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In junior colleges, H2 math is an ever-popular subject especially when compared to other H2 level subjects. It is seen as a must have for students aspiring to enter a variety of university courses in Singapore. Yet, the subject is not without its own challenges. For most, this is as complex a subject as there is at pre-tertiary levels of study. In fact, failure rates with schools’ internal exams are very high, with many students in fact getting retained at their promo exams. If you are a prospecting student or a parent who is keen for his/her child to pick up H2 Maths in JC, then this article will explain the difficulties of the subject as well as the importance of supplementing learning from the onset.

If you were to ask around, you would frequently hear about many students failing their first mid-year exam in JC1. The leap from secondary school mathematics, even that of Additional Mathematics (A Math) to H2 Math in JC1 is huge. Students are taken aback by topics such as vectors and complex numbers which require both a mastery of their foundation and an exploration of variations of their sub-topics. Moreover, the pace and level of competition at the junior college level can catch students by surprise, especially if they did not graduate from an elite institution prior to entering JC. 

A second factor to consider with regards to the intensity of competition at the JC level is the increasing number of students who prep ahead of their time. Many seek notes and lessons from their seniors even before entering the junior college officially. As such, they have attained a big head start in subjects such as H2 Maths, confounding their peers who are at best of average ability. This facilitates faster teaching pace and a steeper learning curve for other students. When placed together, students are placed under immense stress to quickly catch up to either their more gifted peers or to those who have gained a competitive advantage through preparation. 

Once students begin to struggle to  keep up with the syllabus and to pass their exams, they often engage a good h2 maths tutor as a quick fix. The influx of knowledge and teaching resources allows them to close the gap between their peers and themselves. However, there is no guarantee that their peers are not in fact seeking out new advantages of their own. As such, it needs to be stressed that h2 maths tuition should not be started after the first failed common test or mid-term. Instead, it should be sought after from the start or prior to the start of a student’s journey in junior college. Only then can a student receive the appropriate foundational knowledge to keep up with lessons and their peers. 


The author John

John Adams: John, a former college admissions officer, provides insights into the college admissions process, application tips, and advice for prospective students.