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3 Biggest Differences Between Primary And Secondary Science

Updated: Feb 14

Having finished their Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), you may worry whether your child can cope with the leap in depth and difficulty when transitioning from primary to secondary school. This jump in level of education includes many new aspects, such as an increased number of subjects, a higher emphasis on co-curricular activities, and picking the best subject combination for either N or O Levels.


Among the major shifts your child will encounter is the syllabi for subjects they have been studying since primary school, such as science and mathematics. The curriculum for these subjects undergoes notable alterations, including fresh concepts, deeper insights, and more advanced topics. In this article, we focus on how studying the sciences changes in secondary school, allowing you to gain valuable insights that ensure you can best prepare your child for excellence in their secondary educational journey!

1. A much more in-depth syllabus


With science separated into chemistry, physics and biology, students will be required to study each of these branches before specialising in either combined or pure sciences in upper secondary. Each branch carries its own unique syllabus with its own set of topics and examinations, making the sciences one of the subjects most likely to take up the bulk of your child’s studying time due to the sheer amount of content to learn and revise.


Schools do try to gradually ease students into secondary school sciences by slowly introducing them to foundational concepts and topics to better handle specific scientific disciplines during lower secondary, but the leap from primary to secondary school sciences remains to be seen as one of the more challenging parts of transitioning from primary to secondary education.


2. Different answering techniques


Another big difference between primary and secondary school sciences is the difference in answering techniques required to score. Secondary school science exam questions focus more on the application of knowledge, needing students to demonstrate in-depth knowledge in their answers to a greater degree than in primary school.


With this big change, guaranteeing the same high scores as your child’s primary school days in secondary school becomes a more complex task with less clear solutions. Many science revision guides offer differently structured and worded answers to similar open-ended questions, further pointing to the technical jump when it comes to answering questions in secondary school.


3. Lack of lower secondary self-study resources


Due to secondary schools largely choosing their own rate at which they introduce each discipline of science to their lower secondary students, there can be difficulties encountered trying to get high-quality self-study resources such as past year papers, answer keys, and revision guides.


This can be confusing for both you and your child, and most tuition centres resort to a standardised rate at which they introduce each of the separate sciences to their students, compromising their ability to prepare appropriately for exams. This can affect your child’s ability to qualify for the subject combinations they wish to take during the streaming year!




While the jump from primary to secondary school can be quite far, many others have made the transition successfully and comfortably! You, too, can ensure your child has a smooth secondary school experience by considering a lower secondary science tuition in Singapore that prepares them for future changes.


Suppose you are looking for suitable science enrichment classes in Singapore to prepare your child for secondary school. In that case, Heuristics Science offers a well-balanced, up-to-date, and tailored secondary school curriculum to ensure your child makes the jump successfully by focusing on deepening your child’s understanding of the foundation and core topics of secondary school science! We also maintain a team of experienced tutors with the necessary qualities to meet your child’s learning needs – contact us today for more information.

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