If you are a secondary two student in Singapore who is going to have to decide what subjects to take up when you progress on to your upper secondary education, you may be thinking if you should take up Physics as a Pure or Applied Science subject. It is fortunately not a compulsory subject so there is some leeway in that. Here are several factors that you may take into account when making the choice of picking up Physics:
Physics serve as a pre-requisite for certain majors in university
There are several majors that require O and A level Physics, such as Chemical or Environmental Engineering or Physics. Compared to its counterparts, Physics is fortunately not a requirement in a majority of the bachelor degrees that you may find in Singapore. That being said, however Physics is still an essential subject that will let students have an easier time during their university life if they decide to pursue Science, Engineering or even an Architecture degree because of the different skillsets or learning approaches that are picked up in order to do well in the subject itself at O levels.
Transferable skill sets when studying Physics
Transferable comprehension skills and hands on expertise are also acquired during the 2 years of studying Physics that may be applied to other Science subjects such as Chemistry and to some extent, mathematics as well because of certain overlapping topics and the presence of many calculation-based questions in assignments and exams.
Appreciation of Physics applications in real life
Physics allows students gain a greater appreciation for some of the simple things in life, such as gadgets like handphones to microwaves to heat up food conveniently to even switching on of lights and fans at home. Students can make better sense of some of the intricate workings of electrical appliances and realise that there is always a Physics concept behind everything that we see in life.
One of the likely factor that deter students from studying Physics is perhaps the difficulty of the subject itself. As a lot of concepts are abstract and complicated or cannot be seen by the naked eye, such as energy which does not exist as matter, students may feel daunted at the prospect of spending two years studying the subject. For students who are more inclined towards arts-based subjects, they will decide to either take Physics as an applied science or even drop it altogether.
Taking up Physics at O levels is not for everyone and students will have to really spend some time thinking about the value and benefits of taking up the subject, besides the prospect of doing well at O levels. However, if you do decide to commit yourself to 2 years of learning about the subject, focus on developing an appreciation and interest in the subject. Having good teachers and Physics tutors also go a long way to helping you get good at the subject so that you can consider Physics at A levels eventually.