Struggling with Sec 4 IM2 in NYGH, prospects of taking H2 Maths in JC slim?

This query comes from a student's concerned sibling:

Hi, my sister is currently studying in Nanyang Girls' High sec 4, and is struggling quite a bit in her IM2 maths (A maths equivalent). Her final exam is happening early next month. She needs a minimum overall B3 grade (including quizzes taken throughout the year amongst other things) to be able to offer H2 maths in Hwa Chong next year, currently she is only able to manage a C5. If she fails to meet the requirement, she will need to sit for a retest in December this year. She is pretty stressed out right now needless to say, she thinks she will mess up her her final exam, and probably also her retest. In the worst case scenario, would HCI really disallow her to take up H2 maths eventually when understandably almost every of her peers would? She is trying very hard in her studies, in fact crying at times and I can only tell her not to worry too much. :(

Please do advise me how I can help my sister. Sorry for the wall of text. Thanks.

The Response:


Sorry to hear of your sister’s troubles with math. I do have students from NYGH, and I’m aware of the intense competition in there that can often leave some students disillusioned.

To my knowledge, even if your sister does not meet the requirement to take H2 Math, she should still be able to appeal to take the subject; however, a C5 grade does hint of a poor understanding of the concepts and perhaps ineffective approach to math in general, which may result in her struggling even further in H2 Math in JC unless she takes some corrective measures (being in NYGH, it’s safe to say that she definitely has some latent ability in math that is perhaps not fully demonstrated).

It is a little late now (1 month to the finals), but I would definitely recommend that she seek help in the form of 1-to-1 tuition as soon as possible; with the right guidance and intensive lessons, she may still be able to scrape through with a borderline B3; even a B4 would boost her chances of an appeal.

In the meantime, as a math tutor myself, my immediate advice would be for her to quickly do a stock-take of the topics/concepts she doesn’t fully understand. Then, re-read and try to understand the parts of the notes which explain the concepts. A good tutor should be able to help to accelerate this process, and quickly point out the gaps in her understanding.

Contrary to popular belief, endless hours of mindless practice isn’t going to be very effective; what’s needed is a systematic approach to attacking her weakest spots and to seek a firm understanding of the concepts rather than memorizing approaches and solutions to questions (as some students tend to do).

Please feel free to contact me for a consultation if you wish, or any of the other trusted tutors on this website. Else, at the very least, she might consider taking up some of my advice above. Hope this helps.


Eric Chng

(Councilor: May 2013-Present)

Answered On 5 September 2016