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So this year I am a sec two student, since we have to choose our subjects, I need some advice on what I should choose as I have no clue on what I should do. 

For the sciences, I either want to take double or triple science. I cannot choose between physics or biology as I enjoy topics from both sciences but I am not sure If I will be able to cope with all 3 sciences next year. I was thinking of taking triple then dropping one at the end of the year if I can’t cope? I don’t know whether I should take biology or physics. any advice? And For my humanities I am set on pure history and elective geography with social studies. With all the two humanities and three sciences would I be able to cope? (I will also take Additional math because it is in all the classes with pure sciences) My art (GAP) is also quite good and I was thinking of doing it  next year although I am not too sure (It depends on what I choose for science because I don’t think I can cope with too many subjects) 

So I am not sure what subjects I should take. My strongest subject is maths and my art is quite high too. My history is also strong. They are always A1s. My geography and science are usually A2s or a low A1. I am not planning on taking literature as I do very badly in it. I also do not take higher mother tongue or normal mother tongue as I take Chinese B. So this lessens the weight I have with my subjects. I have no idea what I should choose and I need help.

Answer

Heya, sec 3 student this year. 

Just for your info, I take a 7-subj Bio-Chem, Comb Humans (E History / SS)

First of all, you need to consider the workload that you’re putting on yourself. Know that when you choose to take pure humanities you are essentially choosing a subject that has as much content as a science.

Sidetrack a bit

The reason why I took E history was because E History and SS are two very closely linked subjects in terms of answer structure, both primarily employ PEEL for SBQ and Essay questions, whereas there is a different answer scheme for  E geog. You need to know that being good in either Humanities does not mean you will be good in any of them in upper sec. Both are very different once you head into upper sec.

Note that combined humanities is a 50-50 subject, there is even weightage on both your chosen elective and SS. If you pick E History-SS, it is easier to pull up both together, because studying SBQ is two birds with one stone, there is no difference at all. I see my  E Geog classmates struggling to pull up their Combined Humanities because either SS is pulling them down, or Geog is. You will find that it is a lot easier to score for SS-E history. just saying. but if ur set on SS-E Geog and Pure History then oh well.

 

Let’s talk about Math first. Sec 3 Math is a whole new ball game. Maybe it will be easy for you, but about 70% of the people that get easy B3s and A2s in Sec 2 end up getting C5-B3 in Sec 3. A Math will be a new type of Math, hard to understand, but once you do, it is very easy to pass because there is very little they can modify. Don’t worry too much about having to take A Math, if you plan to go JC, A Math is a big help. Definitely. Even if you decide to go Poly the A Math card is a very useful one to have in O Levels. Math subjects are usually very easy to get distinctions for in O Level (somehow the distinction rate in most schools is 50%)

Now to Science. There is nothing wrong with taking double science. You should head to popular and look through the topics page of Sec 3 textbooks, see if there is any immediate interest or dislike. Then think through whether physics is too dry for you, or if bio might be a bit too content-heavy. You can’t do anything about chemistry because I bet its compulsory in your school as well.

About Art, unless you’re really passionate about it, I don’t recommend you take it. People only take art for two reasons: They really like it, or they can’t take anything else. I doubt you’re the latter. Art is quite time-consuming according to my classmates. If you’re already taking a pure humanities, don’t take art. And vice-versa. Just pick between one of the two.

 

Workload wise, its really about the topic-content. Don’t judge how you’ll do in Sec 3 based on your Sec 2 grades. it doesn’t work that way. I was a straight A1 Math student, but now my A&E Maths are both at B4. I was C5 History and B3 Geog, but now my History component is A1, combined humanities A2. Same story for science, I got A2 in Sec 2, my Bio is now A2 and Chem C6 (Upper Sec Chemistry is a real bummer, trust me). Basically, don’t consider your current results too much. Interest in the chapters of the subject and the subject itself matter more. If you are interested in something, you will be motivated to study it. Thats why I took E History and not E Geog btw.

I recommend you check out the textbooks for all maths, humanities and sciences. I see lots of my ex-classmates that took triple sciences really sweating it out late at night or early into the morning even. I’m not sure how good are your grades, but I think for you triple science and one pure Humanities or art is good enough. Don’t forget that you still have Chinese and English to deal with, they are not straight tickets to a B. I would recommend that you take Triple Sciences and either a Pure Humans/Art, then by mid-year, you should have a feel of what you want and what you don’t, and start to ease off one/two subjects (don’t completely switch off mind you, just prioritise the others first, sometimes subjects throw curve-balls in Semester 2). Just get a brief idea of whether you can cope with your workload, and whether you are getting a JC-quality L1R5. If you have even the slightest of doubt about either, immediately consider dropping something at the end of the year. Let your Sec 4 year just be learning and brush up, don’t carry any huge burdens going into O-Level year.

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Please refer to my replies in brackets [ … ] below. They are, however, only my opinion based on my experience and you should still make the final decisions as you will be the one taking up the subjects. I am only hoping to shed some light to aid you in making those decisions.

“For the sciences, I either want to take double or triple science. I cannot choose between physics or biology as I enjoy topics from both sciences but I am not sure If I will be able to cope with all 3 sciences next year. I was thinking of taking triple then dropping one at the end of the year if I can’t cope? [I believe that your Science teacher will be in better position to advise you as he or she is the one who has taught you. However, do you want to waste your time studying a subject that you will likely be dropping after a year. I believe that the time could be better spent elsewhere.] I don’t know whether I should take biology or physics. any advice? [As above.] And For my humanities I am set on pure history and elective geography with social studies. With all the two humanities and three sciences would I be able to cope? [As above.] (I will also take Additional math because it is in all the classes with pure sciences) My art (GAP) is also quite good and I was thinking of doing it  next year although I am not too sure (It depends on what I choose for science because I don’t think I can cope with too many subjects) 

So I am not sure what subjects I should take. My strongest subject is maths and my art is quite high too. My history is also strong. They are always A1s. My geography and science are usually A2s or a low A1. I am not planning on taking literature as I do very badly in it. I also do not take higher mother tongue or normal mother tongue as I take Chinese B. So this lessens the weight I have with my subjects.{If possible, I would choose subjects that I am strong in though interest, to me, is also important as it may be the deciding factor in keeping you going.]”

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