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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Slightly Away From GP: Some Light Entertainment

Record made with a leap from The Eiffel Tower. Please click here to watch.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

GP Paper 2: AQ

Most students fear the AQ from Paper 2. Actually it is indeed rather challenging to answer the AQ well.

Perhaps can I ask you all to leave comments on why you feel that AQ is difficult? I gather from my students that it is because they have to answer and analyse the question in relation to their own personal experiences as well as critique it from all angles.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

GP Question

Q: Is The Media A Reliable Source Of Information In Terms Of Conveying The Facts And Providing An All-Round View / 360 Degrees Perspective Of Issues?  

- This question challenges the student in areas such as knowledge of newspapers, TV, radio, internet, magazines, posters, videos etc.
- How well the student knows and understands the different forms of media, its pros and cons.
- How well the student argues in the areas of how reliable and accurate the reports, news articles, news programmes/updates are in conveying the true picture of events.
- In other words, is the media a true and accurate representation of the events reported/written/published?
- Everybody is biased in the way we function, eg, if you were to choose the types of food you like at a food mall, it will certainly be different from what another person chooses, of course there may be some overlapping similarities, but overall we are all different and have different tastes and preferences. Similarly, for stories that are reported, it will depend very much on the individual reporting and the slant that he/she takes when writing or reporting an event/article.
- Also, the media, being commercial businesses in many countries, is subjected to the main dynamics of the free market economy (ie to function in a rational way that makes the most economical sense and in turn lead to increased sales and profits) and will undoubtedly want to raise its readership and revenues to a certain extent. It will try its best to report events that people like to watch, see or hear about and in ways which would sell.
- Observe/notice what is reported or published in magazines, on the TV etc, they very rarely talk about the ''other side'' of the story. If a TV news station is from a particular country, it will report news that are ''friendly'' or ''supportive'' of its country's situation or plight or cause. Eg, if Country A's citizens are being held captive in Country B, Country A's TV news network will braodcast news reports emphasizing the sorry plight of its citizens that are being held captive in Country B. Very seldom and very rarely will Country A's TV news network dwell into the sorry plight of citizens from Country B that are held captive in Country A.
- Likewise for magazines, articles published will be slanted towards what the magazine company's market research team has come up with, that is articles that would trigger interest from would be customers or new customers/subscribers or existing customers/subscribers.
- Conclusion : the media is, more often than not, biased.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Top News Over The Past Few Months

1. Volcanic Ash
2. Oil Spill
3. Greece's Economic Problems
4. Bangkok's Protests
5. Britain's New PM
6. Sinking Of South Korean Warship
7. NY's Times Square Bomb Plot
8. Google's Exit From China
9. Earthquake In Chile
10. China's Latest Violence : School Killings
11. Russian Subway Bombings In Moscow
12. Pilot Safely Lands Plane Onto Hudson River
13. Tiger Woods Scandal
14. Romania's Ex Diplomat Silviu Ionescu (Hit And Run Accident) (Singapore)
15. Opening Of The Integrated Resorts (Singapore)

General Paper Tuition : Wishing My Students All The Best This Week For Their Common Test

Here is wishing those of you taking the common test this week ''All The Best".

Remember to revise well and prepare thoroughly.

On test day, keep your mind relaxed and do not think of anything, just relax and stay cool and confident!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

GP Topic: Paper 1

Q: In The Area Of Human Procreation, To What Extent Do You Support Interference From A Medical Science Perspective?


- Briefly define what Medical Interference is?
- State your stance.
- Discuss what the present state of the world is in the past, present, and the possible trend in the future.
- Explain in detail what the advantages/disadvantages (depends on your stance) are for cloning, gene manipulation, fertility treatment, abortion, contraception, sterilization etc.
- Eg for cloning (advantage), would be in the use of human cell development for reproductive cloning (still in the research phase).
- One has to be able to know his/her stuff on the above areas in order to explain clearly and concisely and give facts to support one's stance.
- Conclusion.

Overall, not an easy topic to attempt. Anyone doing this question is brave, but remember the saying, high risk high gain. This question falls into that category. It is risky to attempt this question, but if done well, will definitely impress the marker and a high grade will follow. Moreover, most students will shy away from this topic, therefore, the markers will get to read a 'fresh' essay after reading tonnes of essays written on 'student friendly' topics such as technology, education, sports etc.

Influence of Social Media on People's Lives

There is an article in today's Straits Times Newspapers (sorry, cannot link to it online as it only allows registered users access) which talks about young adults in their 20s and 30s who are happy staying single untill the right person comes along.

It also mentions that these people have very high expectations with regard to who that Mr or Miss Right is. This is because of what is portrayed in the social media scene, eg in TV dramas or movies, where the male or female actors/actresses are characterized in such an excellent manner, that is they are good-looking, hold fine jobs, caring, fun, exciting, considerate, sensitive, have so much time on their hands for romance etc.

Chances are, the influence from these TV stars are to blame for the exceptionally high expectations of would be life partners, resulting in the surging numbers of single people around these days.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happiest Place/Places On Earth

Interesting video, please watch by clicking here. (Source: CNN). You can understand what makes a country's residents happy.

According to the video, Costa Rica, it seems, is the happiest place on earth. It does not have an army and focuses alot on the environment.

