JC GP Tuition – How to start your intensive revision for General Paper?

How to start your intensive revision for General Paper?

For JC students who are taking their A Level General Paper examination, they are in need of an intensive revision programme to better prepare themselves for their impending examination. In the development of the intensive revision for General Paper, they need to have the following considerations, so as to be thoroughly prepared before the examinations.

1) Material Preparation
Before commencing on the General Paper intensive revision, students need to undertake material preparation. It is crucial for students to organize their learning materials, so as to facilitate quick reference during their preparation phase. For example, students can sort their materials in separate files, such as notes, tutorial questions, essay questions and past examination papers. In addition, students need to develop concise notes and essay outlines in order to enable effective knowledge accumulation and content enrichment.

2) Scope of Study
Next, students need to create the scope of content for their study, so as to undergo adequate examination preparation in the study of General Paper. This means that students should identify and acknowledge the areas of examination in terms of the types of questions tested as well as the main concepts they need to explain. For A Level General Paper, students need to list out the content of various topics and technical knowledge for the various types of questions that can be tested during the examinations. The understanding of the areas of examination through this scope of study will aid students in knowing how much they need to prepare and how to improve their efficiency and effectiveness to prepare for the examination.

3) Consistent Practice
Students should also understand the importance of consistent practice during their intensive revision to improve their application of knowledge and assess their degree of understanding of the knowledge required. It is inadequate for students to read lecture notes and expect the acquired knowledge can be applied fluently and effectively during examinations. Contrary to conventional perceptions, students should spend more time attempting questions to enforce and integrate their conceptual understanding of various chapters and improve their technical skills to apply acquired knowledge to the context of the question.

For A Level General Paper, students need to practise writing questions of different types which have different requirements that will determine the appropriate type of essay structures. The trial practices of comprehension question will raise students’ capabilities to understand and infer the passage better and derive the answer in an orderly and effective manner.

Practice makes perfect. Students have to train their capacity to adapt and apply to the question context. Practices will expose their weaknesses and knowledge gaps, which are essential in identifying the areas of improvement. Undeniably, it is an arduous learning process, especially at the initial stages of the intensive revision. However, consistent practice will enable students to eventually surmount this obstacle and ascend to higher levels of learning before excelling in their examinations.

4) Evaluation and Correction
Besides the previous considerations, evaluation and correction are essential steps in ensuring that students are achieving progress during their intensive revision for General Paper. For evaluation, students need to examine their work to identify the errors committed and the cause of their errors. Students also need to devise solutions to avoid committing such errors in subsequent examinations. For example, if students cannot complete their essays on time, they should practise writing faster. From this evaluation and correction, students will be able to derive their personalised approach on how to handle the questions during examination.

5) Mental Resilience
Lastly, one must not ignore the value of inculcating mental resilience during the revision phase. Students are faced with high levels of stress during their study of A Level General Paper, particularly during the examinations. As the examinations can last as long as three hours, it is vital for students to imbue the tenacity within themselves by undertaking mock examination preparation or timed practices. Also, students need to be self-disciplined, meticulous and motivated in order to remain focused in the final goal of achieving sterling grades for the A Level examinations.

6) Conclusion
In sum, students must have an effective revision plan to study effectively. It requires a systematic and effective plan and students’ determination and diligence to implement the revision plan. It will be a rewarding experience for the students as the intensive revision programme will make students better learners and thinkers to excel for their final examinations.

This article is contributed by Mr. Simon Ng, founder and principal JC GP tutor of Generalpaper.com.sg, who has 20 years of teaching experience. Currently, Mr. Simon Ng provides specialized GP Tuition and Economics Tuition. Please visit www.generalpaper.com.sg/gp-notes to read more of our JC General Paper articles.

GP Tuition – ‘Young people today have never had it so good.’ Is this true of youth in your country?

GP Tuition – ‘Young people today have never had it so good.’ Is this true of youths in your country?

Every generation of youths have their own enjoyable and fun life amidst the set of problems and difficulties they face. However, with greater affluence and rapid advancement in technology, it is often perceived that youth today enjoy a very good life. In contrast to that view, Singaporean youths actually have their own set of problems and difficulties to overcome, some of which outweighs the benefits of having an affluent life.

