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Importance of A-Math Tuition
Additional Mathematics, which is more commonly known as A-Math, is offered to students as an elective subject upon the completion of Secondary 2. If students are still coping well with lower secondary mathematics, then it is highly advisable that students take up A-Math due to the numerous benefits A-Math brings.
Firstly, passing A-Math at the O level examination is a requirement to taking H2 Math in Junior College, as well as taking Mathematical intensive courses in Polytechnic such as Engineering. If students want to pursue a course related to Mathematics or Science, or even if students are unsure of their future aspirations, then it is advisable to take A-Math first.
Secondly, if students are talented in Math, A-Math offers another A1 that students can use in their L1R4/L1R5. This would especially help lower the L1R4/L1R5 of students that are weak in their humanities.
Thirdly, A-Math trains student’s critical thinking skills, helping students attain a sharper and more logical mind. Lastly, much of the knowledge in A-Math is useful to students pursuing Math or Science related courses, for example, differentiation could be used to calculate the decay of radioactive material. Hence, choosing A-Math and doing well in A-Math could net students many benefits in their further education.
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Common problems faced when studying A-Math
Amath may be too Theoretical for Students to Understand
Amath is mostly based in pure math, which is the study of mathematical concepts independent of any application. Although the results of pure math could be applied to different aspects of life, the primary motivation of pure math is not for the application. This makes Amath mostly theoretical, and as such it is harder for secondary school students to understand as students cannot see the use of Amath.
A-math tuition will help students to understand these theoretical aspects. In comparions, Emath is much easier in this regard as it is based in applied mathematics, and hence students can easily find the uses of Emath. An example would be using the cosine rule (Emath) to find the length of a triangle, versus solving for a trigonometric identity (Amath) that serves no immediate purpose.
Problems with Calculus
The Amath syllabus introduces a branch of math called calculus, which many students find much more difficult than any other mathematical topic they have learnt before. Calculus is the study of continuous change and two sub-branches of calculus are introduced in the Amath syllabus, namely differentiation and integration.
Differentiation and Integration require a strong understanding of pre-calculus topics, like algebra, logarithms, functions, and indices. Many students have trouble with differentiation and integration not only because these topics represent a jump in difficulty, but also because they did not have a good grounding in pre-calculus topics. Amath tuition will help students to understand these new topics.
Difficulties in Trigonometry
Amath trigonometry is definitely more difficult than Emath trigonometry. In addition to understanding the basics of Emath trigonometry, Amath students must also learn to work with trigonometric functions, identities, and equations. Amath students must consider angles in all four quadrants instead of only two in Emath, and work with six trigonometric identities instead of three.
A-Math students must also learn to work with radians instead of degrees. Furthermore, trigonometric identities like the Addition Formulae, Double Angle Formulae, and R-Formulae are very theoretical and are often difficult for students to grasp. Amath tuition will aid students in the mastery of these new and difficult topics.
What to look for in an A-Math Tutor
Proficient in Pure Math
A-Math is an academically rigorous and difficult subject, and not all math tutors are able to teach A-Math properly. As A-Math is mostly based in pure math, it would be advantageous for A-Math tutors to have studied pure math at a higher level, for example H2 Math in JC. Studying pure math at a higher level would allow our private A-Math tutors to have a better understanding of the applications of various A-Math concepts. Lastly, they will be able to deliver A-math tuition lessons more effectively.
Explain Real World Applications of A-Math
A common problem students face in A-Math is being unable to understand how the various A-Math concepts can be applied to real life. This makes these concepts more abstract to students and hence harder for them to understand. A good A-Math home tutor would be able to explain to students how these relatively abstract A-Math topics can be applied in other domains of life. For example, the use of logarithms is essential to calculating the pH of a solution in chemistry.
Recognise Student’s Weaknesses
A-Math is divided into three branches, namely algebra, geometry, and calculus. Different students are often weaker at different branches. A-Math tutors should be able to recognise which branch students are weak in, and even identify which sub-branch students have trouble with. An example is identifying that the student has trouble with geometry, specifically trigonometry and R Formulae. A-Math tutors can then develop tailored lessons to target and improve on student’s weaknesses.
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Benefits of A-Math Tuition
Additional Math forms the basis of many topics in both H1 and H2 Math. A great example is differentiation and integration. Students will delve much deeper into these topics in Junior College, hence ensuring that they understand the foundational differentiation and integration taught in secondary school is crucial. In fact many of the topics taught in A-Math are foundational for H2 Math, and that is why an A-Math pass is a requirement to take H2 Math in JC. In Amath tuition, Amath tutors are able to work with students to build a great foundation for the student’s further education in JC.
A-Math has a large emphasis on theory and understanding. However, students may struggle with trying to figuring out complex theories and proofs by themselves. During Amath tuition, Amath tutors will explain the theories in a much more simplified manner which could enlighten students and help in their understanding of mathematical theories.
A-Math is an objective subject with only one correct answer. However, there are actually many methods that can be used to reach this answer. Despite each method having its own merits, A-Math students may find one method easier to understand than another. A-Math tuition teachers can help expose students to a variety of different methods, so that students are not limited to that one method taught in school or printed on the textbook.
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Distinction Tutors can help
Here at Distinction Tutors we have one of the best teams of A-Math tutors in Singapore. Our team has consistently generated results, with many of our students obtaining an A1 at O Levels. Reach out to us to secure your A1 as well!