By Amanda Tan (22S02A)
Having been reintroduced only recently after a ten-year hiatus, H2 Further Mathematics may seem daunting and unfamiliar to many. While this subject undoubtedly stretches students further in their learning of Mathematics (as compared to H2 Mathematics), it is also a great opportunity for students to hone their problem-solving and analytical skills and see Math in a new light —one that is not merely an academic hurdle crowded with numbers and foreign alphabets.
Further Mathematics aims to enable students to acquire a wider range of mathematical concepts, further develop their problem-solving skills and deepen their appreciation for the discipline. It is an A level subject that is, usually, taken in addition to H2 Mathematics, H2 Physics and H2 Economics. (However, students may make an appeal if they wish to take an alternative subject combination.) While H2 Math and Further Math are considered two separate subjects, the same teachers will teach the class both H2 Mathematics and H2 Further Mathematics topics. Hence, the two subjects are treated like one when being taught, but two when being tested.
Further Math’s syllabus is different from that of H2 Mathematics. This means that the topics tested in the Further Math paper are different from that in the H2 Mathematics’ paper. However, there may be crossovers from H2 Mathematics as core concepts taught there are required for Further Mathematics. For example, in the 2021 Year 5 Promotional Exam, the topic “Techniques of Integration” tested only in H2 Mathematics would be required for the topic of “Applications of Integration” tested only in Further Mathematics’ paper. In other words, while the topics tested are different on paper, knowledge learnt from one subject may be used for the other. In addition, as compared to Mathematics RA which mainly focuses on delving deeper into the concepts already in the H2 Math Syllabus, Further Mathematics focuses on both depth and breadth by teaching students additional topics in detail.
A typical lesson starts off with students viewing the lectures online, then completing their tutorial questions, which the teachers will go through during tutorial lessons. While doing so, students will simultaneously watch the lecture of the next topic. This means that students handle two topics a week.
Discipline and open-mindedness are two important values needed for the study of Further Mathematics. A great amount of rigour and dedication in doing practices is crucial for a meaningful learning experience of the subject. In addition, students should also have a willingness to learn, given the fast pace at which new topics will be taught every week.
With society’s steady progression towards a greater emphasis on science and technology, Mathematics is an ever more relevant skill students should have. Armed with the knowledge and skills picked up from the study of Further Math, students would no doubt have a strong foundation in Mathematics, which would be especially useful for those who wish to pursue a career related to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.