Mathematics, Economics, Literature


This subject combination may not be the most conventional and many might even consider this to be one of the easiest to undertake. That is both true and false. As an aspiring film-maker (if I dare say so myself), I chose MEE and SL B&M because I want to pursue a dual degree in business and film overseas post-IB. (I will focus solely on the business degree aspect because it is more traditional than the latter and there’s still the possibility that I’ll go only study Business locally and film, post-grad.) So anyway, here is my rationale for selecting MEE.

HL Math: The horror tales of HL Math can truly be accounted for but despite all that, it is highly necessary to take on this subject if you’re ever looking into getting a business degree in the future. It may seem slightly odd but neither Economics nor B&M is a prerequisite for going after a business degree in Singapore Universities. HL Math is the only listed prerequisite!!! Although HL Math is not a subject requirement for some business courses overseas, if you’re still uncertain whether you’ll be studying locally or abroad and you want a business degree, HL Math is an absolute as it really will present you with many degree/job opportunities!

HL Econs: HL Econs is a prerequisite to undergo a Business course in several universities overseas, more specifically for universities in the US. That is why I took HL Econs and Math because you can never be too sure… (Better be safe than sorry, take both subjects if you’re looking into Business and still have no idea whether you’ll be studying abroad or locally. Fear not, you won’t get too mentally or emotionally scarred!)

HL Lit: I’ve always been fond of Literature and to be completely honest, there is not much of a need for heavy memorisation that is required for HL Biology, Chemistry, History, etc. It is intimidating when they flash the number of novels you’ll have to study over the course of two years but it truly is very manageable and especially so if you have an affinity towards analysing texts and remembering several quotes.

If I had the opportunity to choose my subject combination again (and we are given that second chance after mid-years), I would not do anything differently for my rationale still remains and the prerequisites are all still as such.

To sum up, if you’re really keen on taking up a Business course and you’re open to studying both abroad and locally, the safest choice would be to take HL Econs and HL Math, and to be even surer, SL B&M so your managerial skills in this field are well taken care of. This subject combination is relatively manageable and you’ll DEFINITELY be able to excel if you do your work consistently so no worries there!

Giulia Pulvirenti is currently in Year 6 studying in the class of 6.16

The Second Opinion

MEE is one of the more manageable subject combinations of the lot, I’ll admit. But if you lack passion in any of the 3, it’s gonna be a hellish ride for you; before you decide to embark on this combination, please ensure that you are able to sustain your drive for these subjects. This applies to HLs in general, but more so for Econs and English, which I’ll touch upon later.

Math HL needs no introduction; it’s a nightmarish demon spawn that every Asian kid takes because that was the path our dear MM Lee set Singaporeans on 50 years ago. I’d say this subject requires passion to excel in, but honestly sheer hard work and practice will get you through. There is no shortcut in math; just practice and you’ll be fine. Don’t be afriad of approaching your math teacher for guidance or (God forbid) extra assignments should you feel that the school’s workbook provides inadequate practice. The school’s math book is… …basic? Remember to practice past year papers and possibly even other school’s papers like UWC’s if you can get your hands on them. Trust me, they’ll be lifesavers.

Econs is another HL subject common among many students, but personally I feel to excel in this subject, you really need passion. You need to love this subject enough to wrack your mind over seemingly nonsensical theories etc. Econs require a unique mindset and ability to analyse situations in a comprehensive and logical manner. Sounds like common sense, but you’ll understand when you take the subject. Read up economic articles and some basic economic theory online and see if it suits you. Econs can be a very frustrating subject, with the effort you put in studying not commensurating with your results, so passion is something you’re gonna need to help you push past the initial frustration.

English is probably gonna be the hardest of the lot if it isn’t your main passion. Hard work will get you above average results, but to truly excel in this, you need to love it. More than that you need talent. Without it, you’re gonna have to deal with working a lot harder than your classmates naturally skilled in the English language. I took Language and Literature, which I to me seems to be the more relatable of the two? As opposed to Literature. But I haven’t taken Literature before. so I can’t really comment on that. English in general however definitely requires hard work passion, and talent for the fortunate few in order to truly excel. Read widely, practice intensely.

Nicholas Quek is from the graduating batch of 2014.

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