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O Level Maths – The Complete Guide to O Level Math in Singapore

When O Level Maths Exams are around the corner, many students and parents feel frantic, stressed, and overwhelmed by the examinations. Worries, anxiety, and panic thoughts – Have I done enough preparation for O Level Maths? Have I studied all the topics? What is the formula for this equation?, would surface and students would usually feel lost in what they should expect in the actual O Level Examination. As students start finding themselves struggling with the syllabus, most would turn to engaging O Level Maths Tuition or Maths Tuition in Singapore to aid them with their studies.

Additionally, as most would know, the GCE O-Level Examination is an annual National Examination that students in Singapore have to take before deciding their next journey after completing their Secondary School. Fret not, in this article, we will provide you with a complete guide to O Level Maths in Singapore on what to expect and how you should prepare yourself for the examination.

1. Overview to O Level Maths

It is no doubt that many students have thought about and questioned the importance of O Level Maths and why is it even necessary in their lives when in the future they might not even be doing anything related to Maths? I am sure thoughts such as; What is Maths? Why do we need Maths? Why is Maths so crucial in our lives?, has come across many of our minds. Maths, in general, refers to the “science and study of quality, structure, space, and change.” (Click here to know more about the definition of Maths). Many students dislike Maths. After all, they find it boring and difficult to understand because they do not get excited when they see numbers and formulas. However, Maths isn’t all about calculating numbers. From a different perspective, Maths helps us develop our analytical skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to reason. 

The idea of Maths is generally loved or hated by students. Students either love Maths or hate them; there is no in-between. However, Maths is undoubtedly an important subject in the O Level Examination and plays a massive role in the overall aggregate results. There are two kinds of O Level Maths; Elementary Maths and Additional Maths. Regardless of the Maths that the students take, students can apply the guide in this article to either one.

O Level Maths is all about the understanding of the topics and their concepts instead of memorisation. Understanding the concepts is paramount and plays a vital role in guiding students to good grades. When it comes to Maths, the answers are always constant and unchanging. As long as the students can produce the answers with the correct working, it is definite that they will get the marks they deserve. Maths is all about having consistency and hard work. If students display constant practice, they will improve and eventually do well in the O Level Maths Examination. Here at MindFlex, we have over 20,000 experienced O Level Maths Tutors who will be able to guide and prepare you or your child in the O Level Maths Examination. 

2. Objectives of O Level Maths

According to the SEAB Syllabus, the purpose of Elementary and Additional Maths is to ensure that the students can:

  1. Acquire mathematical concepts and skills
  2. Develop thinking, reasoning, and metacognitive skills
  3. Connect ideas within Maths and between Maths through the application of Maths
  4. Appreciate the abstract nature and power of Maths

The key objectives are as follows:

Elementary Maths (E Maths)

  1. Understand and apply mathematical concepts and skills in different contexts
  2. Organise and analyse data and information by using the appropriate techniques of solutions
  3. Solve higher-order thinking problems by making inferences, writing mathematical explanation and arguments

Additional Maths (A Maths)

  1. Understand and apply mathematical concepts and skills in different contexts
  2. Organise and analyse data and information by using the appropriate techniques of solutions
  3. Solve higher-order thinking problems by making inferences, writing mathematical explanation and arguments and proof.

More information on O Level Additional Maths and Elementary Maths can be found here.

3. O Level Maths Exam Format

In O Level Maths, there is a total of 2 papers to be completed, namely Paper 1 and Paper 2. 

O Level Maths Infographic

Here’s a summary of what to expect in your O Level Maths Examination

3.1. Elementary Maths  (E Maths)

Paper 1 (2Hrs, 80 marks, 50% weightage)

There will be about 25 short answer questions. Candidates are required to answer all questions. 

Paper 2 (2Hrs 30 Min, 100 marks, 50% weightage)

There will be 10 to 11 questions of varying marks and lengths. The last question in this paper will focus specifically on applying mathematics to a real-world scenario. Candidates are required to answer all questions. 

3.2. Additional Maths (A Maths)

Paper 1 (2Hrs, 80 marks, 44% Weightage)

There will be 11–13 questions of varying marks and lengths. Candidates are required to answer ALL questions. 

