H2 mathematics is a complex subject that many Singaporean JC students struggle with when transitioning from Secondary school mathematics to JC level mathematics. Firstly, there is so much more content covered in H2 math, and secondly, the complexity of the topics covered can be daunting for anyone — even if you have successfully gotten through A math during your O levels!
While the path to acing your H2 Math exams may seem to be challenging, it is not an impossible feat! To help you out with your preparations, we have put together this comprehensive guide with some useful tips on how you can score on your H2 Math exams.
H2 math covers a wider range of topics than secondary school math and while some of the topics may be similar, there still lies many differences in the content covered. Even with overlapping topics, the content covered in H2 math is more in-depth and requires advanced analytical and critical thinking skills which can be a concern for students that are newly tackling H2 math.
When embarking on JC math, you will realise that some of the concepts and methods used when problem-solving secondary school math problems will be useful in H2 math as well. However, these concepts will be built upon and newer techniques will also be introduced at a much faster pace. Not to mention, the H2 math syllabus will also incorporate new topics such as vectors, complex numbers, sequences and calculus.
Unlike secondary school math which can be solved in a more straightforward fashion, the nature of H2 math topics can prove to be a challenge for students, as there can be multiple ways to solve a problem. This requires students to have a good grasp of the concepts taught that they can identify the various situations they can be applied in.
As mentioned earlier, even with a solid foundation in A math in secondary school, many students face difficulties adapting to the rigorous H2 math curriculum due to its intensity and pace. For some of you, this change may pose challenges early on in J1 itself and in order to be consistent and keep up with the concepts taught, it is advisable to start A Level math tuition as early as possible.
The key to mastering H2 math is early preparation and having a strong understanding of the fundamental principles and formulas and when and where to use them. This may be difficult to identify on your own, which is why JC math tuition will be helpful! Instead of just memorizing the formulas and concepts, it is vital that you understand how these formulas are derived, which will give you a better idea on how to apply them during problem-solving!
From focused learning in classrooms to a broad approach of learning in lecture theatres, there is a shift in how math is taught from secondary school to JC. This poses certain restrictions as students are unable to ask as many questions and they are also unable to receive targeted attention from the teachers. With various new and complex topics introduced, students may find themselves struggling to catch up with this shift in teaching style and pace.
To supplement this, we encourage JC students to engage in group tuition classes for H2 math. JC Tuition teachers are able to give more attention to their students as compared to a lecture-like setting. Also, in a group tuition setting, tuition teachers are able to better assess the strengths and weaknesses of each student and adjust the pace of the lessons accordingly.
Such structured group tuition lessons also allow students to pace their learning with other students in the class, creating a more conducive educational environment where they can discuss their thought processes behind solving problems. This can promote a greater understanding of the concepts and students will find that there is more than one approach they can take to solve a particular problem.
With the immense amount of content that is taught in H2 math, it is important that you plan your time well as we have emphasized earlier—consistency is key! Besides planning ahead, it is almost important that you learn how to revise efficiently to retain what you have learnt as much as you can.
Most of the topics that are taught in H2 math are linked to each other, which makes it even more important to make sure you completely understand a chapter before moving on to the next. Due to the fast pace of the lessons, many students tend to skip revision for an earlier topic in order to keep up with the new topic taught in school. This will definitely present problems later on, when you find yourself struggling to finish revising everything on time.
Setting goals is a useful tip you should keep in mind when studying for H2 math exams. One of the ways you can do this is by creating a checklist with the chapters ranked in order of difficulty. This will give you some insight into where you should place more of your efforts and focus, allowing you to manage your time efficiently.
As we all know, the JC curriculum is a challenging and demanding one and requires a lot of time and effort from students to allocate their revision efforts across a host of different subjects. As such, it is crucial that however much time you spend studying each subject, it’s done in the most efficient manner.
While it is important to grasp the fundamentals of each topic, it is just as important to revisit the topics from time to time to further solidify your understanding. Especially for subjects like H2 Mathematics, Constant revision allows you to commit your knowledge of the subject matter to long term memory, allowing you to develop your analytical skills and also increase the speed at which you can solve problems. With constant revision, you can eliminate the need for last-minute revision, giving you ample time to prepare steadily for your exams and freeing up time for revision for other subjects as well!
Although notes, tutorials and past year papers are provided by most schools, scoring well in H2 math requires much more practice on your part. This is when practice guides come in handy, to supplement the tutorial questions you already have and to help you broaden the number of ways you can apply certain concepts.
As mentioned earlier, many of the topics taught in H2 math are linked and hence it is crucial you gain a deep understanding of each topic on its own to be able to understand how to identify the concepts when they appear together on a question. Having a strong foundation in each topic will definitely increase your confidence in attempting more challenging questions.
New Dawn Learning Studio has specially curated tutorials and notes for students to take home after lessons. The purpose of these tutorials are to allow each student to strengthen their grasp of the concepts and a comprehensive summary sheet is also provided for students to process and retain the information they have just learnt.
Before every H2 math exam, a 26-formula sheet covering all chapters is also given to every student which serves as a quick form of reference material as they do their revision for upcoming exams. These tutorials and notes serve as topical revision, allowing students to quickly recognize which topic a particular question may belong to, making the problem-solving process easier.
While secondary school math is more about applying formulas and concepts directly, JC level math is more complicated as it requires a higher level of application from students. Memorising formulas and concepts will not be sufficient as students need to learn how to apply them and not to mention, JC students are exposed to over 20 formulas and concepts which is a substantial increase from what is covered in secondary school. With so many possibilities of questions that can be tested, it requires students to be extremely familiar with H2 math content which mainly comprises pure math and statistics.
To help with this, a more focused learning approach should be employed! At New Dawn Learning Studio, we sort our H2 math questions into categories to teach students how to solve problems categorically.
This allows for a more holistic understanding and also prepares students to expect a variety of questions that examiners can set in any given paper. We even have a self-study corner in the tuition centre, specially designed for you to carry out focused self-study sessions and clear any doubts you have with the tutors as you study–even if you’re not attending a class!
Owner and H2 Math Tutor at New Dawn Learning Studio, Daniel is also an invited author for the H2 Math Ten Year Series in Singapore.
Preparation for A level H2 math exams is something that students should embark on as early as possible! With so many responsibilities such as CCAs and other extracurricular activities, many JC students find it difficult to manage their time effectively.
JC Math tuition can help you out with this, as with a smaller group setting, you can ask questions and clear any misunderstandings you may have, which would be difficult to do in a lecture setting. At New Dawn Learning Studio, we are passionate about helping you start your JC math journey on a good note while giving you the necessary resources and guidance you need to excel in your exams!