General Mathematics


Mathematics is the study of order, relation and pattern. From its origins in counting and measuring it has evolved in highly sophisticated and elegant ways to become the language now used to describe many aspects of the world in the twenty-first century.


Links to Foundation to Year 10

The General Mathematics subject provides students with a breadth of mathematical and statistical experience that encompasses and builds on all three strands of the F-10 curriculum.


Representation of General capabilities

The seven general capabilities of Literacy, Numeracy, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability, Critical and creative thinking, Personal and social capability, Ethical understanding, and Intercultural understanding are identified where they offer opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning.


Structure of General Mathematics

General Mathematics is organised into four units. The topics in each unit broaden students’ mathematical experience and provide different scenarios for incorporating mathematical arguments and problem solving. The units provide a blending of algebraic, geometric and statistical thinking.




Achievement standards


Unit 1

Unit 1 Description

This unit has three topics: ‘Consumer arithmetic’, ‘Algebra and matrices’, and ‘Shape and measurement’.

‘Consumer arithmetic’ reviews the concepts of rate and percentage change in the context of earning and managing money, and provides a fertile ground for the use of spreadsheets.

‘Algebra and matrices’ continues the F-10 study of algebra and introduces the new topic of matrices.

‘Shape and measurement’ builds on and extends the knowledge and skills students developed in the F-10 curriculum with the concept of similarity and associated calculations involving simple and compound geometric shapes. The emphasis in this topic is on applying these skills in a range of practical contexts, including those involving three-dimensional shapes.

Classroom access to the technology necessary to support the computational aspects of the topics in this unit is assumed.

Unit 1 Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students:

  • understand the concepts and techniques introduced in consumer arithmetic, algebra and matrices, and shape and measurement
  • apply reasoning skills and solve practical problems arising in consumer arithmetic, algebra and matrices, and shape and measurement
  • communicate their arguments and strategies, when solving problems, using appropriate mathematical language
  • interpret mathematical information, and ascertain the reasonableness of their solutions to problems
  • choose and use technology appropriately and efficiently.

Unit 1 Content Descriptions

Topic 1: Consumer arithmetic

Applications of rates and percentages:

review rates and percentages (ACMGM001)

calculate weekly or monthly wage from an annual salary, wages from an hourly rate including situations involving overtime and other allowances and earnings based on commission or piecework (ACMGM002)

calculate payments based on government allowances and pensions (ACMGM003)

prepare a personal budget for a given income taking into account fixed and discretionary spending (ACMGM004)

compare prices and values using the unit cost method (ACMGM005)

apply percentage increase or decrease in various contexts; for example, determining the impact of inflation on costs and wages over time, calculating percentage mark-ups and discounts, calculating GST, calculating profit or loss in absolute and percentage terms, and calculating simple and compound interest (ACMGM006)

use currency exchange rates to determine the cost in Australian dollars of purchasing a given amount of a foreign currency, such as US$1500, or the value of a given amount of foreign currency when converted to Australian dollars, such as the value of €2050 in Australian dollars (ACMGM007)

calculate the dividend paid on a portfolio of shares, given the percentage dividend or dividend paid per share, for each share; and compare share values by calculating a price-to-earnings ratio. (ACMGM008)

Use of spreadsheets:

use a spreadsheet to display examples of the above computations when multiple or repeated computations are required; for example, preparing a wage-sheet displaying the weekly earnings of workers in a fast food store where hours of employment and hourly rates of pay may differ, preparing a budget, or investigating the potential cost of owning and operating a car over a year. (ACMGM009)

Topic 2: Algebra and matrices

Linear and non-linear expressions:

substitute numerical values into linear algebraic and simple non-linear algebraic expressions, and evaluate (ACMGM010)

find the value of the subject of the formula, given the values of the other pronumerals in the formula (ACMGM011)

use a spreadsheet or an equivalent technology to construct a table of values from a formula, including two-by-two tables for formulas with two variable quantities; for example, a table displaying the body mass index (BMI) of people of different weights and heights. (ACMGM012)

Matrices and matrix arithmetic:

use matrices for storing and displaying information that can be presented in rows and columns; for example, databases, links in social or road networks (ACMGM013)

recognise different types of matrices (row, column, square, zero, identity) and determine their size (ACMGM014)

perform matrix addition, subtraction, multiplication by a scalar, and matrix multiplication, including determining the power of a matrix using technology with matrix arithmetic capabilities when appropriate (ACMGM015)

use matrices, including matrix products and powers of matrices, to model and solve problems; for example, costing or pricing problems, squaring a matrix to determine the number of ways pairs of people in a communication network can communicate with each other via a third person. (ACMGM016)

Topic 3: Shape and measurement

Pythagoras Theorem:

review Pythagoras’ Theorem and use it to solve practical problems in two dimensions and for simple applications in three dimensions. (ACMGM017)


solve practical problems requiring the calculation of perimeters and areas of circles, sectors of circles, triangles, rectangles, parallelograms and composites (ACMGM018)

calculate the volumes of standard three-dimensional objects such as spheres, rectangular prisms, cylinders, cones, pyramids and composites in practical situations; for example, the volume of water contained in a swimming pool (ACMGM019)

calculate the surface areas of standard three-dimensional objects such as spheres, rectangular prisms, cylinders, cones, pyramids and composites in practical situations; for example, the surface area of a cylindrical food container. (ACMGM020)

Similar figures and scale factors:

review the conditions for similarity of two-dimensional figures including similar triangles (ACMGM021)

use the scale factor for two similar figures to solve linear scaling problems (ACMGM022)

obtain measurements from scale drawings, such as maps or building plans, to solve problems (ACMGM023)

obtain a scale factor and use it to solve scaling problems involving the calculation of the areas of similar figures (ACMGM024)

obtain a scale factor and use it to solve scaling problems involving the calculation of surface areas and volumes of similar solids. (ACMGM025)