Is Higher-level Maths Demanding?

Secondary Maths can be a huge jump from the primary school syllabus. For one, students are required to learn a wider range of topics and they are also introduced to the three sciences – Biology, Chemistry and Physics – all of whichrequire some level of proficiency in Maths.

Lower secondary students are still studying Maths under one subject, but in upper secondary, Maths is split into Elementary and Additional. While it is compulsory for most students to take Elementary Maths, not all will take Additional Maths, usually depending on their stream and past Maths results. However, Additional Maths is a requirement for many JC paths and future careers, and missing out on it will put a student at a disadvantage. Additionally, some topics in Additional Maths overlap with Elementary Maths, reducing the total content for each syllabus.

Contrary to what it may sound like, Additional Maths is not necessarily more demanding than Elementary Maths. In fact, from some anecdotal experiences, students may actually find Additional Maths concepts easier to grasp than Elementary Maths – although this is typically up to each individual student. It is not possible to take Additional Maths without taking Elementary Maths as well.

Higher-level JC Maths includes H1, H2 and H3 Maths, where H1 is similar to an elective in secondary school, H2 is a full subject and H3 goes further in depth. To take H2 and H3 Maths in JC, students will typically be required to score a certain grade in Additional Maths in secondary school.

Some students who have been struggling with Maths may choose to opt for the Elementary level subject, as well as drop any Sciences that require knowledge of advanced Maths concepts. However, this is definitely a decision that needs to be considered carefully before dropping any subjects as it can have adverse impacts on one’s future career options.

Is Higher-level Maths Required for Careers?

Secondary and JC Maths are not necessary requirements for every career path. However, Secondary Maths is required to advance to JC Maths, and JC Maths is a huge advantagein university courses related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) areas.

Even for those who do not go through the JC track, Additional Maths proves to be a fundamental for many University courses that involve Math of some sort. While not strictly a requirement for admittance into every STEM-related course, it is definitely useful to have built up some basic knowledge of higher-level Maths concepts when pursuing further education.

Past university education, Maths and its related problem-solving skills are useful in many industry jobs, from the technology sector to research and even entertainment. In Singapore, these are also the jobs that typically command a high salary and reputation. Furthermore, being proficient in Maths and problem solving helps to boost one’s mental aptitude and flexibility. They may be better able to adapt to different work environments, challenging scenarios and new tasks. Although it is true that people have excelled in many career fields without a knowledge of higher-level Maths, it is one of the things that will hardly ever hurt one’s resume when it comes to job hunting.

The Advantage of Scoring in Secondary and JC Maths

In addition to being a sought-after skill in later education and the job industry, Maths is also known for being one of the easiest subjects to score in. It is one of the few subjects where there is one correct answer, without subjectivity, and that students can score full marks in. As long as a student has a full understanding of the topics examined, they should have no problem scoring the top grade in any paper.

This is especially important in our scoring system. With the way that the ‘O’ and ‘A’ level points are calculated, Maths – regardless of level – is almost always one of the key subjects counted in a student’s final points. Imagine how wasted an opportunity would be if a student could not make the cut for their desired JC simply because their highest Maths score was a C6. Maths is a subject where it is possible to achieve the highest point possible, and every student looking to clinch a spot in their desired institution should be working towards this goal.

In Secondary and JC Maths, knowledge of the material is the best way to go about scoring as high as possible, but knowing the best way to answer the paper is a close second. This often comes with hours of practice each week and is often referred to as “studying smart”. With the exception of a rare few, it is expected that most students wanting to do well in  JC or Secondary Maths will have to put in more than the required effort to maintain a good score across all their Maths papers.

Fortunately, no student has to walk this road alone. We understand that higher-level Maths can be off-putting to many students, especially if they have not been doing well in their Maths subjects – not to mention that many of today’s well-paying jobs tend to be gated behind a solid Maths foundation. That is why we have formulated our special enrichment courses designed to boost a student’s Maths capacity and capability to score well in any examination.

Inspiring Interest in Primary Maths

Maths is a key foundational subject. As one of the three core subjects students are introduced to from the beginning of their Primary school journey, mathematical skills are essential for child in our education system.

Struggling with Maths?

However, not every student has a natural aptitude for primary Maths. Some may find it tedious or stressful, especially if they have difficulty grasping the concepts early on. Rote and rigorous methods of teaching Maths serve only to dull an appreciation for the subject, not to mention that the concepts taught are mostly theoretical – failing to provide real-life applications.

For those who are more linguistically inclined, the fact that Maths is such an important part of primary education may feel unfair. For example, every child has the opportunity to take a screening test to be offered a spot in the Gifted Education Programme (GEP). The test assesses a student’s proficiency in English, Maths and logical thinking, requiring them to score exceptionally well in all three areas to be accepted into the programme. Students who struggle with Maths but excel in languages will be screened out of the Gifted Programme. The requirement for strong mathematical skills only increases further up the education system.

Therefore, it is in every student’s best interests to secure a solid foundation of the topics in Primary Maths as early as possible. Fortunately, with the right guidance and practice, it is not difficult to score in examinations, no matter mainstream, GEP or the PSLE. There are ample resources available to aid a student’s study of Maths, including revision tools, textbooks, past-year papers and question banks, to name a few.

Maths Enrichment

Most students in Primary school will be familiar with Math Olympiad, an annual local competition designed to challenge students with unconventional question types. Math Olympiad is typically on an opt-in basis, where interested students can apply for the training classes and then choose to attend the competition. Some schools may restrict the eligible applicants to only those in certain streams or those who are already doing well in Maths, leaving many without a chance to experience Math Olympiad questions at all.

