Mathematics is one of those mandatory subjects that everyone has to take in school, but not everyone enjoys it, nor does everyone find it exciting. However, if you are looking to get onto a math degree, you can become part of an advantageous group of people. A recent article found that studying maths can bring many benefits: those who are taking a degree in mathematics are more likely to get a job, earn more money, and may even be more intelligent! 

It is predicted that by 2030, people will spend 77% more time on average using science and math skills, so the nature of employment could change in favour of graduates who have majored in math-related fields. As graduates in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) develop higher-order skills and qualities, such as logical thinking and creativity, they will definitely reap its benefits in the long run. 

Today, we’re going to walk you through some important questions for getting onto a math degree. Do you need to be great at math to apply? Will it help if you do well in certain subjects at school? What is the best pre-university course to take for a math degree? And, which course should you choose among the many courses in mathematics? You can also look here for the experience of studying maths at a university

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Do I need to be good at math problems? 

There are those who believe that people have to be born with a talent in mathematics, or have to inherit it from their parents, in order to be good at it. Though it might be simple to just assume that someone who appears to be a great math solver was born with mathematical intelligence, it is a misconception to say that you cannot improve your maths skills or that one’s ability in maths cannot be changed. 

One study that explored adolescents’ beliefs about their intelligence in mathematics found that students, who were convinced that they could make themselves smarter by working harder, indeed led them to work harder and get higher grades! With math skills becoming progressively more important in attaining a stable job in this day and age, believing you can learn to solve math problems and become good at it is the first step you need to get onto a math degree

Now, the next step now is how you’re going to improve your mathematical skills - after all, you are looking to get onto a math degree. There are subjects you should do well in so that you can qualify for a math degree, but you need to build a strong foundation in mathematics to be ready. Superprof offers classes in math-related subjects that can greatly accelerate your mathematical skills, such as physics and mathematics classes. 

In addition to the availability of classes, the Superprof website is unique in the sense that you can connect with any private tutor. You can connect with a math tutor from the Superprof catalogue as each tutor has a ready-made profile, which allows you to see the subjects the tutors are offering, and even their teaching experience. With the help of a Superprof tutor, there is no need to hesitate when applying for a math degree

Learning maths subject
You don't need to be perfect at the start to get good at mathematics! Believing that you can learn and improve your math abilities is the first step. Source: pexels.com

What subjects does a math degree require? 

Are there proper steps you can follow to prepare for a maths degree? Even before opting for a degree in mathematics, there are subjects you need to do well in so that you can, later on, get onto a pre-university course, or Pre-U as it is preferably called in Malaysia. The performance of students in these subjects is usually assessed in either the Malaysian Certificate of Examination (SPM) examination or GCE O-Level examination. These two examinations are considered necessary for the completion of secondary education in Malaysia. 

The SPM examination is conducted by the Malaysian local examination board, whereas the O-Level is a Singapore-Cambridge examination recognised by Malaysia. Despite this difference, both SPM and O-Level are the highest forms of secondary education assessment in Malaysia, and the performance of students in these examinations are taken into consideration when they apply for any pre-university or university courses. Hence, it is crucial to perform well in this stage of education so that you can make it to the next stage, which is a Pre-U course. 

For entry into Foundation, STPM, or A-Levels, it is compulsory that students acquire a minimum of 5 credits in their SPM or O-Level, which must include English, Mathematics, and a relevant science subject (Physics, Chemistry, or Biology). On the other hand, if you would like to get a Diploma, students need to attain a minimum of 3 to 5 credits in their SPM or O-Level. Similar to the previous requirements for Foundation, STPM and A-Levels, these credits have to include English, Mathematics, and any of the three relevant science subjects. 

Is it possible to excel in English, Mathematics, and those other science subjects? Remember: the Superprof tutors are always around for cool math games, but also to help you learn how to solve complex problems in maths, science subjects, and the like. If you are in need of a physics and maths tutor who can guide you through the basics, do visit the Superprof website for the list of tutors in your area, or just learn online with your tutor if that is more convenient for you! Most tutors on Superprof also provide their first class for free to students - you can join us anytime.

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You can learn physics and maths with a Superprof tutor, who can be available to you either in person or online! Book a class with your tutor today to get your first lesson for free. Source: pexels.com

What are the Pre-U subjects I need for a degree in mathematics?

Now that you’ve made it through your English, Maths and science subjects, it’s time to consider a Pre-U course that will take you one step closer to your math degree. Fortunately, most Pre-U courses are already complete with the subjects you’ll need in order to qualify for a math degree - all you need to do is attain a minimum CGPA. For any Bachelor’s Degree in mathematics, you will need a minimum CGPA of 2.50 to 3.00 in either STPM, A-Levels, Diploma, or Foundation. 

While the common pathways to a degree in mathematics are via STPM, A-Levels, Diploma, or Foundation, you can also opt for other programmes such as the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), South Australian Matriculation (SAM) and Canadian Pre-University (CPU) programme. The UEC, for instance, is a standardised examination equivalent to those of other Pre-U programmes and students can sit for the examination after completing 6 years of secondary education. In a sense, a student sitting for the UEC bypasses the process of taking another Pre-U course. 

Additionally, you’ll have to make sure that you’ve taken a mathematics subject in your Pre-U course, or you might not be able to apply for a math degree in Malaysia. To illustrate, students who are taking STPM or A-Levels need to make full passes in two relevant subjects, which must include Mathematics. For students taking the SAM, it is required to achieve a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 70 and at least a Grade B in one Mathematics subject. For more information on a degree in mathematics, read our guide on a degree in maths in Malaysia

Course in mathematics
Most Pre-U programmes are complete with subjects in maths, but it is helpful to check the specific requirements you need from your Pre-U programme to qualify for a math degree. Source: pexels.com

Which course is best for mathematics? 

Hurray! You’ve made it to the final step - getting onto a math degree. Indeed, there is a spectrum of maths courses to choose from, and mathematics itself branches out into areas such as mathematical sciences, actuarial science, computer science and even economics. University math will guide you through learning these and much more, making maths a truly fascinating and useful field to pursue. 

Instead of referring to any website that answers math problems, you will be exposed, in-depth, to the logical, analytical and creative approaches to answering mathematics questions. To choose a maths course, it is essential to think about a specialisation that suits your interests and career goals. Students who take an Applied Mathematics degree, for instance, learn how to apply skills in mathematics, programming and communication to other areas such as business and engineering. Therefore, these students would have career options such as becoming a data analyst, financial analyst, or actuary. 

Here are some examples of undergraduate programmes found in Malaysia: 

  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) Applied Mathematics with Computing, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, University of Malaya
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Industrial Statistics, Sunway University 
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Mathematical Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Computational Mathematics, Universiti Teknologi Mara 

Still in doubt of which math degree to choose? You can read this for the top maths universities in Malaysia. Another question you can ask yourself is: what can I do with a math degree? This will give you some idea of what your current interest in maths is, as well as a potential career or job area you would like to pursue. With these answers in mind (and the help of a Superprof tutor!), you can be guided towards a mathematics course that fuels your interests and your future career

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