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The overarching goal of the national Mathematics curriculum is to ensure that all pupils will achieve a level of mastery of Mathematics to serve them well in life, and for those who have the interest and ability, to pursue mathematics at the highest possible level.
In Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary), in order to prepare the majority of our pupils for the GCE O-Level Examination, the school-based Mathematics curriculum is structured to enable our pupils to:
  • acquire mathematical concepts and skills for continuous learning in Mathematics and to support learning in other subjects;
  • develop thinking, reasoning, communication, application and metacognitive skills through a mathematical approach to problem-solving;
  • connect ideas within Mathematics and between Mathematics and other subjects through applications of Mathematics; and
  • build confidence and foster interest in Mathematics.

The school-based Mathematics curriculum of PLMGS (Secondary) is based on the national Mathematics Framework as seen in Diagram 1, developed by the Mathematics Unit of Curriculum Planning and Development Division (CPDD), Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore. The central focus of this framework is mathematical problem-solving, i.e. using mathematics to solve problems. This framework sets the direction for and provides guidance in the teaching, learning, and assessment of mathematics at all levels, from primary to pre-university; and also reflects the 21st Century Competencies.

Diagram 1: The Mathematics Framework, Math Unit of CPDD, MOE (Singapore)

This framework emphasises conceptual understanding, skills proficiency and mathematical processes; whilst focussing on attitudes and metacognition as well, because these five components are inter-related to one another.
The GCE O-Level Mathematics syllabus is organised along three content strands with a listing of mathematical processes that cut across the three strands as seen in Diagram 2.

Content Strand 1:
Number & Algebra
Content Strand 2:
Geometry & Measurement
Content Strand 3:
Statistics & Probability
Mathematical Processes

Diagram 2: Overview of GCE O-Level Mathematics Syllabus

In brief, the content strand ‘Number & Algebra’ is the basic building block of school Mathematics. A good understanding of numbers in terms of their meanings, properties and operations provides the foundation for the learning of Mathematics. Basic algebra concepts and skills, and algebraic thinking are essential for problem-solving and these should be developed progressively.

The topics / sub-topics organised under the content strand of ‘Number & Algebra’ are given in Table 1.

No. Topic / Sub-Topics
N1 Numbers and their Operations
N2 Ratio and Proportion
N3 Percentage
N4 Rate and Speed
N5 Algebraic Expressions and Formulae
N6 Functions and Graphs
N7 Equations and Inequalities
N8 Set Language and Notation
N9 Matrices
N10 Problems in Real-World Contexts

Table 1: Topics / Sub-Topics of Content Strand ‘Number & Algebra’

In brief, the content strand‘Geometry’ is the study of points, lines, angles, figures and their properties and relationships.  The study of geometry develops spatial visualisation and reasoning skills, which are critical in solving geometrical problems in the real world.

The content strand‘Measurement’ involves finding physical quantities such as length, mass, area, volume and time.  Units such as centimetres, kilogrammes, square metres, cubic metres and seconds are attached to numbers in order to make sense of the quantities.  Both ‘Geometry’ and ‘Measurement’ deal with shapes and figures that serve as models of real objects.

The topics / sub-topics organised under the content strand of ‘Geometry & Measurement’ are given in Table 2.

No. Topic / Sub-Topics
G1 Angles, Triangles and Polygons
G2 Congruence and Similarity
G3 Properties of Circles
G4 Pythagoras’ Theorem and Trigonometry
G5 Mensuration
G6 Coordinate Geometry
G7 Vectors in Two Dimensions
G8 Problems in Real-World Contexts

Table 2: Topics / Sub-Topics of Content Strand ‘Geometry & Measurement’

In brief, the content strand ‘Statistics’ provides the methods and tools to summarise, represent, analyse and interpret data such that useful information can be derived for decision-making and in understanding a situation.

The content strand ‘Probability’ provides the means to understand chance, randomness and uncertainty that can be seen in the everyday life. A good understanding of statistics and probability will enhance a person’s understanding of the world of data and information around them.

The topics / sub-topics organised under the content strand of ‘Statistics & Probability’ are given in Table 3.

No. Topic / Sub-Topics
S1 Data Analysis
S2 Probability

Table 3: Topics / Sub-Topics of Content Strand ‘Statistics & Probability’

In brief, the content strand ‘Mathematical Processes’ refers to the process skills involved in acquiring and applying mathematical knowledge.  Examples of the process skills are reasoning, communication and connections, applications and modelling, and thinking skills and heuristics, which are critical in mathematical problem-solving and beyond.

The topics / sub-topics organised under the content strand of ‘Mathematical Processes’ are given in Table 4.

No. Topic / Sub-Topics
MP1 Reasoning, Communication and Connections
MP2 Applications and Modelling
MP3 Thinking Skills and Heuristics

Table 4: Topics / Sub-Topics of Content Strand ‘Mathematical Processes’

Throughout the four years of secondary education in GCE O-Level Mathematics, our pupils will be provided with learning experiences and opportunities for them to:
  • enhance conceptual understanding through the use of various mathematical tools including ICT tools;
  • apply concepts and skills learnt in real-world context;
  • communicate their reasoning and connections through various mathematical tasks and activities; and
  • build confidence and foster interest in Mathematics.

By the end of the fourth year in offering GCE O-Level Mathematics, our pupils will take the national GCE O-Level Examination.  The assessment objectives of GCE O-Level Mathematics serve to test pupils’ abilities to:
  • understand and apply mathematical concepts and skills in a variety of contexts;
  • organise and analyse data and information; formulate and solve problems; including those in real-world contexts, by selecting and applying appropriate techniques of solution; interpret mathematical results; and
  • solve higher-order-thinking problems; make inferences; write mathematical explanation and arguments.

The ‘Scheme of Assessment’ for GCE O-Level Mathematics is summarised in Table 5.

Paper Description Duration Marks Weighting
1 There will be about 25 short answer questions. Candidates are required to answer all questions. 2 hours 80 50%
2 There will be 10 to 11 questions of varying marks and lengths.  Candidates are required to answer all questions. 2½ hours 100 50%
Table 5: Scheme of Assessment’ for GCE O-Level Mathematics