Wednesday, December 29, 2004

After PMR: What next?

After PMR: What next?
by bobby and will

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Which will it be? Arts or Science?

IN a few days time, if not tomorrow, the PMR results will be out. Aren't you excited? Many will be biting their nails, but let's not do that. Let's take look to the future-next year, form 4. Are you ready? Have you decided which stream you're taking?

No? Well good cause by the end of this article you will.

As you're all very familiar, there are two major options- Science or Arts. It's very easy actually. Know what you want, and go for it. Let's take a look at both options and what they each offer.

Science Stream
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Doctors, Engineers, Astronauts. If you aspire to be like Einstien, this is the place to be. Mixing dangerous chemicals, dissecting dead frogs/rats, and adding alphabets to weird symbols are what you'd be doing for the next two years. Tuition classes are expected to increase by 200% and play time decrease by at least 30%.


One obvious reason for choosing the science stream would be a better job prospect. By that I mean flexibility. Consider this- you can take Art subjects like Business, Design, Mass Media etc. in Form 6/college/Uni should you choose to in the future. You can't do this in Arts class can you?

Another advantage being in Science stream would probably mean your classmates are probably workaholics like yourself since the standard required to enter the science stream is quite high. You want that cause you can then learn from the best.


While being in the science stream has many advantages, no one option is free from shortcomings. Being in science class will rob you of your leisure time, because you'll be taking at least 10 subjects. Subjects like Biology, Physics, and Chemistry requires much understanding, not to forget memorizing. And Add Maths would be a bitch, expect to fail in the first exam unless you practice for hours a day.

But I would consider it normal. After all, don't all subjects require some commitment and effort? Science class would just mean extra.


How do you know whether you're science material? Try the following questions-

  • Is your ambition based around science? Doctor, Psychologist etc?
  • Are you good in science and math? Cause if you're not then you'll have a hard 2 years.
  • You're analytical and prefer doing experiments rather than drawing?

If you answered 'Yes' for most of them, then you're science class material. But don't decide just yet, wait till you see the other option.

Art Stream
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You're artistic. You love painting, writing, and designing. You have a ton of sketches at home and you see yourself as the next Jimmy Choo in 10 years time. Perhaps you see yourself an entrepreneur like Tony Fernandez or Donald Trump? By 30, you'll be retired with a long list of companies to your name.

Hey, who said Art Stream students are stupid? They're normally the CEOs of companies, the accountants companies couldn't live without, the designers who craft the coolest cars and draw your favourite anime characters. It's a whole different world from the science stream.


No thick science textbooks! Class would constitute quite a lot of painting, learning about the economy and how it would affect the world, and crunching numbers in your blue ledger book.

The pressure is nowhere near the science class, although some effort is required to excel( don't every class?). History, Art, Econs should be a walk in the park for you, right?


You can't turn around once you're here. As mentioned, you can't study science subjects in college/uni should you decide so in the future. You have to be really decided, or regret for the rest of your life.

Though this may be untrue since lots of top students go to Arts stream, going to arts class may also mean mixing with the wrong crowd. Keep in mind that some students are in arts class not because they want to, but rather forced to due to poor results. But it's only till you go to college isn't it? Why sacrifice your dreams for something so trivial?


So, are you art class material? Try the following questions:

  • You aspire to be an advertising executive, businessman, or a designer/artist.
  • You're not into experiments and complicated algorithms(No use forcing yourself right?).
  • You have talent. You have a flare for writing, painting, music.

Same thing, more yeses means you're art material.

Finally, you should keep in mind the key things:

  • Do what you want. It's your life, not your friends or parents'. If you like arts, take it. Don't do science cause all your other friends are going there.
  • Both streams have equal opportunities. They're different, but that doesn't mean being in a particular one will make you more successful in the future.

I hope by now you would know the pros and cons of choosing Science or Arts for Form 4. Know what you want to do in the future before deciding. If you are not good at Science and Maths then it would be wise if you don't opt for the Science stream. If you are undecided on your future plans, choosing the Science stream would be like insurance. Normally you could always switch streams in the first month or two. Good luck.