How to Choose Your Subject Combination
As most students already know, you are bound to face many struggles in your JC education. The first struggle you may face is choosing a subject combination. Choosing a suitable subject combination that plays to your advantage is important because you will not be able to change the subjects that you take. There were students who failed their examinations on purpose in order to retain and re-select their subject combination. However, those who did not want to retain had to force themselves to study for the subjects that they no longer liked, thus compromising their A-Level results. If you are facing trouble finding a suitable subject combination, fret not! We are here to help.
For students who already know what they want to do in the future, awesome! However, do check out your preferred university’s website to double-check if your subject combination meets the requirement. Here are the subject combinations for some of the university courses that are more popular among students:
- Medicine/ Dentistry: H2 Chemistry, H2 Biology/Physics
- Law: Any combination as long as you have GP/KI
- Business: Any combination with at least H1 Mathematics
- Pharmaceutical Sciences/ Pharmacy: H2 Chemistry, H2 Biology/Physics/Mathematics
- Computer Science: H2 Mathematics/ Further Maths/ Physics
- Public Policy and Global Affairs: Any combination as long as you have GP/KI
For students who have no idea about what they want to do in the future, think about whether you prefer the humanities or the sciences, and choose your subject combination based on that. You can also think about your secondary school subject combination. If you took Triple Science and deeply enjoyed the syllabus, you may want to choose a subject combination in the science stream. You may also want to refrain from choosing too many content-heavy subjects for the sake of your sanity. Alternatively, if you like both the humanities and the sciences, you may want to consider a hybrid subject combination where you pick two science subjects and two humanities subjects. However, do check if your school offers the particular subject combination that you are interested in. Regardless of whatever you choose, it will be highly advisable to choose H2 Chemistry as one of your subjects as most university courses (especially science courses), require H2 Chemistry. In addition, if you are still clueless about which subjects to choose, attend the taster classes if your school offers them. Pay attention during these classes and see for yourself if the content interests you.
When in doubt, you can always refer to the SEAB website to find out more information about the syllabus for the respective subjects, or search online for free notes and past year papers, and gauge for yourself if you are able to handle the workload. You can also talk to any of our friendly teachers at Learners’ Lodge and seek their advice!
H1 or H2?
This is another worry that many students face because they are unsure if they can cope with the workload of studying 4 H2s. Don’t worry, you can always take 4 H2 subjects first before dropping one of the subjects to H1 level at the end of J1 or during J2. It will be wise to study 4 H2 subjects first and use your performance in JC examinations to decide which subject to drop to H1 level if you are only keen on taking 3 H2s.
For those who are curious about H3, you will only be able to take H3 subjects at the end of J1, with your examination results taken into consideration.
The Dilemma: Interests vs Ability
The short answer to this dilemma would be to consider the subjects that you are interested in first because you are more likely to stay motivated and study the subjects that you genuinely like.
Although choosing subjects that you are interested in will keep you motivated, some students may start losing interest in the subjects that they once liked if they are constantly unable to do well. Furthermore, being able to score good grades is also important as you need high enough grades to enter university. Good grades are also even more crucial to students who are wishing to enrol in a more competitive course. That being said, being able to score for a certain subject in secondary school does not necessarily mean you will do the same in JC as the rigour of A-Level subjects is greater. Thus, it is not advisable to choose your subject combination only based on the subjects you can do well in, especially if you do not have much interest in them. If possible, try to choose the subjects that you are genuinely interested in. Even if you are unable to excel in those subjects, you will still be enjoying the learning process at the very least.