chevron icon chevron icon

GCE O-Level 2024 Syllabus

GCE 2024 O-level syllabus overview

When preparing for an important paper such as the O Level examination, it is important to understand not only the topics in the subject but also the details of the paper. Over here, we have compiled a detailed list of what a student can expect to be tested on for O Level subjects. Remember, it is never too late to start preparing! All information has been from the SEAB website.

Learn more about each O Level subject:


In this English Language examination, students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • Listen to, read, and view a wide array of literary and informational texts critically and accurately, demonstrating an understanding and appreciation of the text. 
  • Analyse different types of written and multimodal texts at basic, interpretive, and evaluative levels, including understanding how language creates an impact.
  • Find main ideas and details in various texts, including those with pictures or videos. Also, demonstrate the ability to compile and summarise information from different sources.
  • Listen to different audio texts and demonstrate your understanding in three ways:
    • Understand the basic facts.
    • Make interpretations or inferences.
    • Evaluate or judge the content, including being able to identify the main ideas and details.
  • Be able to speak your thoughts and opinions clearly and smoothly to capture the listener's attention.
  • Take part in a conversation and express your thoughts and opinions clearly.


The O Level Mathematics syllabus is intended to provide students with fundamental mathematical knowledge and skills. The content is organised into three strands:

  • Number and Algebra
  • Geometry and Measurement
  • Statistics and Probability

When preparing for a critical examination, students must understand and revise all the topics in a subject. Over here, we have compiled a list of all the topics tested in the subject and what to expect in the papers.

Section 1: Numbers and algebra

Numbers and their operations

  • Understand prime numbers and prime factorisation.
  • Find the highest common factor (HCF) and lowest common multiple (LCM), squares, cubes, square roots, and cube roots using prime factorisation.
  • Understand negative numbers, integers, rational numbers, real numbers, and their four operations.
  • Perform calculations with a calculator.
  • Represent and order numbers on the number line.
  • Use symbols <, >, ⩽, ⩾ to compare numbers.
  • Approximate and estimate numbers by rounding off to a required number of decimal places or significant figures and estimate results of computation.
  • Use standard form A × \(10^n\), where n is an integer, and 1 ⩽ A < 10.
  • Understand positive, negative, zero, and fractional indices.
  • Apply laws of indices to solve mathematical problems.

Ratio and proportion

  • Understand and apply ratios involving rational numbers.
  • Simplify ratios to their simplest form.
  • Understand map scales for both distance and area.
  • Understand and solve problems using direct and inverse proportions.


  • Convert one quantity to a percentage of another quantity.
  • Compare two quantities by percentage.
  • Understand percentages greater than 100%.
  • Calculate an increase or decrease in quantity by a given percentage.
  • Solve problems involving reverse percentages.

Rate and speed

  • Understand and apply the concepts of average rate, speed, and constant speed to problem-solving.
  • Convert units of measurement, such as km/h to m/s, using conversion factors.

Algebraic expressions and formulae

  • Use letters to represent numbers and interpret notations in algebraic expressions.
  • Evaluate algebraic expressions and formulae in given situations.
  • Translate simple real-world situations into algebraic expressions.
  • Recognise and represent patterns/relationships by finding an algebraic expression for the nth term.
  • Add and subtract linear expressions and simplify linear expressions.
  • Use brackets and common factors.
  • Know how to factorise linear expressions of the form \(ax + bx + kay + kby\).
  • Expand the product of algebraic expressions.
  • Change the subject of a formula.
  • Find the value of an unknown quantity in a given formula using appropriate techniques.
  • Use formulas such as \((a+b)^2 = a^2+2ab+b^2, (a-b)^2 = a^2-2ab+b^2\) and \(a^2-b^2 = (a+b)(a-b) \) to solve problems.
  • Factorise quadratic expressions such as \(ax^2+bx+c\) and perform multiplication and division of simple algebraic fractions.
  • Add and subtract algebraic fractions with linear or quadratic denominators.

