## Ten Things You Should Know About H2 Math

As students in Singapore start to prepare for their A-Level examinations, H2 Mathematics stands out as a challenging yet rewarding subject. **H2 Math** is a challenging subject that requires dedication and the right approach, here are ten crucial things you should know about this advanced mathematics course.

*(The following article is based on my opinion and observation as a tutor for the past decade. For more information on H2 Math, you may wish to visit MOE, SEAB, and university course websites.)*

**What is H2 Math**

H2 Math refers to a Higher 2 (H2) level Mathematics subject offered in Junior Colleges (JCs) as part of the A-level curriculum. It is a more advanced and rigorous course compared to H1 Math, providing a strong foundation in various mathematical concepts and techniques.

**1) H1 Math vs. H2 Math vs. H3 Math**

H1 Math provides students with essential math and statistics skills, laying a strong foundation for university studies in business or social sciences. It is more suited for students without an O-level Additional Math (A Math) background.

H2 Math prepares students with a stronger foundation in math that will support science-based, engineering, and computing courses at the university level. It equips students with the mathematical thinking and reasoning skills required for further mathematics learning in these courses. The main areas of **H2 Math** are Functions and Graphs, Sequences and Series, Calculus, Vectors, Complex Numbers, and Statistics.

H3 Math is an option for students who excel in H2 Math. Students who perform well in their JC1 year for H2 Math can opt to take H3 Math for A-levels. This option is available only at the end of the JC1 year, so there is no need to decide on H3 Math before starting JC.

In terms of academic units, H1 and H3 Math are 1 academic unit each, while H2 Math is 2 academic units.

If you are struggling with any of these math levels, consider seeking help from a qualified **math tuition** or **maths tuition Singapore** provider. Specialised **h2 math tuition** can be particularly beneficial for those aiming for higher scores.

**2) H2 Math is Required for Many University Degree Courses**

H2 Math is a prerequisite for many local university science, engineering, and computing courses, as well as for economics courses at top UK universities. For the more competitive courses, a good grade in A-level **H2 Math** is required. This often means one must score an A for H2 Math in order to be offered the course.

Because of the importance of H2 Math, most students in JC, especially those in the science stream, choose to do H2 Math. The two most common subject combinations are:

– PCMe: H2 Physics, H2 Chemistry, H2 Math, and H1 Economics

– BCMe: H2 Biology, H2 Chemistry, H2 Math, and H1 Economics

Choosing H2 Math with two science subjects ensures the widest possible range of options for university courses.

**3) H2 Math is Much More Difficult Than O-Level Additional Math**

You may have heard that H2 Math is difficult. A quick look at youth forums like Reddit or a chat with a few JC students will confirm that many find H2 Math very tough. This is because the jump in difficulty level from secondary-level **Additional Math** to JC H2 Math is very great. Students are not used to the jump in difficulty level and many receive a rude shock in their first H2 Math test score.

H2 Math concepts can be confusing and many struggle to understand them. Some even try to get through without understanding, which often leads to poor outcomes. The techniques required to solve an H2 Math exam question often comprise many steps, where each step requires careful and thoughtful application of concepts from A Math and H2 Math. For example, a ten-mark question could require a student to first do a complicated and messy differentiation, then solve a trigonometric equation, then draw a graph, and then extend to make a deduction. This is all within one question. It does not help that H2 Math exam questions require higher-level application skills, which makes the questions very difficult for a 17- or 18-year-old student.

It is a common opinion of many parents that when they were in JC, they found JC Math very easy and did not expect their child to find H2 Math hard. Let’s set the record straight. **JC Math** of decades ago was a lot easier than H2 Math of today. The syllabus was different, and the questions of yesteryear were much more straightforward. It is a different ball game now. If you are struggling with H2 Math and are looking for **math tuition, **consider finding a tutor who specialises in h2 math tuition.

**4) H2 Math is Not Suitable for Everyone**

H2 Math learning builds upon the concepts learned from Additional Math. As such, a strong foundation in A Math is required. Students without an A Math background are strongly advised not to take H2 Math. While many JCs offer bridging classes for those without A Math, it is hard to make up for the lost two years of A Math learning. Additionally, students who struggled greatly with A Math in secondary school may find H2 Math too challenging and should think about taking H1 Math instead.

**5) Many Find it Hard to Keep Up with H2 Math Lessons in School**

JC H2 Math lessons move at a notoriously fast pace. JC1 lessons formally begin in March, and after accounting for school holidays and exam weeks, the entire syllabus must be completed within thirteen months! Many students struggle to keep up with the pace of lessons, often not understanding what is being taught. It does not help that in JC, students no longer experience classroom teaching. The lecture-tutorial system requires students to watch lecture videos at their own time, and then attempt tutorial questions independently before tutorial sessions.

So the child is expected to learn independently via video lectures and then apply the concepts to solve tutorial questions. Tutorial sessions are a time for the teacher to go through the solution of the tutorial. Many times, a student who does not understand the topic has no choice but to just copy tutorial solutions first and try to make sense of what they have copied at a later date. If the student is able to close their own learning gaps, then all is good. But it happens too often that a student is unable to do so and then the gap in understanding of **H2 Math** just gets wider and wider.

**6) Early Support for H2 Math Can Be a Lifesaver**

At Debbie’s Learning Cove, lessons are designed to help each student manage the difficulty of H2 Math at a comfortable pace. In order to do so, we have to start early. Our **H2 Math tuition** begins in early January of the student’s JC1 year. This enables learning to take place at a more manageable pace.

I will take students through the topics, one at a time. By the time the JC1 lessons formally begin in March, students at Debbie’s Learning Cove are already familiar with about 20% of the **H2 Math syllabus**. So if you are considering when your child should start learning H2 Math, my advice is to start as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the gap is too wide, which may be too late.

