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The Mental Fear When it Comes to Mathematics 

Just the word ‘maths’ can evoke deep fear and dread in students. Maths is an analytical subject, underpinned by various theorems and methodical understanding that can easily faze even the most competent student, at any stage of their educational journey. This fear has a multiplier effect and will worsen over time. Sparking and sustaining interest in maths is a tall task and it is advisable to hire a private Maths tutor early to help nurture an interest in the subject. 

Sample of 2019 PSLE Paper Question

The Undivided Importance of Mathematics 

It’s time to face it! There is no escaping Maths whether in real life or in the school-going years. The Singapore education system gives maths an intentional and evident importance. According to international studies such as TIMSS and PISA, Singapore consistently ranks as one of the most math-literate countries in the world. Private tuition agencies have been undoubtedly fuelled by the country’s early emphasis on maths and science. Maths has become a fundamental subject at all stages of your child’s educational journey, with its compulsory inclusion in most overall aggregate scoring.  Thus, there is constant pressure to perform well at every stage of your child’s educational journey. 


The Ministry of Education (MOE)’s Maths Syllabus 2020 is anchored by a unique learning pedagogy which encourages problem-solving through higher order or critical thinking and the development of keen analytical skills. The Education ministry adopts a pentagonal framework, integrating 5 main components – attitudes, skills, concepts, processes and metacognition.  

Source: MOE Secondary School Mathematics Syllabus 2020 (Page 9)


Although the new framework moves away from the mere performance of mathematical procedures and functions, both parents and students are still concerned. Many students still find it difficult to thrive in the highly competitive climate and their time-scarce schedules. As such, students appreciate the presence of private maths tutors who dedicate their time and teaching experience to help them excel. 


There are many types and modes of tuition. Tuition can take place online via remote math tutoring or it can take place in tuition centres in different group sizes. The most effective form of tuition is private home tuition. By hiring a private math tutor, students will notice a huge transition in their learning curve and a huge transformation in their confidence levels which will all be reflected in their mathematics grades.


4 Major Reasons Why Parents Have Maths Tuition


Aside from the proven difficulty of maths as a subject, there are other reasons why hiring a math tutor in Singapore is advisable. These include:

  • The Singapore Education ministry emphasizes the competence in maths as the key foundation for technical and science education at the higher levels.
  • Standard and Elementary mathematics is a compulsory subject at the primary and secondary levels, respectively, and a math tutor Singapore can cultivate interest in the subject from a formative age.
  • Maths tuition relieves pressure and strain on students of understanding maths concepts by themselves. 
  • Maths being an integral subject to the computation of grades at national examinations such as PSLE and GCE ‘N’, ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels, parents and students want a competitive edge in order to have their pick and preference of institutions and courses. 


Primary School Maths Syllabus 

The Mathematics syllabus for Primary 1 to Primary 4 is the same for all students in Singapore. The 3 main content strands in primary school mathematics include (1) Numbers and Algebra, (2) Measurement and Geometry, and (3) Statistics. Some topics that fall under these content areas include: Whole Numbers, Fractions, Decimals, Percentage, Ratio, Area, Volume, Rate and Speed. 


The syllabus gradually introduces more topics and by Primary 4, it offers a clear indicator of your child’s mathematical abilities. Depending on their ability, they may continue either under Standard Mathematics or Foundation Mathematics. Maintaining this consistency at such a formative stage in every child’s life is a source of anxiety and stress for most parents. 


Source: MOE Subject-Based Banding FAQs 2019


At Primary 4, students sit for an internal school examination that acts as a barometer to gauge the student’s aptitude in Mathematics. Based on their results parents will choose between Standard Mathematics or Foundation Mathematics for the child’s Primary 5 education. The Primary 5  Standard Mathematics syllabus for builds on the development of the Primary 1 to Primary 4 syllabus. This syllabus is for students who can prove their consistency and aptitude for Mathematics. The Primary 5 Foundation Mathematics syllabus re-visits some of the important concepts and skills previously covered in the lower primary syllabus. By Primary 6, both teachers and parents will know which type of the type of Mathematics that is suited for the student and, consequently, the student sits for that paper during PSLE.


Tricky PSLE Maths questions

PSLE Mathematics questions are infamous for its testing outside of the syllabus. These infamous questions have made their rounds in news outlets and social media for tormenting students. Students are usually stumped and left feeling helpless particularly when facing difficult questions. This early struggle in Mathematics shatters their confidence and affects them in the subsequent stages of their educational journey. 




PSLE 2019 Mathematics Questions

LEFT: Students are required to figure out patterns in a set of triangles

RIGHT: Students are required to find the diameter of a circle from a set of semi-circles and measurements


Primary school maths tuition can significantly help because it provides a good foundation in mathematics for your child. A private Maths tutor can help by exposing students to a variety of questions within and outside of the syllabus, to build their competence and confidence in the subject. With private tutors, students do not have to fear PSLE Mathematics and parents can have the ease of mind knowing that they have given their children the competitive advantage. 