Functions and graphs

  • Understand and apply Cartesian coordinates in two dimensions.
  • Use a graph of ordered pairs to represent the relationship between two variables.
  • Understand linear functions (\(y = ax+b\)) and quadratic functions (\(y = ax^2+bx+c\)).
  • Graph linear functions and understand the gradient of a linear graph as the ratio of vertical change to horizontal change (positive and negative gradients).
  • Graph quadratic functions and identify their properties, including positive or negative coefficient of \(x^2\), maximum and minimum points, and symmetry.
  • Sketch graphs of quadratic functions given in the form
    • \(y = (x - p)^2 + q\)
    • \( y = - (x - p)^2 + q\)
    • \(y = (x - a)(x - b)\)
    • \(y = - (x - a)(x - b)\).
  • Graph power functions of the form \(y= ax^n\), where \(n = -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3,\) and simple sums of not more than three of these.
  • Graph exponential functions \( y=ka^x\), where a is a positive integer.
  • Estimate the gradient of a curve by drawing a tangent.

Equations and inequalities

  • Solve linear equations with one variable.
  • Solve simple fractional equations that can be reduced to linear equations.
  • Solve simultaneous linear equations in two variables by substitution and elimination methods and graphical methods.
  • Solve quadratic equations in one unknown by factorisation, use of formula, completing the square for \(y = x^2+px+q\), and graphical method.
  • Solve fractional equations that can be reduced to quadratic equations.
  • Formulate equations to solve problems.
  • Solve linear inequalities in one variable, and represent the solution on the number line.

Set language and notation

  • Usage of set language.
  • Union and intersection of 2 sets.
  • Venn diagrams.


  • Display of information in the form of a matrix of any order.
  • Interpret the data in a given matrix.
  • Calculate the product of a scalar quantity and a matrix.
  • Solve problems involving the calculation of the sum and product of two matrices.

Section 2: Geometry and measurement

Angles, Triangles, and Polygons

  • Identify and understand right, acute, obtuse, and reflex angles.
  • Recognise vertically opposite angles, angles on a straight line, and angles at a point.
  • Understand angles formed by two parallel lines and a transversal: corresponding angles, alternate angles, and interior angles.
  • Explore properties of triangles, special quadrilaterals, and regular polygons (pentagon, hexagon, octagon, and decagon), including symmetry properties.
  • Categorise special quadrilaterals based on their properties.
  • Calculate the angle total of the interior and exterior angles of any convex polygon.
  • Construct simple geometrical figures from given data, including perpendicular bisectors and angle bisectors, using compasses, rulers, set squares, and protractors where appropriate.

Congruence and similarity

  • Identify congruent figures.
  • Recognise similar figures.
  • Explore properties of similar triangles and polygons.
  • Understand the enlargement and reduction of a plane figure.
  • Interpret scale drawings.
  • Examine properties and construction of perpendicular bisectors of line segments and angle bisectors.
  • Determine whether two triangles are congruent or similar.
  • Calculate the ratio of areas of similar plane figures.
  • Determine the ratio of volumes of similar solids.
  • Solve simple problems involving similarity and congruence.

Properties of circles

  • Symmetry properties of circles: 
    • Equal chords are equidistant from the centre.
    • The perpendicular bisector of a chord passes through the centre.
    • Tangents from an external point are of equal length.
    • The line joining an external point to the centre of the circle bisects the angle between the tangents.
  • Angle properties of circles: 
    • An angle in a semicircle is a right angle.
    • The angle between a tangent and the radius of a circle is a right angle.
    • The angle at the centre is twice the angle at the circumference.
    • Angles in the same segment are of equal measure.
    • Angles in opposite segments are supplementary.