Lately, teachers and parents have noted that the questions in Maths Olympiad have actually been making their way into upper primary Maths papers, especially the PSLE. In recent years, questions leaked from PSLE Maths papers have gone viral, where parents complained that the papers were becoming too difficult and that even a higher-level student would have difficulties answering the questions correctly.

Based on the way scoring works in the PSLE, it is normal to expect a number of exceptionally difficult questions designed to sieve out the crème de la crème. However, the concerns raised are that most students do not have the adequate exposure to give them even a chance to answer these questions in their mainstream papers.That is where external Maths enrichment comes into play. Even if it may be unfair to some students, it is no longer enough to simply rely on the topics taught in the classroom. To truly excel in upper primary and PSLE Maths, students must seek out Maths enrichment on their own accord.

What can be Done to Inspire Interest in Primary Maths?

The ideal scenario would be to inspire every child to have a thirst for knowledge and a desire to understand Maths in their everyday lives. Many parents and teachers may be thinking that this is easier said than done.

One great way to spark an interest in Maths is to introduce students to applications of Maths. This is especially easy with Primary Maths as the topics taught are relatively elementary and visible in our daily lives, such as money, fractions, speed and time. By helping students to establish the connection between Maths concepts and their real-life applications, they will find it easier to internalise the ideas and apply them with their own understanding.

Making learning fun can also be a useful method to get students interested in Maths. Instead of drilling them with practice questions all the time, try introducing some Maths puzzles or games that make use of the concepts they are learning. Additionally, strategic or logical puzzles can also make for great learning tools. Not all games have to be directly related to the topics taught in Maths, as even developing basic problem-solving skills will go a long way in boosting a child’s attitude towards Maths and logical thinking.

Additionally, students should be introduced to as many different methods as possible when it comes to solving a problem. If they are forced to complete a problem in just one specific way, this greatly limits their perspective and harms their ability to think out of the box when they face future problems. However, when students are shown multiple methods of arriving at the same conclusion, they will be better able to understand that there is always more than one way to solve a problem, which is an especially crucial concept in their later education.

The Benefits of Secondary Maths

No matter where you travel around the globe, it would appear that most people seemingly know very little about secondary maths or mathematics as a whole. Whilst this may be the case, the importance of mathematics is more important in modern society than ever before in history.

Mathematics is at the heart of modern culture and is often confused with philosophy, which is often given credit for modern innovation. Theorems of mathematical logic have allowed society to develop much of what we see around us and have revealed limitations on past beliefs and theories. Mathematics is in everything we do every day. From loading up a computer for school to art lessons, we see maths in everything. Since Pythagoras, arguably the most famous mathematician of all time, discovered numerical reasons in musical harmony, the relationship between mathematics and art has been unbreakable. Such aspects of mathematics create a bridge between the humanities and the natural sciences, and therefore between the two cultures.

Application Of Maths

Mathematics has a wide number of useful benefits to our mind once it is studied, all of which can be applied to our daily life. It allows us to develop reasoning, helps us to think from an analytical standpoint, improves our ability to make a decision and also generates practicality, allowing us to make decisions during our day to day lives.

Unfortunately, the mathematics presented in school can appear boring, abstract and lacking in creativity for many students. It can be complex and difficult to understand which is why many individuals believe they are ‘not a numbers person’. However, we teach students the fun side of maths. The ways in which it can be practical, the ways in which it can help them as well as how constant practise can benefit them.

If you believe that your child is struggling with secondary maths , then lessons from one of our tutors may be the right solution. We can provide your child with professional knowledge, making use of methodological procedures to transfer knowledge to your child.

Problems Associated With Maths

When it comes to modern education, one of the biggest problems today is that schools do not express the importance of mathematics. Students are not interested in the subject even though it has many benefits from science applications, as well as well-paid jobs in engineering, statistics, education, and technology. Students see maths as a topic that is boring and somewhat irrelevant rather than looking at the benefits it can bring them throughout their futures. Here are some of the key benefits that maths can have for your children.

How Can Maths Help Students?

Maths enables us to think from an analytical standpoint. It can be defined as the thought directed to understand the arguments in its premises or the many expressions that compose an argument. It can be used to see the different relations that exist between them and a conclusion or in order to judge the reliability of one answer compared to another. When completing maths, we collect all of the data available, break it down to its very basics, observe the relationships between each part of the data and solve it in a rational manner. This allows us to arrive at logical solutions that can be applied to nearly every real-world problem. We can take a look at the most logical standpoint, look at possible data and use it to reach an informed conclusion.

Another benefit of secondary and JC Maths are that it quickens our minds and helps us to engage in deep thought. This can be extremely useful when facing complex problems. Our life is composed of various decisions, the ways in which we approach these decisions and the reasons as to why we make them. Maths can help your child to open their mind and understand the best way to solve something.

Maths can lead to high-paying and successful careers. It is important to remember that all children are talented in their own way. Not every child is predestined to become the next top actor, singer or dancer. Working on maths from an early age can really set your child ahead of the competition when it comes to both education and career paths. Provide them with enough support and they will be able to secure a job that can bring a stable income and bright future.

Maths is very important in a world of constant change. The influx of technology in modern society is always changing the ways in which we work and live. Teaching your child maths can enable them to better understand these technologies and get the very best out of them. It is ideal for learning how things work and why they work the way they do. This can be learnt at the Secondary Maths level all the way to JC Maths, informing your child of how to think and the benefits of thinking analytically.