# Secondary 3

Overview

At Secondary 3, students are taken beyond the breadth of a subject and into the depths of the syllabus. Progressing from lower secondary to upper, students learn to adapt to a more rigorous curriculum in preparation for the upcoming ‘O’ or ‘N’ level examinations.

## English

In Secondary 3, preparation for O-level officially begins. Building upon what was taught in the lower Secondary level, the Secondary 3 syllabus continues to help students hone their comprehension and critical thinking skills in the area of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. This goal is to develop one’s ability to read between the lines and think in-depth about various topics so as to construct nuanced arguments. To ensure there’s ample time for revision, students are encouraged to have a firm grasp of every examinable component so as to reduce time spent on recapping topics already covered under the Secondary 3 syllabus. While this may feel overwhelming, with consistent practice, it sets the stage for an easier time when one progresses to Secondary 4.

## Maths

Secondary 3 introduces students to Additional Mathematics (A-Maths), an elective subject that exposes them to more challenging maths concepts. In short, Elementary Mathematics (E-Maths) equips students with the fundamental knowledge and skills to solve basic mathematical problems, while Additional Mathematics allows students to develop skills necessary for understanding more complex concepts across different fields of study - Physics, Biology, Economics, and so on.

## Physics

Depending on subject combination, students at the Secondary 3 level will either take Physics as a Pure or Combined Subject. For students considering taking H2 Physics in Junior College, having taken Physics as a Pure Subject is a must. While the difference between the two is not astronomical, the distinction lies in the breadth and depth of each syllabus, as well as the exam format. For Pure Physics, the exam consists of a higher percentage of Handling information and solving problems (HISP). As for Combined Physics, students can expect a higher percentage of recall-type questions. Topics covered under the Secondary 3 syllabus include measurements, turning effect of forces, light, general wave properties, forces and dynamics, and so on. Besides introducing new concepts, the syllabus builds on the knowledge acquired in lower secondary by exploring select topics in greater depth and detail.

## Chemistry

Depending on one’s subject combination, students at the Secondary 3 level will either take Chemistry as a Pure or Combined Subject. For students considering taking H2 Chemistry in Junior College, having Chemistry as a Pure Subject is a must. While the difference between the two is not great, the distinction lies in the breadth and depth of each syllabus, as well as the exam format. For Pure Chemistry, the exam consists of a higher percentage of Handling information and solving problems (HISP). As for Combined Chemistry, students can expect a higher percentage of recall-type questions instead. In short, students taking Pure Chemistry can expect to be tested on analytical and deductive reasoning, as well as their mathematical mastery with regard to mole concept at a greater level. The Secondary 3 Chemistry syllabus includes topics such as atomic structure, chemical bonding, acids and bases, mole concept and chemical calculations, and so on. In short, besides introducing new concepts, the syllabus also provides students with the opportunity to explore select topics in greater depth and detail.

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