Pure science or combined science, Dropping to combined science

How to know if triple science is natural to me?

If you were genuinely excited, happy or delighted at the very news of Science splitting into three, i.e. into Physics, Chemistry and Biology, then triple science is for you.
If your method of learning, is to go hunt for information and you have the ability to discipline yourself for study, instead of being constantly pushed, then take triple science. On the other hand, if your the type who has to be spoon fed with the resources of learning, then do NOT take triple science. The heavier load of subject content will demand you to be optimal with your learning strategy.

Is taking Pure Science an advantage?

Indeed it is. It may not be the actual content that becomes useful in the future, but rather the learning ability that is acquired that is much wanted. What this means is that your ability to be independent in learning, searching for information on your own and coping with stress is in a way proven and presented by taking Pure Science. When I tell my students that I took the three pure sciences till A levels, they paint an image of a great battle with the papers. Such perception is further reinforced in the community with parents talking and eventually they themselves looking up at those taking pure sciences.

In the workplace, its the degree that counts. Your O’s and A’s give you an access to the Poly or Uni, but what you achieve from there will eventually decide, on a very large part, the outcome of your job application. You could have 10 A1’s, but if the university transcript is littered with D’s, F’s and retakes, then who would hire?

Taking Pure Sciences does widen the entry into tertiary courses. The effort needed and put in to get an A in pure science is indeed noted when applying for courses in Polytechnics and Universities in this part of the world.  Let’s take Medicine for an example. Many universities in Asia require Biology at the A levels. But that can’t be said for universities further away and they might enroll you with a simple combined science Biology  taken at O levels. So you see, you must sit down and draw up a matrix of O/A level subjects vs university or poly when you are contemplating the course you intend to pursue.

What if triple Science or Pure Science became difficult halfway and wish to drop to Combined Science? Under what conditions should I drop pure sciences?

You must evaluate if you are capable of getting through. It is much better to get an A1 in combined science than a C6 for two pure sciences. So if you think you can get an A with a work load of the combined science subject, then it is best to drop the pure science.
If you are most certain that the course that you are going into after your O levels, i.e. Poly or JC then Uni, does not require the subject, then you can safely drop to combined science. But you will then be limiting the choices of courses up ahead and you better not have a change of mind in the course you wish to pursue after your O levels.

How should I evaluate if I am good in Pure Science? (usually at the end of secondary 3 or middle of secondary 4)

Collect some past year papers (both Cambridge and school papers) from both secondary 3 and 4, and attempt them strictly. Which means, like an exam with timing and marking. If you are able to complete the secondary 3 components with ease, then keep the Pure Science subject. Put in extra effort to cover the secondary 4 topics and your on your way.
But if you are unable to get at least 35% of the paper, then its time to seriously think about your future career path and the required subject combinations for that path.

Mr Fairoz Ahamed
[ 84033643 ]