Pythagoras’ theorem and trigonometry

  • Use of Pythagoras’ theorem.
  • Determining whether a triangle is right-angled given the lengths of three sides.
  • Use of trigonometric ratios (sine, cosine and tangent) of acute angles to calculate unknown sides and angles in right-angled triangles.
  • Extending sine and cosine to obtuse angles.
  • Use of the formula \(\begin{align}{1\over2}ab\sin C\end{align}\) for the area of a triangle.
  • Use of sine rule and cosine rule for any triangle.
  • Solve problems in two and three dimensions, including those involving angles of elevation and depression and bearings.


  • Calculate the area of parallelogram and trapezium.
  • Solve problems related to the perimeter and area of combined plane figures.
  • Determine the volume and surface area of a cube, cuboid, prism, cylinder, pyramid, cone, and sphere.
  • Convert \(cm^2\) and \(m^2\), as well as \(cm^3\) and \(m^3.\)
  • Solve problems related to the volume and surface area of combined solids.
  • Determine the arc length, sector area, and area of a segment of a circle.
  • Use radian measurement of angle, including conversion between radians and degrees.

Coordinate Geometry

  • Determine the gradient of a straight line by using the coordinates of two points on a line.
  • Ascertain the length of a line segment using the coordinates of its endpoints.
  • Interpret and determine the equation of a straight-line graph in the format of y=mx+c.
  • Solve geometrical problems that involve the application of coordinates.

Vectors in two dimensions

  • Use of vector notations.
  • Represent a vector as a directed line segment.
  • Perform translation by a vector.
  • Understand position vectors.
  • Calculate the magnitude of a vector.
  • Use of sum and difference of two vectors to express given vectors in terms of two coplanar vectors.
  • Multiply of a vector by a scalar.
  • Solve geometric problems involving the use of vectors.

Section 3: Statistics and probability

Data handling and analysis

  • Grasp simple concepts in collecting, classifying, and tabulating data.
  • Analyse and interpret various forms of statistical representations:
    • Tables
    • Bar graphs
    • Pictograms
    • Line graphs
    • Pie charts
    • Dot diagrams
    • Histograms with equal class intervals
    • Stem-and-leaf diagrams
    • Cumulative frequency diagrams
    • Box-and-whisker plots.
  • Understand the purposes, uses, advantages, and disadvantages of different forms of statistical representations.
  • Draw simple inferences from statistical diagrams.
  • Explain why a given statistical diagram may lead to the misinterpretation of data.
  • Understand mean, mode, and median as measures of central tendency for a set of data.
  • Recognise the purposes and use of mean, mode, and median.
  • Calculate the mean for grouped data.
  • Understand quartiles and percentiles.
  • Explore range, interquartile range, and standard deviation as measures of spread for a set of data.
  • Calculate the standard deviation for a set of data (grouped and ungrouped).
  • Use the mean and standard deviation to compare two sets of data.


  • Demonstrate an understanding of probability as a measure of likelihood. 
  • Calculate the probability of individual events (including listing all possible outcomes in a simple probability scenario to determine likelihood). 
  • Determine the probability of combined events (including using possibility diagrams and tree diagrams when applicable). 
  • Apply addition and multiplication of probabilities (for events that are mutually exclusive or independent).

A. Maths

The O-level Additional Mathematics syllabus is designed to equip students with fundamental mathematical knowledge for A-level H2 Mathematics. The content is organised into three strands:

  • Algebra,
  • Geometry and Trigonometry, and,
  • Calculus.

Section 1: Algebra

Quadratic functions

  • Find the maximum or minimum value of a quadratic function using the method of completing a square.
  • Understand the conditions for \(y=ax^2+bx+c\) to be always positive (or always negative).
  • Utilise quadratic functions as models.

Equations and inequalities

  • Conditions for a quadratic equation to have: 
    • (i) two real roots, (ii) two equal roots, (iii) no real roots.
  • Determine conditions for a given line to: 
    • (i) intersect a given curve, (ii) be tangent to a given curve, (iii) not intersect a given curve.
  • Solve simultaneous equations in two variables by substitution, with one of the equations being a linear equation. 
  • Solve quadratic inequalities, and represent the solution on the number line.


