Common Difficulties Faced In H2 Math & How To Tackle Them

28 Jun 2023

After graduating from secondary school and entering Junior College (JC), students are confronted with the large gap between O-level and A-level H2 Math. H2 Math is drastically more complex than O-level Math, which may cause some students to feel discouraged.

The good news is that there are ways to identify and tackle these challenges so that you can ace your examinations. Here are 4 common difficulties students face in H2 Math and how to address them.

Emphasis on critical thinking

In H2 Math, emphasis is placed on critical thinking, with the curriculum focusing on analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and mathematical modelling abilities.

Students are expected to demonstrate a deep understanding of mathematical concepts by solving complex problems that generally need to be approached from multiple perspectives. As there is no single way to answer the question, students must be able to pick out techniques from various concepts and apply them accordingly.

One way to enhance your critical thinking skills is to discuss the questions and techniques with your peers. This discussion encourages you to consider the justification behind each step of your work so that you can adapt one concept or formula to different questions.

Amount and depth of content

Though H2 Math is a progression from O-level A Maths, there is a big jump in academic rigour, which poses a challenge for many students. It is more comprehensive, covering various topics like calculus, statistics, and algebra, and requires a more in-depth study of the subject.

To keep up with the syllabus, studying consistently is crucial. Most of the topics taught in H2 Math are linked; hence, it will be difficult to understand one topic if you don’t fully grasp the previous one. A thorough understanding of the topics is more achievable if you can take notes effectively and attend all your tutorials.

It also helps to attend H2 Math tuition classes as tutors can provide more attention to their students. Unlike school teachers, who cannot interact with every student in a lecture setting, tutors can assess each student’s strengths and weaknesses and offer them personalised guidance. 

Time management

Another common problem students need help with is time management. Oftentimes, students get stuck on one question for a long time and cannot complete the questions at the back, which tend to be the more straightforward statistics questions.

The simplest solution when faced with this problem is to let go. Perseverance is not always beneficial; spending all your time on one question causes you to incur the opportunity cost of marks that you could have received if you had worked on the easier questions at the back.

It is also essential to plan an examination strategy. For example, you could identify and work on the topics you are good at first to secure the marks.

Furthermore, it helps to practise consistently. This lets you get familiar with common question types, understand what they require, and how best to tackle them.

Identifying errors

Sometimes, even when students know there is an error in their work, they are unsure what the root problem is.

To save time on troubleshooting, ensure you write out all the necessary steps so errors don’t go unnoticed.

You should also read through your answer meticulously to catch small mistakes. If you cannot find the error in one scan, it may be time to redo the steps carefully, justifying at each step the reasoning and principle behind it. This allows you to start afresh and eliminate the mistake more swiftly.


JC H2 Math is not easy, especially when compared to O-level Math. It is thus essential to understand what the common challenges are and how to overcome them.

If you want to enrol in tuition classes, check out IB Super. We offer H2 Math online tuition as well as IB online tuition for various subjects in Singapore. Contact us at ibsuper.com.sg to find out more.

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