Guide To The O-Level A-Math Syllabus (2024)

The Additional Mathematics syllabus is often regarded as being more difficult than Elementary Mathematics (E-Math). Students struggle with the more complex topics and mathematical rules, and end up having to juggle concepts and formulas from both subjects. A-Math is a compulsory subject if a student wants to take A-level H2 Mathematics in Junior College, making it vital for students who are planning on entering math-related fields during their further education.

In this guide by Jimmy Math, we go over the subjects that students will have to master throughout their A-Math journey, and give helpful tips on learning them.

Algebra

Both Additional and Elementary maths have algebraic concepts in their syllabus. However, A-Math algebra is far more difficult, and has a wider range of complicated topics than E-math. These are:

 Quadratic Functions Involves studying the properties of quadratic equations, graphing parabolas, finding vertexes, and solving quadratic equations using methods like factoring, completing the square, and the quadratic formula. Equations and Inequalities Focuses on solving linear and quadratic equations and inequalities. Surds Involves simplifying and performing operations with irrational numbers in the form of square roots. Polynomials and Partial Fractions Covers polynomial functions, their properties and operations, as well as breaking down rational expressions into partial fractions for easier manipulation. Binomial Expansions Uses the Binomial Theorem to expand expressions raised to a power. Exponential and Logarithmic Functions Studies the properties of exponential growth and decay, solving exponential equations, and the principles of logarithms.

Geometry and Trigonometry

Geometry and Trigonometry revolves around shapes and the figures that make them up. Unlike E-math, A-math trigonometry introduces the concepts of Sine, Cosine, and Tangents, Graphs, and more formulas to apply in real-world contexts.

The three major parts of Geometry and Trigonometry are:

 Trigonometric Functions, Identities, and Equations Covers the study of trigonometric ratios, graphing trigonometric functions, solving trigonometric equations, and simplifying expressions. Coordinate Geometry in Two Dimensions Involves understanding the geometry of shapes and figures in the coordinate plane, including equations of lines and circles. Proofs in Plane Geometry Focuses on proving geometric theorems and properties using logical reasoning and established axioms.

Calculus

A-math calculus deals with constant rates of change. Similar to how velocity graphs showcase changes in distance over time, calculus focuses on how functions and formulas change over time.

 Differentiation Involves finding gradients of tangents and normals, identifying turning points, maxima and minima, determining the rate of change of functions, and analysing kinematics. Integration Integration is the opposite of differentiation and involves finding the equations of functions, the area under curves, and analyzing kinematics.

Mastering Mathematical Concepts

In order to get a solid grasp of the A-math syllabus, students need to:

1. Build up Basic Mathematical Skills

In order to master A-Math algebra, you have to build up the mathematical reasoning needed to break down questions. You’ll need to build a strong foundation, and gain a fundamental understanding of the principles behind algebra in the first place. While A-math is a different subject from E-math, many of the skills are transferrable between the two topics, and receiving proper guidance in both can help you excel.

2. Practice Regularly

Consistent practice is key to mastering A-Math. Work on various types of problems to improve your problem-solving skills and to become familiar with different question formats. Using past exam papers and additional exercises from textbooks, or online resources, can ensure that students are prepared for the real deal. Organising timed practice sessions is also a useful method for simulating an exam environment, as students will be able to learn time management and question prioritisation.

3. Understand the Concepts

Unlike E-Math questions, A-Math is more systematic. Students need to have a firm grasp on each concept, and memorise the relevant formulas for each topic. They need to gain a proper understanding, and if a student is unable to gain this from lessons in school, it’s unlikely that self-study will help. In these cases, it can be ideal to engage a tutor, so that a student can gain guidance on specific topics and concepts that they’re struggling with.

A-Math Tuition With Jimmy Maths

Given the rigorous nature of Additional Mathematics, students need a solid understanding and the opportunity for constant and well-guided practice in order to do well. A-Math tuition becomes essential to bridge the gap between classroom teaching and an individual student’s needs. Professional tutors like those at Jimmy Maths can provide personalised guidance, teaching students how to simplify difficult concepts and impart problem-solving skills on them. This tailored approach not only boosts confidence but also equips students with the necessary tools to excel in their exams.