**7) Pure Drilling May Not Be the Way to Ace H2 Math**

By “drilling,” I refer to the process of practising questions repeatedly, without revision of notes and without complete understanding of concepts. While this method may work for A Math, it is less effective for H2 Math. The reason is that the A Math syllabus has a smaller scope and the questions are more repetitive in nature, compared to H2 Math.

The scope of the H2 Math syllabus is wide and questions do not have a standard type. Purely drilling on some questions may not guarantee that the student knows how to manage an exam question on the same topic. During an exam, the question encountered may be of a type that has never been seen before! So in such unfamiliar situations, the student who has a good understanding of concepts will be able to look at the question with a big-picture perspective, grasp what concepts the question requires, and then apply the correct deductive steps to work through and solve the question. The student who relies on drilling may not know how to approach the question.

**8) Small Group Learning for H2 Math Has Many Benefits**

Small-group lessons in H2 Math are beneficial as they offer a structured learning experience under the guidance of the tutor.

Small-group learning has structure. During lessons, full notes are provided, and each topic is taught clearly from scratch to ensure a complete understanding of all the key concepts. A small-group setting enables all to receive clear instructions, yet the group size is small enough for the tutor to guide each child’s learning. During practice sessions, the tutor monitors the student’s math work. Questions are asked and answered during lessons, and students are given many opportunities to clarify any doubts.

Another benefit of group learning is that learning together with like-minded peers provides a friendly yet competitive environment which encourages progress. Everyone who attends group lessons is keen to learn and improve. Very often, students help each other out. Also, by the free flow of questions between tutor and students, each student can learn from each other and also close the gaps in their own understanding effectively.

It is a common option for parents to consider one-to-one tuition instead of group tuition. While one-to-one tuition offers undivided attention from the tutor, it often lacks in the areas of teaching. A child who is completely lost will require being taught the topic first or given a summary of the key concepts before receiving guidance in working through questions. Also, as one-to-one tuition is often unstructured and meant to be a support for the child’s schoolwork, the pace is often determined by the child’s pace of work, which may not be an efficient pace. During a math exam, one needs to work fast, and group tuition provides the training ground for one to improve on their pace of work.

A practical reasoning for the choice of tuition mode is also cost. Group tuition is a more economical choice than one-to-one home tuition.

**9) Good H2 Math Notes Will Save on Revision Time and Effort**

For students who struggle to understand their school lecture notes, they yearn for materials that are concise and easy to comprehend. That’s where I come in. From my decades of experience in **math **teaching, I know the inside-out of each topic. I have designed materials that are complete in coverage, yet brief to read.

These notes are provided to students during H2 Math lessons and form the backbone of each lesson. My students cherish these materials as they are so easy to revise in preparation for exams.

With the relentless pull for time from each subject, the child only has very limited time to prepare for exams. Having very clear and concise revision materials will help the child to complete revision faster, with more time set aside for practice.

For JC2 students preparing for A-level exams, I provide them with my self-written summary book of all the H2 Math topics. For many of my students, this summary book was the most crucial resource that gained them an A on the **A-level exams**. It provided them with all the formulae, concepts, techniques and definitions that one should know to Ace H2 Math.

**10) How Group H2 Math Tuition is Conducted**

For a typical H2 Math lesson, students attend lessons either onsite or online. The onsite class size is not more than 14 pax. Both onsite and online students are linked up via Zoom, ensuring a consistent learning experience. I provide notes and practice questions, teach the topic from scratch, and include on-the-spot practice. Students take home a set of homework questions, which we review in the following lesson.

Let’s talk about how I teach Vectors. This topic has been voted by students as the hardest H2 Math topic. It happens too often that students tell me they completely do not understand the topic from school. When my lessons on Vectors begin, the magic starts. I do get a thrill seeing the twinkle in my student’s eyes when they finally understand the concept and when they nod their heads in agreement during lessons.

My painstakingly created notes on Vectors break down all the various concepts of this big topic into bite-sized pieces. A big part of Vectors is being able to visualise the problem. During the lesson, I use drawings, models, and even some drama to explain how these concepts link back to their prior knowledge. I teach them tricks to make it easier to recall them, and I teach them how to apply the concepts. My practice questions are designed to build up the student’s visualisation skills and to reinforce the concepts learned. The questions start small first, and then we ramp up to putting together all the small parts into managing full-length exam questions. To date, no one who has attended my Vectors lessons has told me that they still do not understand Vectors.

A key hallmark of group learning is that everyone will learn the same topic at the same time. With students from different JCs in the same class, there will be times that the student experiences a different topic during tuition and in school. This is inevitable for group tuition. My best advice to the student is to adopt a positive attitude toward learning. Everything is within the syllabus and will be tested for A-level exams. For those curious about the order of topics, here is a rough outline I follow. Please check with me as this order may vary.

**JC1 Curriculum**

- Inequalities, Graphing, and Functions
- Sequences and Series
- Differentiation and Applications
- Vectors
- Integration and Applications
- Maclaurin’s Expansion
- Differential Equations

**JC2 Curriculum**

- Complex Numbers
- Statistics (many topics within)

During the examination revision period, which is usually in June, September, and October, there will be intensive exam revision lessons for students to gain maximum exposure to questions of exam-level difficulty. My math revision lessons will recap the key concepts and processes required to sail through the exams.

H2 Math is a very important A-level subject that will open many doors in university. Every H2 Math student wants to do well in the subject, but it can prove to be too difficult for some. If you are a parent of a child who has yet to begin JC studies, do consider supporting your child’s **H2 math** learning early, so that your child will have a smooth learning process throughout the JC years.