Navigating the Transition from H2 to H1 Mathematics (To Drop or Not to Drop)

Written by
Timothy Gan

Choosing the right subjects for the A-Levels is a crucial decision that can significantly impact one’s academic journey and future career prospects. Mathematics is a fundamental subject that often lies at the heart of these considerations. However, the conundrum that often arises is whether to stick with the H2 Mathematics curriculum or switch to the H1 alternative. In this article, we will explore both sides of the argument, laying out the pros and cons of making this transition.

Why One Should Consider Dropping H2 Math for H1 Mathematics:

  1. Lesser Workload: H1 Mathematics covers fewer topics and has a more streamlined curriculum compared to H2 Mathematics. This reduction can help students focus more on other H2 subjects and maintain a balanced academic workload, which could lead to improved overall performance.
  2. Simplicity and Manageability: H1 Mathematics is generally considered less demanding than H2. It places less emphasis on complex problem-solving skills, which might be beneficial for students who find the rigorous analytical thinking and deep understanding required by H2 Mathematics challenging.
  3. Course Relevance: If the student’s desired university course does not specifically require H2 Mathematics, switching to H1 Mathematics could be a strategic move. This way, the student can devote more time and energy to subjects more relevant to their future course of study.

Why One Should Think Twice Before Dropping H2 Math for H1 Mathematics:

  1. University Prerequisites: Some university courses, particularly in fields such as Engineering, Science, and Economics, require H2 Mathematics as a prerequisite. By sticking to H2 Mathematics, students keep their options open for such courses.
  2. Deeper Understanding: H2 Mathematics, with its extensive coverage and depth, equips students with a comprehensive understanding of mathematical concepts. This understanding can be highly beneficial, especially for students who plan to pursue fields that demand strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  3. Competitive Advantage: Due to the rigorous nature of H2 Mathematics, universities often regard it as a sign of a student’s ability to handle challenging content. Students with an H2 in Mathematics might therefore have a competitive advantage during university admissions.

Our general two-cents: Making the Decision

The process of deciding between H2 and H1 Mathematics involves several important factors. Here, we provide general advice based on the time left for A-Levels, university prerequisites, and individual interests.

  1. Based on the Time Left: The time remaining before A-Levels play a significant role in this decision. For a student in J1 with a year to go, there’s ample time to work on strengthening their understanding of H2 Mathematics. Many resources are available, both online and offline, that can help pull up grades with consistent practice. However, if A-Levels are just three months away and the student is still struggling significantly with H2 Mathematics, it might be wise to consider the law of diminishing returns. In this case, the students should ask themselves if the time spent trying to improve in H2 Math might be better invested in other subjects to achieve higher overall grades.
  2. Based on University Prerequisites: The choice between H2 and H1 Mathematics can also be influenced by the prerequisites of the student’s intended university course. For instance, many courses such as Medicine, Dentistry, Law, Architecture, Real Estate, Chemistry, and Life Sciences do not require H2 Mathematics. On the other hand, programs like Computer Science, Engineering, Business Analytics, and Quantitative Finance often list H2 Mathematics as a prerequisite. Therefore, understanding the requirements of potential future courses is key to making an informed decision.
  3. Based on Your Interest: Your personal affinity for Mathematics can also guide this decision. Reflecting on your experience with O-Level Additional Mathematics (A Math) could be telling. If you enjoyed solving A Math problems and did well in the subject, you might find that you can cultivate the same passion for H2 Mathematics with proper structure and guidance. However, if you struggled significantly with A Math, it might be a signal that H1 Mathematics could be a better fit.
h1 mathematics Navigating the Transition from H2 to H1 Mathematics (To Drop or Not to Drop)


In conclusion, the decision to continue with H2 Mathematics or switch to H1 should be informed by a comprehensive assessment of the time available, future academic plans, and personal interest. It’s a critical decision, but with careful consideration and informed advice, it can be a strategic step towards achieving your academic goals.

If you’re taking H2 Mathematics and need additional support, please consider using our free H2 math online resources, which provide comprehensive solutions and strategies. For a more structured and interactive learning experience, you’re also welcome to join our H2 Mathematics tuition classes, where our dedicated tutors are committed to helping students excel.

Published: 16th December 2023
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Timothy Gan

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