Secondary School Maths Syllabus

By the time students enter secondary school, they will be immediately sorted into their subject bands, usually based on the band assigned to them by their respective primary schools. These different bands prepare students for different national examinations. 


There are 5 syllabuses in the secondary mathematics curriculum, with the addition of Additional Mathematics:

  • O-Level Mathematics
  • N(A)-Level Mathematics
  • N(T)-Level Mathematics
  • O-Level Additional Mathematics
  • N(A)-Level Additional Mathematics


The aforementioned syllabus caters to the broad needs, interests and abilities of students. 


National examinations for all of the Mathematics syllabi above invariably consist of 2 papers, each having a 50% weightage. The only exception is the GCE O-Level Additional Mathematics which has a 44% and 56% weightage for paper 1 and 2, respectively. 

Source: GCE O-Level Additional Mathematics Syllabus 2020


Foreign markers look out for the proper demonstration of answering technique. These are vital in showing to markers that students display the correct understanding of concepts and deserve full marks. 


Having private Mathematics home tuition will help as it gives students ample practice and familiarise them with proper answering structures. Tutors provide alternative explanations and methods of understanding to ensure that every child will be well prepared by the time the national examinations roll around. 


Junior College Maths Syllabus

Junior College (JC) Mathematics offers a broader syllabus, expanding the initial 3 content strands in primary and secondary school to 6 – (1) Functions and Graphs, (2) Sequence and Series, (3) Vectors, (4) Complex Numbers, (5) Calculus and (6) Probability and Statistics. There are 3 levels of Mathematics – H1, H2, H3. These numeric bands increase in difficulty and are integral to the computation of scores for university admission. 


The syllabus is designed to prepare students for a range of university courses, such as mathematics, science, engineering and related courses, where a good foundation in mathematics is required. As such, if you child intends on pursuing these courses, excelling at Mathematics is absolutely imperative. Having JC Mathematics tuition develops mathematical thinking and reasoning skills that are essential for higher learning of mathematics in universities and other tertiary institutions. 



Dispelling the Myth of ‘The Math Brain’

Stanford Mathematics Education Professor Jo Boaler’s TED Talk


You have probably heard people say they are just bad at math, or perhaps you yourself feel like you are not “a math person.” In her 2016 Ted Talk at Stanford University, Professor Jo Boaler dispels commonly-held myths and associations about Maths. The new crop of brain research posits the notion that, with the right teaching and messages, everyone can be math whiz!


She notes that our brains operate differently when we believe in ourselves. Watching her talk will renew the hopes of the mathematically fearful or challenged and highlight a unique pathway to success. She investigates current teaching approaches and how the learning experience can be improved for children and adults alike!


3 Significant Benefits of Private Maths Tuition at Any Level:

As articulated by Professor Boaler, the confidence and self-affirmation is important in undertaking new and challenging tasks. These are 3 benefits explain how private tuition will significantly improve your child’s impression and grades in Mathematics: 


  1. Customised Teaching

A significant benefit from private tuition is the personalized help offered to students. In group settings, the tutor adopts a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in their teaching methodology. The fine-tuning of teaching skills is crucial when teaching math, especially because it is a challenging subject. Depending on the collective ability of the group, the student will either lag behind or be ahead of the group which is counterproductive. This will prove difficult for an individual student to have the time necessary to improve on weaker topics. 


  1. Convenience

Private maths tuition is the most convenient. You can schedule a private Maths home tuition session anytime, anywhere, in the comfort of your own home. This ensures that both the timing and location is optimal for learning and the absorption of content. Students can return home after school, have a good nap and begin an evening tuition session feeling refreshed. Compared to tuition centre classes, the convenience of private tuition also saves you money and precious time lost to commuting. Another example would be online tuition. This brings convenience and flexibility that is otherwise not possible with traditional school-based learning.


  1. Beyond the Curriculum!

As seen with the PSLE Mathematics questions, extending beyond the syllabus is definitely advantageous. With the right tuition agency, you can find all kinds of tutors – from university lecturers, PhDs, working professionals. The benefits of engaging such private tutors is the unique perspectives and experiences that establish links between the plain textbook theory to broader real-life applications.


Nanyang Academics Helps you Eliminate your Mathematical Errors!


In conclusion, it is hard to underestimate the importance placed on private math tuition. Both parents and students understand that, in order to grow, learn and become better at mathematics, time and effort is required and private Maths tutors will always be there to guide and help maintain consistency in the subject.


Nanyang Academics is the leading Math tuition agency in Singapore with private math tutors at all levels of education, including Primary School, Secondary School, A Levels, O Levels, and beyond. We have dedicated and enthusiastic Math tutors Singapore are available for home tutoring anytime and anywhere in Singapore.  


Request for a tuition assignment today!