The Secondary 1 Math Syllabus is very different from PSLE Math.
Most of the methods which your child learnt in Primary School are not applicable to Secondary School anymore.
Regardless of how your child did for PSLE, it’s time to work hard for Secondary School as it’s a totally new game.
Many parents have asked me how different Sec 1 Math is.
Here are 5 Things which you should know in order to prepare your child well.
1) Model Drawing is Not Applicable Anymore
“What? I have learnt it for nothing…”
Model Drawing actually helps your child to build a strong foundation on Algebra which is essential in Secondary School.
And that is why Singapore students always top global ranking in Math. (You can read more here: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-students-top-global-ranking-in-maths-and-science-7698610)
However, it is no longer required in Secondary School and your child needs to use Algebra instead.
2) Algebra is Essential
Algebra is a big topic in the Secondary 1 Math Syllabus.
It includes Expansion, Factorisation, Simplification and Solving Equations.
The workings can be very long and tedious. Gone are the days when your child can solve a problem easily in a few steps.
As mentioned before, your child also needs to use Algebra to solve problem sums.
3) Many New Topics Included
Some of the topics are the same as Primary School – like Ratio, Percentage, Pattern, Rate and Speed etc..
However, there are many more new topics which your child needs to learn for Sec 1 Math.
Topics like Graphs, Mensuration and even the first topic on Factors and Multiples can be very challenging for your child.
4) Less Time Given in Exams
Many students struggle to finish their papers on time in Secondary School. This is a problem seldom seen in Primary School.
The questions in Sec 1 are longer, more tedious and require more working and most importantly – Mastery of the concepts taught!
Your child needs to understand the questions, apply the concepts, solve them, and check their workings in a short time span.
5) Application to Real Life Situations
MOE has been tweaking the Secondary school syllabus to make it more relevant to daily life.
Real life situations like Tax, Utilities Bills, GST and Discount will be tested in Secondary School.
Your child must appreciate the usage of Math in daily life.
6) Transit from Conceptual Mastery to Topical Mastery
In PSLE, your child is trained to apply concepts to solve problem sums. The same concept (like Constant Total) can be applied to different chapters like Whole Numbers, Fractions, Ratio and Percentage.
However, the Secondary 1 Math syllabus requires your child to achieve Mastery of every topic. The topics can be very different from each other (Whole Numbers Vs Algebra Vs Graphs) and your child needs to know the concepts for each topic well. Mastery of one topic may not equate to mastery in other topics.
Your child needs to be consistent in his or her learning in order to master all the topics.
7) Greater Emphasis on Presentation
In PSLE, your child will be awarded the marks as long as he demonstrates full understanding of the question and solve it logically and correctly.
However, in Secondary Math, presentation is the key to scoring full marks. Losing a few marks due to presentation usually makes the difference between 2 different grades.
Marking scheme is structured in a way that your child must show certain working in order to be awarded the mark.
On top of that, your child also needs to write down the reason like the property of Angle in Geometry.
Do not neglect Presentation! If your child can cultivate a good habit of good presentation early, your child will succeed in Secondary level Math!
8) Most Parents Find It Difficult to Help Their Child
When students face difficulty in PSLE Math, they usually ask their parents first and most parents can still cope with them.
However, in Secondary Math, most parents have been out of touch of the topic and may find it difficult to teach their child.
Challenging topics like Algebra, Geometry, Volume and Surface Area usually pose a problem to parents as they have forgotten the concepts behind the topics.
Therefore, getting a good tutor in Secondary 1 is crucial to prepare your child well for Secondary 1 Math syllabus.
A good tutor must know the syllabus inside out and have a well-structured lesson plan to help your child.
Getting a part time tutor to come to your house and answer your child’s Math questions may not be able to help anymore.
Seeking help early from a good tutor will ensure your child gets a good head-start in Sec 1 Math and later years.
Director of Grade Solution Learning Centre
Founder of Jimmymaths.com
Author of PSLE Math Problem Sum Mastery, PSLE Math Revision notes, Sec 1 Math Revision Notes
Prepare for the Secondary 1 Math syllabus early with these Sec 1 math revision notes!
Click or tap on the image of the book below to download!