Sinking of South Korean Ship

Please read this article and watch the video by clicking here. (source:CNN)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

GP Common Test

Some of my students are taking the school's common test coming up next week.

For Paper 1:
Choose the topic areas that interest you or that you already know quite a bit about and further strengthen your knowledge by researching deeper into those areas.

Read up, take notes, remember examples, but most importantly, truly understand the issues behind what you are reading, preparing, writing. The worst possible scenario is to memorize points and examples, only to waste all of it by mis-reading or mis-interpreting the essay question.

Although essay questions that appear in paper 1 are quite similar in nature (if you look at the TYS or past JC/sch exams), they sometimes contain an added sentence, or an extra word or two, or ask for a specific point by using the word ''key'' for example.

Reading and thoroughly understanding the exam essay question is the most important thing to do during exams, NOT rushing to write whatever you know or have memorized. Next comes planning what you want to write, the structure and the points. Actual writing follows only after the above two actions have been taken.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

General Paper Tution Teachers

There are only a handful of GP Tuition Teachers who would be sincere in their approach towards their students. Of course, everyone will claim to be the best, but who should be the one deciding? I think it's the students themselves.

Everyone can go on and on about what they have to offer but students need to be comfortable with the Tutor's teaching style and be able to learn most importantly, leading to an interest in the subject and eventual improvement in grades.

GP Discussion Topic : China vs USA

Why do you think China vs USA relations are rocky at times?

Direct Points
- Taiwan Issue
- Dalai Lama Issue (Tibet)
- Power or Hegemony Issue
- Business Issues such as Google
- Human Rights Issue

Indirect Points
- North Korea Issue
- Iran Issue

The above is non-exhaustive. Please feel free to leave comments if you have other points to share.

Thank you.

Monday, May 17, 2010

GP Assistance

There are a number of ways to assist students. Long term tuition (face to face), occasional seminars (once or twice face to face sessions), online guidance, or just purchase copies of suggested answers to past exam questions.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Britain's New PM : David Cameron

Britain has a new PM, please have a read here. So the 3 leaders of The United States, Britain, and China, are President Barrack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron, and President Hu Jintao respectively.

These 3 names are important for students to remember as it can be useful to throw in examples of what these leaders have done within their own countries or around their regions or around the world while writing GP paper I essays.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

GP Tutor

Please feel free to contact me and we can start working on improving your GP grades.

Monday, May 10, 2010

GP Tuition : A Student's Comment

A student, from a JC close to the city area (cannot mention the JC's name), commented that he feels that GP is so tough that he thinks it is the most difficult subject he has ever encountered in his whole studying life.

Well, he is right to a large extent but there are tougher subjects coming up at the university level for sure, but for now, the challenge for him is to do well in GP at A levels.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

GP Tuition

Besides studying hard, one has to cultivate good study habits.

1. Set a schedule, ie when you want to study say GP. Eg, every mon and thur nite 9-11pm.

2. Keep to the schedule.

3. Focus and concentrate while you are studying and/or practising GP questions and sample exams.

4. Eat wisely and get enough rest, also have some leisure time of your own to reward yourself after studying hard. Also, do some physical exercise.

5. Stay positive.

6. Always smile and laugh wherever possible.

7. Build good relationships with family and friends.

8. Keep abreast with current world issues, perhaps just read the main headline news if you don't have the time or interest. Also, choose the news articles related to the topic areas that you are focusing on for the paper 1 exam.

9. Keep asking questions, learn from seniors. Don't be afraid to ask or appear ''silly'' by not knowing. It's ok to not know, everyone has to learn and everyone is learning, no matter how old or young he/she is.

10. If you can, enjoy what you are doing. You might think that studying GP is a pain, but you may not realise that there are so many other situations that you are so blessed not to be in (eg, being sent to a war torn country for duty, homelessness, not enough money to study, have a handicap and cannot study properly, starving etc), studying for GP isn't that bad after all. =)

Friday, May 07, 2010

GP Tip : Cultivating Good Study Habits

Most people do not achieve what they want because they do not have a consistent habit pattern for working towards their goals.

It is the same with GP. If you want to do well, there has to be a good, consistent, strict, habit where one regularly keeps up to date with the news around the world and find out the real issues behind the actions and understand the implications.

Reading up on current issues will not only strengthen your knowledge for paper 1, it will also help you grasp concepts behind many written articles which might just appear in the exams for paper 2.

Please read here on some tips for studying and doing well in exams in general.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Selfishness Cont........

Regarding the earlier post about the question on whether or not Humans are selfish creatures? Well, I would say that the 80-20 rule applies.

Approximately 8 out of 10 people are selfish while the other 2 will be selfless. Examples of selfless acts are volunteers using their precious time to help others who are in need, and people who are engaged in or are inclined towards Philanthropy (donations to increase human well-being).

CEOs Under The Spotlight

These days CEOs have to soak in tremendous stress. Few months ago, Toyota's CEO had to endure weeks of extreme stress from the public and media over the recall of several car makes and models. Now, the CEO of BP has to answer for the oil spill in Mexico.

Monday, May 03, 2010

GP Students

Some students face problems relating to not being able to understand world issues, while others fail to read the questions accurately, and some others struggle with their English.

Of course, there are some students who do not encounter any problems at all with GP.

For those students who require some help, well, you may like to consider contacting me to discuss the details.