Navigating the New HSC Syllabus – Part 3: Networks

This is the third update in a new “Teacher Series” for the Standard 2 HSC course. 

We are constantly updating our platform and database to reflect the most recent information available to help teachers navigate the new syllabus changes with confidence. Term 1 updates worth noting are:

  • Question concepts and terminology have been adjusted to reflect the latest information officially released and the advice of respected practitioners. This is an ongoing process.
  • NESA’s “Additional sample examination questions” released in Term 1 for Mathematics Standard 1 and 2, has helped illuminate a number of content debates in Networks. This new information is now reflected in our database.

 As promised in Term 1, a sample of our analysis in this critical topic area has identified a number of key elements that we describe in detail below.

Remember that this information (and much more) can be integrated into worksheets for subscribing customers at the click of a mouse!

N2 Basic Concepts

  • Network diagram, table, matrix: Completing a table (or matrix) from a network graph and vice versa is a core competency we view as even more important after NESA’s recent release of supplementary questions – this is reflected in our database. 
  • Euler? This concept is included in the main syllabus document via the explicit mention of the Konigsberg Bridge problem. The absence of any “Euler” terminology in the syllabus or glossary results in our current stance on the issue: the concept is tested but not emphasised in our database (when tested, direct usage of “Euler” terminology is avoided by design) .

N2 Minimum Spanning Trees

  • This topic area is well represented in our question database, drawing from excellent direction in the syllabus document, NESA’s Networks Topic Guide, exemplar questions and past VCE exam questions. 
  • We expect this sub-topic to represent a high scoring opportunity for a majority of students with typical levels of difficulty around the Band 3-4 level.
  • The worked solutions provide significant detail for solving problems using both Prim’s and Krukul’s algorithms, reflecting the step by step approach outlined in the Networks Topic Guidance document.

N3 Critical Paths

  • This is where things get really interesting in Networks. With 6 dedicated pages in NESA’s topic guidance and a sample exam that dedicated a five-mark question to this specific area, all indicators point to a significant mark allocation in the 2019 HSC.
  • A number of our database questions look at drawing a network diagram for a project from a table of activities and then scanning forwards and backwards to establish EST and LST for each activity. This is a critical competency that has regularly produced sub-50% mean marks when tested in other State exams.
  • The importance of setting out “scanning” information in network diagrams logically and clearly cannot be overstated, and detailed worked solutions are provided to underscore this. Note that two styles of answer layout are provided – one reflecting the NESA sample exam solution and the other following the Networks Topic Guidance.
  • Questions involving shortening critical paths have proved to be challenging, particularly when reducing float times create new critical path(s). A number of questions explore this difficult area.

See below for an example of the professional quality Networks worksheets you can produce using SmarterMaths in seconds!

Other Major Developments ..

  • Standard 1 Teacher Edition – demand has pushed this development to priority #1 with availability expected next week.

And remember, we can analyse and integrate your past HSC and NAPLAN results data upon request .. and at no extra cost!

Any orders can be made by simply replying to this email or online at our website.

Thanks and regards,

Matt Burgess
SmarterMaths Founder
[email protected]
ph (02) 8007 3358

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