3 |
Appropriate selection and effective use of technology Relevant and appropriate selection and use of technology, or a function of the selected technology for the mathematical context being considered. Distinction between exact and approximate results produced by technology, and interpretation of these results to a required accuracy. Use of appropriate range and domain and other specifications which illustrate key features of the mathematics under consideration. |
Task 2 0–3 |
Task 1 0–4 |
Application of technology Use and interpretation of the relation between numerical, graphical, and symbolic forms of information produced by technology about functions, equations and distributions, and their corresponding features. Analysis of the relationship of the results from an application of technology to the nature of a particular mathematical question, problem or task. Use of tables of values, families of graphs or collections of other results produced using technology to support analysis in problem solving, investigative or modelling contexts. Production of results efficiently and systematically which identify key features, examples or counter-examples which are clearly relevant to the task. Use of computational thinking, algorithms, models and simulations to solve problems related to a context. |
Task 2 0–5 |
Outcome 3 mark allocation |
20 marks |
A
sample record sheet for modelling or problem-solving task 1 and a
sample record sheets for modelling or problem-solving task 2 can be used to record student level of achievement with respect to the available marks for the performance criteria relating to each outcome, and to indicate pointers corresponding to relevant aspects of the task.
These performance criteria can be used in several ways:
- directly in conjunction with the sample record sheets and teacher annotations for pointers with respect to key aspects of the task related to each criterion for the outcomes
- directly with the descriptive text for each criterion modified to incorporate task specific elements as applicable
- as a template for teachers to develop their own criteria and descriptive text for each criterion, including their own allocation of marks for the criteria with the total mark allocation for each outcome as specified in the study design, using their own record sheets.