E maths is a subject that upper secondary students are eligible to take in the course of their studies. A core subject, it must be undertaken even if a student has concurrently chosen to study Additional Mathematics (A Maths). Yet, given that it is often viewed as foundational mathematics, one may fall into the trap of assuming that the subject is substantially easier. Alternatively, people often view E maths as less rigorous and complex than its counterpart. This is a common fallacy in secondary school as students fail to observe that E Maths and A Maths teach different skills required in mathematics. In this article, we cover the challenges of E maths and emphasize on the importance of not underestimating it.
E maths focuses much less on logical sequences and long mathematical expressions in favour of more flexible problem solving. This leads to less structured set answers, which in of itself challenges students to understand a topic fully rather than to memorise steps. Each question requires students to look at it from multiple angles, finding a good starting point to solving the question. Given the relative increase in ambiguity, it is actually not uncommon to hear of students who find E Maths tougher to score in as compared to A Maths.
A component of E maths exams are also devoted to real world context problem solving. For example, students may be required to apply their knowledge in geometry to make recommendations for a house’s floor plan. As mentioned in the paragraph before, this problem has no set starting point or a formula for students to use and expand upon at the start. Instead, they are required to master up all skills that they have picked up in the subject prior to the exam in order to find incremental answers.
E Maths also has important carry-on potential towards future courses of study. Topics such as probability and data analysis form the foundation for statistics, an in-demand field of study at tertiary levels. Mastery over such topics would give students a head start when they began studying in application based mathematics subjects. Another example is that of data science, a highly sought after profession in the current working world. Data science requires a strong foundation in data gathering, interpretation and analysis before both computing and social science aspects can be brought in. As such, it can be inferred that E Maths has a large impact beyond that of mere grades in secondary school.
If you or your child is struggling with E maths in secondary school, it may be time to engage a Sec 3 e maths tuition centre. Engaging tuition services from the onset will help in keeping pace with other students and reduce the emotional toll that academics can place on an individual.