What are the Differences Between H1 Math and H2 Math and how do they affect me?

15/01/2020
The GCE ‘O’ level results have just been released. Many students are probably contemplating which Junior College to enroll in and/or whether ‘A’ level subjects are difficult to handle. One of the many common questions are on H1 Math and H2 Math – what are the key differences between the two of them and how will they affect me?

Is H1 Math really easier?

Some say H1 Math is easier than H2 Math because the former is simply a recap of what has been taught during Secondary 3 and 4 Math. Computations may seem easier to tackle and it will not require students to learn a lot of new concepts. Lastly, H1 Math questions may not be as in-depth as H2 questions.

While H1 Math may appear easier on the surface, it would still require the same level of intense studying as it has its own unique challenges. Statistics, 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, tends to be more challenging since students will need to be familiar with a greater variety of mathematical questions that need to be solved with specific formulas or analyses. Ultimately, the depth and breadth of topics covered under the H2 Math syllabus may seem more overwhelming for Junior College students.

Exam difference between H1 and H2 Math

For a start, the formats of both papers are rather different. For H1 mathematics, students are required to answer one 3-hour paper which will consist of statistics questions worth 60% as well as pure mathematics-related questions worth 40% of the total score.

On the other hand, H2 mathematics will have students answer two 3-hour papers. The first paper will challenge the student’s skills in pure mathematics, while the second paper has questions on both statistics and pure mathematics. Considering this setup, 70% of the exams will be on pure mathematics and the remaining 30% will be on statistics.

Entry into University

Students usually wonder if H1 and H2 mathematics will be a necessary requirement to enter the university course of their choice, especially if they wish to pursue a course that is not Math-heavy.

It must be noted that for courses like Medicine, Law, Dentistry, Advanced Sciences, Economics, and Statistics, it is crucial to take and pass H2 Math. These courses can require in-depth 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 Math, on the other hand, is important for those who are taking business, social science2 and economics courses that require a good statistical foundation. Having this foundation prepares them for data analysis and trains them to make decisions or conclusions that fit the larger context.

So even as you are deciding which junior college to enroll into, it is essential that you consider your future course because it will determine how you should prepare for H1 or H2 mathematics.

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