  • Perform the four operations on surds, including rationalising the denominator. 
  • Solving equations involving surds.

Polynomials and partial fractions

  • Perform multiplication and division of polynomials.
  • Apply the remainder and factor theorems, including factorising polynomials and solving cubic equations.
  • Utilise the following polynomial factorisations: 
    • \(a^3+b^3=(a+b)(a^2-ab+b^2)\)
    • \(a^3-b^3=(a-b)(a^2+ab+b^2)\).
  • Work with partial fractions with cases where the denominator is not more complicated than:
    • \((ax+b)(cx+d)\)
    • \((ax+b)(cx+d)^2\)
    • \((ax+b)(x^2+c^2)\).

Binomial expansions

  • Use of the Binomial Theorem for positive integer n.
  • Use of the notations \(\displaystyle n!\) and \(\displaystyle \binom{n}{r}\).
  • Use of the general term \(\displaystyle \binom{n}{r}a^{n-r}b^r, 0\le r \le n\) (knowledge of the greatest term and properties of the coefficients is not required).

Exponential and logarithmic functions

  • Understand exponential and logarithmic functions \(a^x\) , \(e^x\) , \(log_{a}x\), \(\ln x\) and their graphs, including:
    • laws of logarithms
    • equivalence of \(y=a^x\)and \(x=\log_{a}y\)
    • change of base of logarithms.
  • Simplify expressions and solve simple equations involving exponential and logarithmic functions.
  • Use exponential and logarithmic functions as models.

Section 2: Geometry and trigonometry

Trigonometric functions, identities, and equations

  • Understand six trigonometric functions for angles of any magnitude (in degrees or radians).
  • Determine principal values of \(\displaystyle \sin^{-1}x, \cos^{-1}x, \tan^{-1}x\).
  • Identify exact values of the trigonometric functions for special angles \((30^\circ, 45^\circ, 60^\circ)\) or \(\begin{align}\bigg(\frac{\pi}{6},\frac{\pi}{4},\frac{\pi}{3}\bigg)\end{align}\)
  • Explore amplitude, periodicity and symmetries related to sine and cosine functions. 
  • Graphs of \(\displaystyle y=a \sin(bx)+c, y=a \sin(\frac{x}{b})+c, y=a \cos(bx)+c, y=a \cos(\frac{x}{b})+c, y=a \tan(bx)\) where \(\displaystyle {a}\) is real, \(\displaystyle {b}\) is a positive integer and \(\displaystyle {c}\) is an integer.
  • Utilise the following trigonometric relationships: 
    \(\begin{align*} &\frac{\sin A}{\cos A} = \tan A, \frac{\cos A}{\sin A} = \cot A, \sin^2A+cos^2A=1 \\ \\ &\sec^2A=1+\tan^2A, \DeclareMathOperator\cosec{cosec}\cosec^2A=1+\cot^2A \end{align*}\)
  • Apply the expressions of \(\displaystyle \sin(A\pm B), \cos(A\pm B), \tan(A \pm B)\).
  • Use the formulae for \(\displaystyle \sin2A, \cos2A, \tan2A\).
  • Express \(\displaystyle a\cos\theta+b\sin\theta\) in the form \(\displaystyle R\cos(\theta\pm\alpha) \text{ or } R\sin(\theta\pm\alpha)\)
  • Simplify trigonometric expressions. 
  • Solve simple trigonometric equations in a given interval (excluding general solution). 
  • Prove simple trigonometric identities. 
  • Use trigonometric functions as models.

Coordinate geometry in two dimensions

  • Condition for two lines to be parallel or perpendicular.
  • Midpoint of a line segment. 
  • Area of a rectilinear figure. 
  • Coordinate geometry of circles in the form:
     (excluding problems involving two circles) 
  • Transformation of given relationships, including \(y=ax^n\)  and \(y=kb^x\), to linear form to determine the unknown constants from a straight-line graph.

