Secondary 4
Secondary 4 is when preparation for ‘O’ and ‘N’ level examinations gets kicked up a notch. To be eligible for Junior College or Millennia Institute, students are required to take a minimum of 1 language and 5 relevant subjects (L1R5). For those pursuing their tertiary education in Polytechnic, the English Language, 2 relevant, and 2 best subjects (ELR2B2) are required. While academic performance takes center stage, students who excel in cocurricular activities may be awarded up to a maximum of 4 bonus points, which can be used to deduct off their Olevel gross aggregate score to give them an advantage.
English
Besides the introduction of a few new topics and concepts, the Secondary 4 syllabus focuses on helping students sharpen their thinking and writing skills in preparation for the biggest milestone in their education journey yet  the GCE ‘O’ Level English Examination. As the Olevel syllabus comprises knowledge and skills attained throughout the Primary and Secondary curriculum, students can expect to be tested on their overall mastery of the English language, as well as their ability to formulate and express wellstructured arguments in written and spoken form. The Olevel exam is divided into 4 papers, with Paper One and Two focusing on testing one’s reading and writing abilities, as Paper Three and Four assess students’ listening comprehension and oral communication skills. Therefore, it’s important for students to apportion revision time based on the effort needed to address learning gaps in each of the specific areas.
Maths
The Secondary 4 Maths syllabus comprises two subjects: the compulsory Elementary Mathemathics (EMath) and the optional Additional Mathematics (AMaths) which students may choose to take on as an additional subject. Following the framework of the Secondary 3 Maths syllabus, EMaths focuses on mathematical concepts applicable to everyday life  instalments, interest, and GST through topics such as measurements and estimation. On the other hand, AMaths can be a bit more abstract. It pulls back the curtain and delves into research tools necessary for other fields of study, which include Physics, Biology, Economics, and so on.
Physics
Besides introducing several new topics and concepts, the Secondary 4 syllabus focuses on helping students sharpen their analytical skills and understanding of scientific concepts in preparation for the Olevel Physics paper. Besides an emphasis on revision, the Secondary 4 syllabus includes topics such as the current of electricity, magnetism, electromagnetism, DC circuits, sound, and so on. With a wide range of distinct topics covered over a span of 4 years, it’s important that students apportion revision time appropriately so as to address learning gaps on both foundational and advanced levels, with an emphasis on topics covered at the upper secondary level.
Chemistry
Besides introducing several new topics and concepts, the Secondary 4 syllabus focuses on helping students sharpen their analytical skills and understanding of scientific concepts in preparation for the Olevel Chemistry paper. Besides an emphasis on revision, the Secondary 4 syllabus includes topics such as metals, alkanes and alkenes, esters and isomerisms, macromolecules, introduction to organic chemistry, and so on. With a wide range of distinct topics covered over a span of 4 years, it’s important that students apportion revision time appropriately so as to address learning gaps on both foundational and advanced levels, with an emphasis on topics covered at the upper secondary level.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q1. What subjects are taught in Secondary 4?
In Singapore, Secondary 4 students typically study the following subjects for their Olevel (Ordinary Level) examination. The subjects offered at this level are as follows:

English language: This subject focuses on developing students' language skills, including reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Maths: The mathematics curriculum covers topics such as algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics.

Science: Students usually have a choice between studying Combined Science or taking separate subjects in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Mother tongue language: Students are required to study their respective Mother tongue language, which can be Chinese, Malay, or Tamil, depending on their ethnic background.

Humanities: This subject area includes subjects like History, Geography, and Social Studies. Students usually have a choice to study one or more of these subjects.

Additional Mathematics (Or AMaths): Some students may opt to take Additional Mathematics as an additional subject, which delves deeper into advanced mathematical concepts.

Elective subjects: Students have the opportunity to choose elective subjects based on their interests and career aspirations. These may include subjects like Art, Music, Design & Technology, Computer Science, or Physical Education.
It's important to note that the specific subjects and curriculum offerings may vary between different schools in Singapore. The Ministry of Education in Singapore regularly reviews and updates the curriculum to ensure its relevance and effectiveness.
Q2. What to expect in secondary 4 Maths?
In Secondary 4 Mathematics in Singapore, students can expect to encounter more advanced mathematical concepts and problemsolving techniques compared to previous levels. It is important to note that there are two main tracks for mathematics at this level: EMath (Elementary Mathematics) and AMath (Additional Mathematics).
Here's what to expect in each track:
EMath (Elementary Mathematics):

Algebra: EMath covers fundamental algebraic concepts, including expressions, equations, and inequalities. Students will learn to solve equations involving one variable and apply algebraic manipulation to simplify expressions.

Geometry: Basic geometric properties and theorems related to angles, triangles, polygons, and circles will be covered. Students will learn to solve problems involving these geometric shapes.

Trigonometry: EMath introduces basic trigonometric ratios (sine, cosine, tangent) and their applications in solving problems related to angles and triangles.

Statistics and Probability: Students will learn basic statistical measures and methods of data representation, such as mean, median, mode, and bar charts. Basic probability concepts, including calculating probabilities and interpreting data in the form of graphs, will also be covered.
AMath (Additional Mathematics):

Algebra: AMath delves deeper into algebraic concepts, including more complex equations, quadratic equations, and simultaneous equations. Students will learn to solve problems involving advanced algebraic techniques.

