Many students often find math as an overwhelming subject, especially as they move to a higher-grade level like the junior college.
Before they move on to junior college where they will take their A-Levels, students have an easier time to learn math because the questions used for Secondary level do not require heavy computation work. However, by the time they enter junior college and take their A-levels, they often find mathematics difficult to understand because the lessons are more complicated and require computation work not normally required or focused on in their previous mathematics classes.
Further adding to a student’s dilemma is the fact Singapore A-level math comes in two different levels: H1 Math and H2 Math.
How exactly are they different and why should students study hard for them?
Content difference between H1 and H2 Math
H1 mathematics trains students to understand and apply basic techniques of statistics as they get data and analyze it before they could make positions or decisions based on their result. The topics included in H1 math includes Statistics, Calculus, and Graphs.
On the other hand, H2 mathematics covers more advanced mathematics and help students learn how they can analyze, formulate and answer different types of questions. They would also learn through H2 mathematics how to understand data and make a statistical analysis based on the results.
Topics included in H2 math include Sequences and Series, Calculus, Probability, Sampling, Hypothesis Testing, Functions and Graphs, Vectors, Permutations and Combinations, Complex Numbers, Probability Distribution, and Correlation and Regression.
Is H1 Math easier?
Some say H1 Math is easier to do than H1 math because it would just be a recap of what you learned during Secondary 3 and 4 Math. Computations are also easier to do for H1 math. It also does not require students to learn a lot of new concepts and homework is not given often. It is also said by some people that H1 math can easily help you get a scholarship or a special award if you get a good grade for it.
However, there are some experts who would say that while it is easier, the questions for H1 math would still require intense study because they still have the same difficulty as that of H2 math. Statistics and Calculus, for instance, can be very tricky to work on if one is not familiar with its terms and techniques.
H2 math, based on its syllabus alone, is more difficult since students will need to be familiar with various types of mathematical questions that can be solved with a certain formula or analysis.
Furthermore, the compositions of examinations of either H1 or H2 math may cause students to find difficulties in getting a passing grade.
Exam difference between H1 and H2 Math
H1 and H2 mathematics also differ in terms of the composition of their examinations.
For H1 mathematics, students are required to answer one 3-hour paper which will consist of statistics questions worth 60 points and questions requiring pure mathematics worth 35 points.
On the other hand, H2 mathematics will have students answer 2 3-hour papers. The first paper will challenge the student’s skills in pure mathematics, while the second paper has questions on statistics and pure mathematics. Considering this setup, 70% of the exams will deal with pure mathematics and the remaining 30% will be about statistics.
For many students, they tend to question as to whether passing their H1 and H2 mathematics are essential for their future, especially if one does not wish to pursue a course that does not require math.
For those who are planning to take up courses that require mathematics like Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Advanced Sciences, Economics, and Statistics, it is crucial to take and pass H2 mathematics. These subjects can give prepare you for your intended course as it entails computations that require a lot of data and statistical analysis. H2 math also develops a student’s capacity to answer various types of questions which cannot be solved with simple mathematics or formulas.
H1 mathematics, on the other hand, is crucial for those who are taking business, social science and economics courses since it will require them to understand and analyze data. It also would prepare them to see trends in the data provided to them and make decisions or conclusions that fit the question.
As a pre-requisite, students, especially those from Singapore’s secondary schools which do not follow A-level grading, can consider either taking H1 or H2 mathematics or both to meet university entrance requirements. In some cases, some students can manage to pass their H2 mathematics even if they do not have the background for it if they studied hard enough.
Taking the math subjects would also help them match their peers who took up A-levels during their junior college years since they got a head start with the type of questions required in their courses.
As you near your junior college year, it is essential that you consider your future course because it will determine how you should prepare for your H1 and H2 mathematics and if you will require special maths tuition for it.
Fortunately, for students who find it difficult to prepare for math, they can seek the aid of one of Singapore’s A-level tuition schools or a tutor offering maths tuition. While under an A-level tuition, the student will be able to understand the course better since the school or the tutor can revise how the subject is taught for better understanding. They can even test their level as these schools and tutors can give out mock examinations as preparation for their students’ actual exams.
Remember: Both these math subjects for your A-levels play a role in your future studies so think long and hard as early as now in order to plan out your study goals.
When you have decided upon your future course, start preparing so you can breeze through your A-level math and secure the course you want to take in your college years.
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