When N (not her real name) first attended my A.Math class in S4, she already had a string of D7s, E8s and F9s in math. But because of good guidance, consistency and smart work, she went on to obtain A2s in both her math at the O-levels. But I was still worried about her taking H2 Math in JC as there is a VERY BIG jump from A.Math to H2 Math; even students who get A1 in A.Math sometimes fail their H2 Math. For students who don’t intend to become Engineers and are not exceptional in math, I usually discourage them from doing H2 Math. I don’t know why, but many students and parents think it is a must or advantageous to take H2 Math, which is officially not true. H2 Math is NOT a prerequisite for any course in uni except Math, Engineering and some computer courses.
Thankfully, N continued tuition in H2 Math early in the year so that I could teach her in advance. This helped her to understand better when the teacher goes through the same topic in class. She got a B for her first test and that was very encouraging. She went on to get a few more Bs but also a U in a test on Vectors, so we had to take corrective measures on the latter such as focusing on the harder part of vectors, namely vectors involving planes. Like all JC students, N has a hectic schedule, but whenever she cannot make it for her Sat class, she would come for a make-up class on Sun. She learns by doing, not just by listening. I’m always around to guide my students in their work, but they must start doing the work first. No point saying “I don’t understand everything.” Not surprisingly, with good attitude and consistency, N finally got an A. My point is, ANY JC student can get an A in Math, provided they are serious about it.
My two newest H2 Math tutees are both from RI year 5. One lost confidence early in the year and the other spent too much time with his handphone. Believe me, intelligence cannot compensate for lack of knowledge or practice, especially for H2 subjects. I’m now looking forward to turning around the math performance of these two boys. What they need are new strategies. Sometimes, we cannot discover new strategies by ourselves. Even self-motivation sometimes needs an external factor to give it a spark.
My JC1 H2 Math class is every Saturday 9.30 am to 11.00 am. I can be contacted at 97860411.
[B.Sc (NUS), PGDE (NIE), M.Ed (NIE), RI-RJC alumnus]