Geometry: AMath expands on geometry topics, including properties of circles, coordinate geometry, and transformations. Students will learn to solve problems related to angles, triangles, and circles.

Trigonometry: AMath covers advanced trigonometric concepts, including trigonometric identities, solving trigonometric equations, and applications of trigonometry in realworld scenarios.

Calculus: AMath introduces basic calculus concepts, such as differentiation and integration. These concepts provide a foundation for more advanced mathematical studies.
It's important to note that AMath is a more rigorous and advanced course, designed for students with a strong aptitude and interest in mathematics. Students who choose to take AMath will have additional topics to cover and a higher level of complexity in problemsolving.
The specific curriculum and topics covered in each track may vary between schools or educational institutions. Teachers and textbooks will provide detailed guidance on the syllabus and specific expectations for each examination.
Q3. How should I prepare for Secondary 4 physics?
To prepare for Secondary 4 physics, it's important to have a solid understanding of the following topics that you learned in Secondary 3:

Kinematics: Kinematics deals with the study of motion, including concepts such as displacement, velocity, acceleration, and time. Understand the equations that govern these quantities, such as the equations of motion, and practice applying them to various motion scenarios.

Forces: Forces are essential in explaining the interactions between objects. Learn about Newton's laws of motion, including the concepts of inertia, force, mass, and acceleration. Gain proficiency in calculating forces, understanding freebody diagrams, and analysing the equilibrium or motion of objects under the influence of forces.

Energy: Energy is a fundamental concept in physics. Familiarise yourself with different forms of energy, such as kinetic, potential, gravitational, and elastic energy. Learn about the conservation of energy and its application in solving problems related to work, power, and energy transformations.

Waves: Waves encompass a broad range of phenomena, including mechanical waves, sound waves, and electromagnetic waves. Study the properties of waves, such as wavelength, frequency, amplitude, and wave speed. Understand wave behaviour, including reflection, refraction, interference, and diffraction.

Electricity: Electricity is a vital aspect of physics, involving the study of electric circuits and the behaviour of electric currents. Learn about Ohm's Law, circuit components (e.g., resistors, capacitors, and batteries), series and parallel circuits, and electrical power calculations.

Magnetism: Magnetism explores the properties and behaviour of magnetic fields and magnets. Study magnetic forces, the interaction between magnetic fields and electric currents, electromagnetism, and the applications of magnets in everyday life.
Be sure to solve as many worksheets as you can on these topics. This will help you understand the topics that your teacher will cover in your Secondary 4 Physics class. It is important to note that while some of these topics may be introduced in Secondary 3, they are further expanded upon and deepened in Secondary 4. It is important to note that the specific curriculum and topics covered may vary between schools or educational institutions. To ensure accuracy, it is recommended to refer to your school's curriculum guidelines or consult with your Physics teacher.
Q4. How do I prepare for Secondary 4 Chemistry?
To excel in Secondary 4 Chemistry in Singapore, it is essential to focus on mastering the following key concepts and topics that were covered in the previous years. Here are specific strategies to help you achieve a thorough understanding of the subject:

Periodic table and chemical bonding: Familiarise yourself with the periodic table, including the arrangement of elements and their properties. Understand chemical bonding, including ionic, covalent, and metallic bonding. Learn about Lewis structures, molecular geometry, and intermolecular forces.

Chemical reactions: Study various types of chemical reactions, including synthesis, decomposition, displacement, and redox reactions. Learn to balance chemical equations, understand reaction stoichiometry, and apply concepts of conservation of mass and energy.

Acids, bases, and salts: Gain a comprehensive understanding of acids, bases, and their properties. Learn about pH, acidbase indicators, neutralization reactions, and the formation and properties of salts. Understand the concept of pH scale and calculations involving acidity and alkalinity.

States of matter: Explore the properties of different states of matter—solids, liquids, and gases. Understand the kinetic theory of gases, intermolecular forces, phase changes, and factors affecting gas behaviour, such as pressure, volume, and temperature.

Chemical kinetics and equilibrium: Study the rate of chemical reactions, factors affecting reaction rates, and collision theory. Learn about chemical equilibrium, Le Chatelier's principle, and factors influencing equilibrium conditions. Understand equilibrium expressions, calculations involving equilibrium constants, and the concept of dynamic equilibrium.

Organic chemistry: Explore the fundamental principles of organic chemistry, including the structure, nomenclature, and properties of organic compounds. Study functional groups, isomerism, and reaction mechanisms such as addition, substitution, and elimination reactions.

Electrochemistry: Familiarise yourself with electrochemical cells, redox reactions, and electrolysis. Learn about oxidation and reduction processes, Faraday's laws, and applications of electrochemistry in everyday life.
While some of these topics may be introduced in Secondary 3, they are further expanded upon and deepened in Secondary 4. It is important to note that the specific curriculum and topics covered may vary between schools or educational institutions. To ensure accuracy, it is recommended to refer to your school's curriculum guidelines or consult with your chemistry teacher.
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