It is indeed true that youths in Singapore lead a better life materialistically nowadays as compared to the youths of the past with affluence resulting from economic prosperity in Singapore, state-of-the-art technological equipment, connectedness due to globalization, variety of goods and services provided, high level of entertainment, greater education and career opportunities. Through these benefits, youths in Singapore enjoy a higher standard of living as much more focus are placed on them as compared to youths in the past as it is in a youth-oriented society.

However, attaining a more affluent life has a price to pay – pace of life has quickened to a frenetic pace. Acute competition exists between youths in areas such as education and careers. The paper-chased society in Singapore forces youths to put academics above anything else, which leads to youths undergoing high level of stress and resorting to rising number of cases of depression among youths. Familial and peer relationships are also strained as a result of the social pressure they would face.

People tend to see that youths in Singapore these days never had it so good especially in terms of material goods and a comfortable standard of living. However, along with this impression comes the reality that youth also suffer from adverse consequences of living in a modern society which demands much more of them as they undergo a more frenetic way of life. The higher cost of living in our modern life means that there is a need for them to attain success in their academic development to ensure that they have a promising future in term of employment.

Connectedness as a result of globalization may not be a good thing at all as youths experience information overload. Excessive information provided on various online platforms creates more confusion in the minds of the youths, increasing their stress levels as they are mentally drained. It is often reputed that the youths today are less capable to concentrate and incapable in managing social relationships.

Greater levels of entertainment may not necessarily mean that the lives of youths will be much more enjoyable. With greater provision of entertainment comes exposure to various forms of inappropriate entertainment such as scenes displaying gratuitous violence and sex. Such take-in will affect youths in the long run by causing more trouble in their lives as we observe more rising number of juvenile delinquency and more youths addicted to drugs and other vices.

As youths nowadays place their time and effort on more things that are created as a result of advancement and things that are demanded of them. They become more individualistic as the activities they partake in are usually solitary. As such, they gradually lose the attachment to their peers and family, causing them to lead a life of increased loneliness and isolation, while in the pursuit of materialistic goods where relationships and emotions become an opportunity cost.

Youths in Singapore do experience immense stress psychologically and emotionally as a result of leading a more affluent life. The claim of youths today have never had it so good is generally made by the older generation probably with an accusatory tone that young people today are spoilt, pampered, ungrateful and apathetic. This may not be the case as youths do not naturally inherit all the benefits of an affluent life and the psychological and emotion burden youths carry is too immense to be visible.

This article is contributed by Mr. Simon Ng, founder and principal JC GP tutor of Generalpaper.com.sg, who has 20 years of teaching experience. Currently, Mr. Simon Ng provides specialized GP Tuition and Economics Tuition. Please visit www.generalpaper.com.sg/gp-notes to read more of our JC General Paper articles.

GP Tuition – ‘As science advances, Man regresses.’ Do you agree?

GP Tuition – ‘As science advances, Man regresses.’ Do you agree?

Science and technology has always played an intricate role in the development of human civilization, affecting the way we live, think and behave. From the era of primitive civilization where we were able to create tools to raise food production till our present era where modern technological advancement has affected the diverse aspects of our modern society, scientific advancement has created extensive impact on our civilization. To the modernists, they recognize the contribution of science and technology in helping man to live a more convenient and comfortable way of life in our natural perilous environment, however, the traditionalists would feel that science and technology has led man to his regression when we observe that detrimental impact of our society beyond its tangible benefits. As for me, scientific advancement does not lead to men’s regression as we have made tremendous progress with the advent of sciences and if we do regress, science cannot be made the scapegoat of our regression as it is only a means for our action.

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The traditionalists and technologically-adverse group’s concern seems rational when we see how sciences and technology has undermined our civilization, even threatening its survival. From Alfred Nobel’s invention of dynamite and the development of nuclear arsenal, we have seen how man creates a wide range of powerful weapons to destroy his fellow beings for his conquest. Our barbaric behavior is made possible by sciences and this regression will be finally ceased when our proliferation of nuclear arsenal actualized into a full scale destruction of mankind in a nuclear war. At a more subtle level, we can also observe the destructive damage on mankind when we examine the extent of environment degradation as a result of technological advancement that bring about more production of by-products that lead to problem of pollution, global warming and drastic climatic changes. In recent years, we have observed ten warmest years since 1999, evidently supports the occurrence of global warming while overproduction has led to the rise of carbon monoxide to such alarming level that IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change) has consistently call for reduction in carbon emission, which is the result of excessive production brought about by technological development demanding greater use of fossil fuels.

