# Should You Take Additional Mathematics in Secondary 3?

25 October, 2018

Congratulations! You have done reasonably well for Mathematics (E Maths) and your school is allowing you to take up Additional Mathematics (A Maths) next year. Should you take up the challenge?

Here are three things you should consider:

## Score two A’s for being good at Maths!

Here is the strongest reason why you should take up A Maths: if you have the Mathematical acumen to score well for E Maths thus far, taking one more Maths subject would mean another subject you can score an A for.

Many of the same skills you learn and use in E Maths are applicable in A Maths. For instance, a good foundation in algebra will help you do well in A Maths. Obviously, being good at indices in E Maths also means that you’d have an easier time with indices in A Maths.

Some of the concepts you learn in A Maths will also help you solve E Maths questions more effectively. Need to find out the gradient of your graph in E Maths? Differentiation, a topic in A Maths, will help you calculate an exact value so you can confirm your answer.

Given the overlap, doing well at one of the subjects often means that you will have an easier time in the other. ## An Important Equation: Effort = Results

Results correspond to effort, and this is especially true for Mathematics. The more practice you do for Mathematics, the surer you are of obtaining an A. That’s not to say that hard work won’t get you results in other subjects, but compare a Mathematics exam paper to those of subjects like Literature or English composition and you would find the Maths paper a lot more predictable.

Moreover, correct answers are objectively correct in Mathematics. 1+1=2 and no marker can disagree with that. Meanwhile, a well-argued essay on the merits of a smoking ban may get high marks with a marker with a disdain for the vice but a lower score from another who may be a bit fond of cigarettes.

In short, you can control the results of Mathematics more than many other subjects by putting in effort. A Maths gives you one more subject on top of your E Maths that you can more predictably get an A in.

## A Double-edged Sword

Before you think that it is a walk in the park to get double A’s for both A Maths and E Maths, do realise that both of the above points have a flip side. A Maths, like E Maths, require a lot of practice to master. It also requires a certain amount of Mathematical brainpower to cope with some of the questions.

If you are bad at Maths, you will have a hard time with A Maths.

If you are unwilling to put in effort to practise, you will have a hard time with A Maths.

If you are both weak in Maths and lazy, you will have a hard time with A Maths. In fact, stay far far away from the subject if you fall into this category.