Paper 2 (2Hr 30mins, 100 marks, 56% Weightage)

There will be 9–11 questions of varying marks and lengths. Candidates are required to answer ALL questions.

3.3. Topics Tested for E/A Maths

Elementary Maths

Additional Maths

Numbers and their operations

Equations and inequalities

Ratio and proportion

Indices and surds


Polynomials and Partial Fractions

Rate and speed

Binomial expansions

Algebraic expressions and formulae

Power, Exponential, Logarithmic, and Modulus functions

Functions and graphs

Trigonometric functions, identities and equations

Equations and inequalities

Coordinate geometry in two dimensions

Set language and notation

Proofs in plane geometry


Differentiation and integration

Angles, triangles and polygons


Congruence and similarity


Properties of circles


Pythagoras’ theorem and trigonometry




Coordinate geometry


Vectors in two dimensions


Problems in real-lworld contexts


Data analysis




3.4. Challenges Faced in O Level Maths 

It is not a surprise to say that O Level Maths, regardless E Maths or A Maths, is indeed one of the most challenging subjects for O Level students. Reason being, in O Level Maths, there is a good deal of topics, concepts, and formulas (especially for O Level Additional Maths) that students have to study and understand before they can take the examination. With the increasing number of topics that the students have to learn, it can be stressful and overwhelming for their mind if they do not pace themselves and adequately prepare for the actual examination. O Level Maths, in general, seems challenging and complex to score mainly because it takes a lot of time, energy, and practice for the students to get a good grasp of the mathematical concepts. One reason students struggle during the examination is that they lack the basic foundation in either E Maths or A Maths. In class, students who are weak in Maths tend to fall behind because they cannot grasp the previous concepts that were taught as the teacher moves on to the next topic. Having a weak foundation on the basic fundamental concepts for both E Maths or A Maths causes students to get lost and cannot correctly answer any of the O Level Examination Paper questions.  

3.5. How to score well for O Level A/E Maths

As mentioned previously, the key to doing well in O Level Maths, both E Maths and A Maths, is all about hard work, consistency, and constant practice. To score well in , the one important rule is to have a clear understanding of the concepts of the Maths topics and not depending on your memorisation skills. Ask yourself, if you are unable to understand the concepts or what you are learning in class, how can you understand the mathematical questions and what they are looking for in your answers? Memorisation does not help students foster a deeper understanding of Mathematical concepts. Understanding the maths concepts, formulates, and types of questions is paramount to scoring well in the O Level Maths examination. This allows students to know which mathematical formula or methods they should apply to tackle the Maths questions. As the topics progress, the difficulty level in each topic will no doubt increase as well. As such, always make sure that you have a strong foundation from the very start of the first topic so that when you progress to the next one, you can have a stronger and easier grasp on the fundamentals of the advanced Maths concepts. It may be a challenging journey, but do not give up! 

4. O Level Maths Tips & Resources

Maths is one of the subjects that is essential in Singapore and many students have usually have a challenging and frustrating time preparing for the O Level Maths Exam. However, that does not always have to be the case. In this article, we have compiled useful tips and resources that would benefit you in your O Level Maths Exam preparation and might also make your life a little bit easier!

4.1 O Level Maths Tips

1. Make a revision plan

Having a goal without a plan is just a wish. If you intend to score well for your O Level Maths Exam, planning is crucial to helping you achieve that. Creating a revision plan and sticking to it helps you build discipline and achieve your study goals. Because O Level Maths has an ever-expanding list of topics and content, it is advised for students to break up Maths into small and manageable pieces so that it is easier to revise them. This makes the revision planning for Maths much more effective. For example, students can break them up by topics, where each week they will focus their revision on two topics by making notes, doing practice questions, etc. Students can also schedule a fixed time every day or week that they will use to review and revise their work which helps them to stay organised. If you are looking to have an A1 in your O Level Maths Examination, what are you waiting for? Start planning now and get started on your revision!