Besides the physical threat, cultural erosion and moral degradation also occur as we develop medical application to conduct abortion, killing of our own off-springs which most animals would not do despite the presence of natural law for survival while technological applications eliminate the traditional norms which define the cultural identity in the name of efficiency brought about by technology.

But such observation is one sided and subjective as it ignores the intent of application of technology and focuses excessively on the negative aspects of the application. We cannot ignore how the use of nuclear technology will bring about clean fuel energy which will enable the world economy to sustain production capacity without compromising our environment. With a proper plan to prevent the misuse of this technology, we can prevent the destructive impact that will cease the civilization of mankind as seen from the warning of the Doomsday Clock by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from the University of Chicago.

The pro-life group cannot ignore the benefit of technology on abortion when they understand the need of this technology as birth of babies with down-syndrome and heredity diseases can be avoided to prevent difficulties to the family and suffering of the child. Technological advancement has not led to the extinction of traditional cultures as the use of internet technology has enabled traditional cultural activities to be shared and made known to those who are interested, ensuring the inheritance of cultural heritage. In Singapore, some of local enthusiasts of local cultural activities have uploaded local street shows, ‘Ge Tai’, to help to preserve and proliferate the interests of these activities. Hence, such closer and dimensional observation will prove that the regression of mankind does not occur as science advances.

In contrary to the proposition, scientific advancement has contributed to the progression of our civilization. A sense of human determinism and assertiveness is nurtured as technological and scientific advancement has imbued us with the desire to pursue for excellence, evidently seen from the proliferation of education.
ii) Proliferation of information with modern media technology has led to democratization of nations, empowering individuals to free them from authoritarian rule – women are given the power to uphold their rights, preventing gender discrimination – racial discrimination is also minimized
ii) Technological proliferation made possible through foreign investment which provide employment and thus, higher standard of living is made possible as more countries are able to raise their people out of poverty
iii) New medical treatment are discovered to alleviate the suffering of the people, promoting longevity as we gain greater control of epidemic of diseases like small pox and tuberculosis.

b) Man’s regression is not due to scientific discovery.
Of course, we cannot deny that man’s development under technological influence is ambiguous and controversial as its path is not without criticism. However, scientific advancement is conveniently identified as a scapegoat for the fallacy of our human nature and this is unjust. Science is merely a means to an end and the power of the usage of the tool lies in our hand. If man’s regression is to be accounted, the fault lies not in the advancement of science but the failures of man in putting the use of scientific advancement in the right perspective.

In sum, it is definitely not agreeable to accuse scientific advancement as the cause of our regression as we can never deny how the knowledge has led to the betterment of mankind. We have progressed with our search for the answer to understand of our natural world and apply them for the development of civilization. Of course, there are moments of fallacy that the knowledge we have gained becomes the sources of threat or the causes that leads to our regression but it is not right for us to use it as the scapegoat for our misdeeds. Our regression is seen from our lack of the intellectual and sensibility to apply the knowledge in the right way.

This article is contributed by Mr. Simon Ng, founder and principal JC GP tutor of Generalpaper.com.sg, who has 20 years of teaching experience. Currently, Mr. Simon Ng provides specialized GP Tuition and Economics Tuition. Please visit www.generalpaper.com.sg/gp-notes to read more of our JC General Paper articles.

GP Tuition – ‘Modern technology owes ecology an apology.’ Do you agree?

GP Tuition – ‘Modern technology owes ecology an apology’. Do you agree?

Advancement in technology has brought about tremendous benefits to mankind but at the same time it has also harmed the environment. The environmentalists strongly believe that the usage of modern technology has led to the degradation of the environment. However, to the technocrats and scientists, such an assertion is absurd as they feel that modern technology is the only viable mean to solve environmental crisis. In view of these two perspectives, I am inclined to believe that modern technologies do owe ecology an apology although it can help solve some of the environment problems.

