As a secondary 2 student, you will know that it is streaming year and you will need to choose your subject combination once the year’s final results are out. However, terms like combined versus pure, triple science and double science may confuse you even before you make your choice! Before we get down to explaining how subject streaming works, let’s establish why this subject combination selection is so important.
Essentially, Sec 2 streaming is a process by which you choose the subjects you want to study in upper secondary, much like JC subject combinations. Those will also be the subjects you will take at the O Levels. For IP students, although you won’t take the O Levels, you will still need to take exams for those subjects and it will affect what subject combination you can take later in JC and for your A Levels or IB exams.
As it will affect what you study for 2 years and possibly more, subject streaming at Sec 2 is considered quite an important decision!
How subject streaming works
Sec 2 students will choose their preferred subject combination after their final results are out. Based on their results, subject availability, and preferences, schools will then allocate them into their subject streams, which also determine their classes for sec 3 and 4.
Here are some rules and requirements for the O Level subject combination that you need to know:
- The general framework for subject combination is 2 Languages + 1-2 Humanities + 2 Mathematics + 2-3 Sciences
- Most students will take about 7 to 8 subjects
- For sciences, Chemistry (pure or combined) is compulsory if you want the option of going to the science stream in JC
- English Language, Mother Tongue Language, and Math are also compulsory
- Combined humanities is compulsory but students can choose the two elective humanities (e.g. Social Studies and History, or Social Studies and Geography)
- Additional humanities subjects will have to be taken as pure humanities subject, which is more content-heavy and counts as 1 subject on its own