2. See help when you are in doubt!

Many students tend to shy away from asking questions when they are in doubt which is a no-no… O Level Maths requires the students to have a solid fundamental math concept, and by not asking questions when you are in doubt, you are just setting yourself up from achieving a good grade. One important thing to note is NEVER to hesitate to ask questions or clarify whenever you realise that you do not understand the questions or topics taught. Seek help from your friends, family members, teachers, tutors (Click here to find out more about O Level Maths Tutors), or anyone that you know can provide the help you need for your learning and revision.  

3. Never cram your studies 

A bad habit that students tend to inculcate in their learning style is to study last minute for a test or an exam. If you do not know, cramming is one of the worst possible ways to prepare for an examination, especially for the O Levels, because it can create unnecessary stress and panic, affecting your performance level. When students cram their studies, they tend to trade their sleep for more study time which will negatively impact their concentration level throughout the day. Some students might argue that cramming helps them remember better because the information is still fresh in their mind. However, that is certainly not the case at all. By cramming your studies reduces the effectiveness of long-term memory and the ability to recap what you have learned. 

As such, our O Level Maths Tutors strongly advise students to start their preparation for the  exam in advance and space out their revision plan during the period. This ensures that students have sufficient time to learn and master each topic with an equal amount of time reserved for their brain to rest before moving on to the next topic. This would help their brain to have proper rest and retain the information in their mind longer. Click here to know why cramming is a bad idea.

4. Practice like never before 

Practice, Practice, and Practice, till you get it right! To ensure that you are 101% ready for the O Level Maths Exam, dedicate a portion of your time daily or weekly to practice on either selected Maths questions or O Level Maths Exam Papers. This helps increase your exposure to any potential questions that might reappear in the actual examination. Besides, by doing more practice papers, you will somehow spot a trend and find out the type of questions that would appear regularly on the exam papers. With constant practice, you will know how much you understand the maths concepts and provide you a gauge on how ready you are for the actual examination. In addition, you will also know which areas or topics you are good at and which are the ones you are weak in so that you can spend more time and attention on them.  

4.2. O Level Maths Resources

Here, MindFlex has compiled the top 5 resources for students in their O Level Maths preparation.

1. Elementary Maths (E Maths) Ten-Year Series 

E Maths TYS is one of the go-to Maths material that we would recommend students to use. It includes a compilation of the previous O Level E Maths exam papers. It is useful for students to practice through the TYS so that they can gauge their readiness for the actual examination.

O Level Maths TYS

O Level Elementary Maths (E Maths) TYS

2. Additional Maths (A Maths) Ten-Year Series

Similarly, if students would like to prepare themselves fully for the O Level A Maths exam, the best way to do so would be to purchase an A Maths TYS and complete all the questions. This way, students would know the pattern and trend of the O Level A Maths exam papers which might give them a heads up on what to expect in the O Level.

O Level Maths TYS

O Level Maths Additional Maths (A Maths) TYS

3. FREE O Level Maths Papers

Getting yourself O Level materials can sometimes be a bit pricey… However, not to worry, at MindFlex, we have provided you a link to a list of free O Level Maths Exam Papers that you can download and practice anytime!

Download the O Level Maths papers here.

4. O Level Maths Tuition

The most common approach that students take to prepare their O Level Maths Exam is to take Maths lessons in tuition centres. Students who have missed out any of their Maths classes in school or feel that they are lagging behind in class should get themselves additional help. An experienced tutor is required in such situations so that areas that the students are weak in can be focused and improved on. Get the help you need before it is too late!

5. MindFlex O Level Maths Home Tutors

If you or your child require a more personalised teaching program, why not try out MindFlex Home Tutoring? In MindFlex, we have over 20,000 O Level Maths Tutors who provides students with individualised lessons that suits their learning needs and speeds. With lesser distractions compared to a tuition centre, students would be able focus well and also attain their tutor’s fullest attention. 

5. Conclusion

When O Level Maths Examination is around the corner, it is frequent that students would start to feel panicky, and parents will begin to feel the stress for their child’s preparation. We understand that and would like to provide your child with the support they need during their journey to prepare for their O Level Examination. Over at MindFlex, we provide O Level Math Tutors experienced in preparing students for the O Level Examination where they can receive personalised attention and have more productive learning. This would allow the students to have a stronger foundation on the Maths concepts and feel more confident when sitting for the actual examination. 

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