Proofs in plane geometry

  • Understand the properties of parallel lines cut by transversal, perpendicular lines, and angle bisectors.
  • Apply geometric principles to triangles, special quadrilaterals, and circles.
  • Recognise congruent and similar triangles.
  • Utilise the Midpoint Theorem.
  • Apply the Tangent-Chord Theorem (Alternate Segment Theorem).

Section 3: Calculus

Differentiation and integration

  • Understand the derivative of \(f(x)\) as the gradient of the tangent to the graph of \(y=f(x)\) at a point. 
  • Recognise the derivative as the rate of change.
  • Use of standard notations 
    • \(\begin{align}f'(x), f''(x), \frac{dy}{dx}, \frac{d^2y}{dx^2}\bigg[=\frac{d}{dx}(\frac{dy}{dx})\bigg]\end{align}\).
  • Find derivatives of \(x^n\) , for any rational \(n\)\(\sin x, \cos x, \tan x, e^x, \ln x\), together with constant multiples, sums. and differences.
  • Calculate the derivatives of products and quotients of functions
  • Apply the Chain Rule.
  • Understand increasing and decreasing functions. 
  • Identify stationary points (maximum and minimum turning points and stationary points of inflexion). 
  • Use of the second derivative test to discriminate between maxima and minima. 
  • Apply differentiation to gradients, tangents and normals, connected rates of change and maxima and minima problems.
  • Recognise integration as the reverse of differentiation. 
  • Integrate \(X^n\)for any rational \(\displaystyle n, \sin x, \cos x, \sec^2x, e^x\) together with constant multiples, sums and differences. 
  • Integrate \((ax+b)^n\) + for any rational \(n\), \(\sin(ax+b), \cos(ax+b)\) and \(e^{ax+b}\).
  • Understand the definite integral as an area under a curve.
  • Evaluate definite integrals.
  • Find the area of a region bounded by a curve and line(s) (excluding the area of the region between 2 curves).
  • Find areas of regions below the x-axis.
  • Apply differentiation and integration to problems involving displacement, velocity, and acceleration of a particle moving in a straight line.


Section 1: Measurement

  • Physical quantities, units, and measurement
    • Physical quantities and SI units
    • Measurement
    • Scalars and vectors

Section 2: Newtonian Mechanics

  • Kinematics
    • Speed, velocity, and acceleration
    • Graphical analysis of motion
    • Free-fall
  • Dynamics
    • Types of forces
    • Mass, weight, and gravitational field
    • Newton's laws of motion
    • Effects of resistive forces of motion
  • Turning effects of forces
    • Moments
    • Equilibrium
    • Centre of gravity and stability
  • Pressure
    • Pressure
    • Density and fluid pressure
  • Energy
    • Energy stores and transfers
    • Work, power, and efficiency
    • Energy resources

Section 3: Thermal Physics

  • Kinetic particle model of matter
    • States of matter
    • Kinetic particle model
  • Thermal processes
    • Thermal equilibrium
    • Conduction
    • Convection
    • Radiation
  • Thermal properties of matter
    • Internal energy
    • Specific heat capacity
    • Melting, boiling, and evaporation
    • Specific latent heat

Section 4: Waves

  • General properties of waves
    • Describing wave motion
    • Wave properties
    • Sound
  • Electromagnetic spectrum
    • Properties of electromagnetic waves
    • Applications of electromagnetic waves
    • Effects of electromagnetic waves on cells and tissues
  • Light
    • Reflection of light
    • Refraction of light
    • Thin converging lenses