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Technocrats will not share the view that modern technology owes ecology an apology as they see technology as a solution for environmental degradation rather than as a cause of environmental contamination. The usage of clean technology over fossil-fuel based technology helps to reduce the level of carbon emission which is often seen as the main culprit of global warming. Clean technology in the form of solar power, nuclear technology and hydro power are not just energy efficient but have also significantly cut down the emission of greenhouse gases from fossil-fuel based productions. It serves as a viable alternative to fossil fuel and hence does not pollute the environment.

However, it is not easy to develop alternative energy and its use is not without criticism. The high cost of financing such clean technologies makes it an unpopular choice among countries, especially the poorer nations where their priority is on economic development rather than on environmental concerns. Also, the construction of clean technology often damages the environment in the ongoing process as seen from how the building of dam which generates hydro power undermines the ecological system though it benefits the country or city that reaps the hydro-electric power. A pertinent example would be Three Gorges dam in Yangtze River. The dams have not only disrupted the ecological system in the river but have also led to the rise of flooding in low lying rural areas of China. Hence, despite benefiting a group of people with clean energy, the detrimental impacts that it brings about outweighs the positive impacts.

Standing from the view point of an environmentalist, modern technologies do owe ecology an apology simply for the few reasons mentioned below. First, modern technology promotes comfort and convenience which lead to greater consumption and production and this promotes greater usage of resources, leading to depletion and degradation of the environment. For example, the launch of the recent iPad and sold millions of units within weeks and this is a common trend seen for most Apple products. Apple products are best known for its high quality and convenience of usage. The ease of using an iPad by just using the touch of one’s fingertip makes it attractive and appealing to consumers of today. However, the production of iPad not only depletes natural resources but it is also a fossil fuel based production that contributes to the rising level of carbon emissions in today’s world. Hence, the satisfaction and comfort consumers derived from consuming more goods, made possible by modern technology come at the expense of the environment.

Though modern technology has eased accessibility, through the various mode of transport, it has worsened environmental woes. People today have a wider range of transportation to choose from and our increasing dependence on modern technology for transportation has caused us to deplete fossil fuel at a faster rate as we are unable to move away from the use of fossil fuel due to market principles and high degree of convenience. As such, the usage of the different modes of transportation emits carbon gases which are a source of global warming. Furthermore, the convenience of travelling from countries to countries made possible by modern technology has encouraged tourism. Over the year, we have seen countries developing their tourism industry at the expense of the environment. For example, many resorts are developed at tropical natural habitats which lead to a large scale of deforestation and degradation of the natural environment as we see how we contaminate the environment with rubbish and trash we dumped in these tropical resorts. Hence, tourism development would mean that the government would have to sacrifice the environment in order to achieve its aims, implying that the rise of tourism encouraged by the ease of modern transportation damages the environment.

Last but not least, modern technology is seen as a crucial tool in developing the economy which sadly to say, often comes with a price to be paid by the environment. In recent years, we have been seen the emergence of rising economies like China and India. Technological advancement accounts for their rapid development as it has allowed these countries to set up industries to produce goods to meet the world demand as seen from how China has contributed to the growth of her economy significantly. However, China is also one of the world’s leading industries in the production of carbon emission as seen from the greater increase in the coal based energy production at a rate of 2 plants being built per month in year 2009. With greater usage of modern technology to propel economic growth, the environment is at the expense of economic growth, propelled by modern technology.

In sum, it is not an accusation to assert that modern technology owes ecology an apology when we consider the detrimental effects it can create on our environment as we rely more of it for the benefits of a modern life. However, if we would to apply the modern technology to the advantage of the environment as proposed by the technocrats, such an accusation will not be justifiable.

This article is contributed by Mr. Simon Ng, founder and principal JC GP tutor of Generalpaper.com.sg, who has 20 years of teaching experience. Currently, Mr. Simon Ng provides specialized GP Tuition and Economics Tuition. Please visit www.generalpaper.com.sg/gp-notes to read more of our JC General Paper articles.