The Beginner’s Guide to Year 9 Maths

Welcome to our Beginner's Guide to year 9 Maths. In this Guide, we'll show you the secrets to acing Maths.

All about the Beginner’s Guide to Year 9 Maths

Year 9 is an important year for Maths students. The concepts and skills learned in Year 9 are the foundations for the skills for the senior years of high school. Falling behind in Year 9 can make it really hard to catch back up. The Beginner’s Guide to Year 9 Maths is your resource for staying on top.

We wrote the Beginner’s Guide to Year 9 Maths to help students learn and reinforce the core concepts they need to know for Year 9. Developing a strong understanding of the theory is the first step in our Matrix Method for MathsTM .


We’ve perfected this method for teaching maths over the last 19 years.

What’s in this Guide

In this Guide, we will break down and guide you through the core concepts of Year 9 Maths:

  • Algebraic Techniques and Equations
  • Inequalities
  • Indices and Surds
  • Surface area
  • Volume
  • Trigonometry
  • Simultaneous equations

Each article addresses the NESA syllabus Outcomes for the subject. These can be found here on the NESA website (Stage 5 is what students study in Years 9 & 10).


What are the common issues faced by Year 9 Maths students?

There is a significant jump from Year 8 Maths to Year 9 Maths. Students may find it difficult to apply the concepts they learned in Year 8 to Year 9 because the level of Maths is much harder.

Some common problems that students face are:

  • Difficulty adding and subtracting two algebraic fractions
  • Difficulty converting numbers in small and large magnitude in scientific notation or across different units
  • Weak indices skills
  • Poor understanding of straight line equations in different forms
  • Not knowing how to sketch simple linear relationships
  • Poor understanding of Highest Common Factor and Lowest Common Multiple
  • Unable to factorise algebraic expressions
  • Difficulty converting between smaller metric units
  • Limits of accuracy
  • Expanding binomial products involving surds


Why do students struggle with Maths in Year 9?

We’ve learned that many students struggle with Maths in year 9 because they take the wrong approach to learning and study. Here are some of the reasons that students have difficulty:

  • Students do not understand the basics of algebra – Instead, they rote learn methods for specific types of questions. For them, Mathematics becomes memory work instead of a logical puzzle game.
  • Students do not dedicate enough practice time to work on various types of questions – They may be actively involved in extra-curricular activities which make it harder to spend time working on Maths. When these students encounter unseen questions, they have no idea how to approach them.
  • Students do not have the patience for figuring out each question before referring to the solution for working steps. This means the essence of that question, and its learning opportunities, are lost through ‘referring’ to the solution.
  • Students have a lack of commitment towards their homework. Sometimes, students put off their homework because they are busy, don’t enjoy it, or just don’t see the importance of it. It is crucial that students develop a good habit of finishing their homework early because this gives them a chance to practice and refine their skills.
  • Students struggle to understand the specific language used. Students begin to lose motivation when they don’t understand what is going on. You can’t solve a problem if you don’t understand what it means. This is why it is important that students fully understand the definitions of mathematical terms.


What is the process I should use when I study Maths?

If you can’t describe the process to do something, you don’t really understand it. This is especially true for Maths.

Mastering Maths is a systematic process that begins with understanding the theory of each concept.

We’ve helped thousands of students over the past 19 years by following this method:


The Matrix Method for Maths


  1. Theory – Developing a thorough understanding of mathematical concepts is the first step to mastering Maths. Learn from Matrix Theory Books. They are carefully structured to help you understand even the most complex stuff!
  2. Application – Memorising formulas will only get you so far. Consolidate your understanding by learning how to apply concepts and techniques to solve problems.
  3. Examples – Work through examples that will actually be in your exam. You’ll learn how to present your solution for maximum marks in exams.
  4. Concept Checks – Learn the most efficient problem-solving techniques with different types of exam-style questions.
  5. Workbook – Sharpen your skills with hundreds of exam-style questions. It’s important to keep practising as this is the only way you can find the right balance between speed and accuracy.
  6. Quizzes and Feedback – Weekly quizzes and feedback provide you with opportunities to identify your gaps and address them ASAP.
  7. Topic Test – Working under exam conditions will boost your confidence for the real thing. Learn from your mistakes and fill your gaps so you are continually improving.


How will this Guide help me ace Year 9 Maths?

In this guide, each article will explain the theory, then show you how to apply it.

Throughout each article, we’ve provided some worked examples so that you can see the application of the theory.

We’ve also provided a number of questions for each subject. These will let you test your knowledge.

Finally, we’ve provided you with worked examples so that you can check your skills and understand your mistakes.


What should I do to improve my marks in Maths?

To improve your marks in Maths, you need to be methodical in your approach. If you follow the step-by-step process for studying Maths, you’ll see improvements in your marks.


Develop your understanding and skills in Maths

Now it is time to familiarise yourself with the content of this Guide. This is a resource that you should come back to consistently as you encounter the subjects at school during the year.

First up, we’re going to discuss algebra and algebraic equations.

© Matrix Education and, 2020. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matrix Education and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Get free study tips and resources delivered to your inbox.

Join 75,893 students who already have a head start.

Our website uses cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies. Read our cookies statement.

OK, I understand