Section 5: Electricity and magnetism

  • Static electricity
    • Electric charge
    • Electric field
    • Dangers and applications of electrostatic charging
  • Current of electricity
    • Conventional current and electron flow
    • Electromotive force and potential difference
    • Resistance
  • D.C. circuits
    • Circuit diagrams
    • Series and parallel circuits
    • Action and use of circuit components
  • Practical electricity
    • Electrical working, power, and energy
    • Dangers of electricity
    • Safe use of electricity at home
  • Magnetism
    • Laws of magnetism
    • Magnetic properties of matter
    • Magnetic field
  • Electromagnetism
    • Magnetic effect of a current
    • Force on a current-carrying conductor
    • The d.c. motor
  • Electromagnetic induction
    • Principles of electromagnetic induction
    • The a.c. generator
    • The transformer

Section 6: Radioactivity

  • Radioactivity
    • The composition of the atom
    • Radioactive decay
    • Dangers and uses of radioactivity


Section 1: Matter - Structures and Properties

  • Experimental chemistry
    • Experimental design
    • Methods of purification and analysis
  • The particulate nature of matter
    • Kinetic particle theory
    • Atomic structure
  • Chemical bonding and structure
    • Ionic bonding
    • Covalent bonding
    • Metallic bonding
    • Structure and properties of materials

Section 2: Chemical reactions

  • Chemical calculations
    • Formulae and equation writing
    • The mole concept and stoichiometry
  • Acid-base chemistry
    • Acids and bases
    • Salts
    • Ammonia
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Redox chemistry
    • Oxidation and reduction
    • Electrochemistry
  • Patterns in the periodic table
    • Periodic table trends
    • Group properties
    • Transition elements
    • Reactivity series
  • Chemical energetics
  • Rate of reactions

Section 3: Chemistry in a sustainable world

  • Organic chemistry
    • Fuels and crude oil
    • Hydrocarbons
    • Alcohols, carboxylic acids, and esters
    • Polymers
  • Maintaining air quality


Section 1: Cells and the chemistry of life

  • Cell structure and organisation
    • Plant and animal cells
    • Cell specialisation
  • Movement of substances
    • Diffusion
    • Osmosis
    • Active transport
  • Biological molecules
    • Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
    • Enzymes
SECTION 2: The human body - Maintaining life
  • Nutrition in humans
    • Human digestive system
    • Physical and chemical digestion
    • Absorption and assimilation
  • Transport in humans
    • Parts and functions of the circulatory system
    • Blood
    • Heart and cardiac cycle
    • Coronary heart disease
  • Respiration in humans
    • Human gas exchange
    • Cellular respiration
  • Excretion in Humans
    • Structure and function of kidneys
    • Kidney dialysis
  • Homeostasis, co-ordination, and response in humans
    • Principles of homeostasis
    • Hormonal control
    • Nervous control
  • Infectious diseases in humans
    • Organisms affecting human health
    • Influenza and pneumococcal disease
    • Prevention and treatment of infectious diseases
SECTION 3: Living together - Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems
  • Nutrition and transport in flowering plants
    • Plant structure
    • Photosynthesis
    • Transpiration
    • Translocation
  • Organisms and their environment
    • Energy flow
    • Food chains and food webs
    • Carbon cycle and global warming
    • Effects of man on the ecosystem
    • Conservation
Section 4: Continuity of life
  • Molecular genetics
    • The structure of DNA
    • From DNA to proteins
    • Genetic engineering
  • Reproduction
    • Asexual reproduction
    • Cell division
    • Sexual reproduction in flowering plants
    • Sexual reproduction in humans
    • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Inheritance
    • The passage of genetic information from parent to offspring
    • Monohybrid crosses
    • Variation
    • Natural selection

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Where can I download past-year Secondary exam papers to prepare my child for O-Level 2024?

To help your child get ready for the O-Level examination, download our free exam papers for some extra practice!
Exam Preparation
icon collapse icon expand Latest Articles
icon collapse icon expand Latest Articles
Book a free product demo
Suitable for primary & secondary
select dropdown icon
Our Education Consultants will get in touch with you to offer your child a complimentary Strength Analysis.
Book a free product demo
Suitable for primary & secondary