PSLE Math

 

The recent 2021 PSLE Math paper has done it again! Every year, students and parents take to the internet to consult one another on how to solve a particular math question. This year is no exception.

 

Question involved: (source: Mothership and CNA)

 

Question from my whatspp:

 

*Apparently, there’s different versions of the question. A reader alerted us.

 

I admit. I tried to used algebra to solve it. It didn’t work.

I wanted to text the person who shared the question with me that there must be some other information or that the question is incomplete. Otherwise, how can i not solve it?

My second attempt at the question taught me something. Sometimes, it the user that complicates things. The Singapore Math Model uses Bar Modeling as a pictorial method to solve word problems.

 

Solution based on my whatsapp message:

Please take note that diagram is not drawn to the correct scale. (It doesn’t need to)

And that both Helen and Ivan have the same number of coins.

From the above bar model, we can deduce that it does not matter how many coins do each Helen or Ivan has nor does the question ask the student to solve for the total number of coins.

What we should take note of is that as Ivan has 40 more 20 cent coins than Helen, it would mean that Helen would have 40 more 50 cent coins than Ivan. (Only 2 type of coins involved here, 20 cent and 50 cent)

From here, we know that having more 50 cent coins would mean Helen has more money and by $12 (Difference of 50 cent and 20 cent X Difference of 40 coins)

Since Helen has more 50 cent coins, Ivan’s coins would weight lesser than Helen’s. And what’s the difference? (2.7 g X Difference of 40 coins) = 108g difference. 

Therefore, mass of Ivan’s coins = 1.134kg – 108g = 1.026kg.

 

My math tutor used to tell me that it’s alright when I cannot mange to solve certain questions in the paper. I was quite puzzled by what he said. Now, I seem to realize what he meant. He was saying that as his assumption was that I was able to complete the math papers with above 75% grades on a consistent basis. And that if there were any questions that I could not solve, it still would not amount to my grade being less than A1. 

However, it has always been my goal to get 100% for my math papers. In reality, when you aim for 100, you may fall short a little (careless mistakes, silly errors, etc). But chances are that you would still get the highest possible grade of A1 or AL1. 

So I ask myself: “What would my overall math grade be, if I failed to answer Helen’s and Ivan’s coins question”?

 

To better prepare for the challenges of PSLE Math, we provide Online Math Tuition (4 x 1.5 hours a month). All lessons are conducted online in small groups. Contact us today for more details!

 

Click here to register.

Who should sign up?

Primary 5 and Primary 6 PSLE taking students who are keen to ace their Math papersducation Programme (English, Maths and General Ability). Whatsapp us for more details. 

 

 

THE GIFTED EXAMINATION PROGRAMME (GEP) Sample Test Papers is available for download for all members of The Learning Space. Please sign up here and indicate your interest in getting a sample question for the GEP Sample Test Paper (English).

We provide GEP preparation class online (3 Days) either group or individual 1 on 1. Our GEP Preparation Programme will give your children the critical insights and familiarise your child with question types commonly seen during the GEP round 1 Screening Exercise. Run twice each year, this highly sought after popular programme is conducted by our team of specialist teachers and provide practical strategies and techniques to excel in the MOE’s highly competitive 2-stage selection exercise.

What is the GEP Programme?

GEP Screening Exercise is held annually for all Primary 3 students in Singapore.

There are two stages:

Stage 1: Screening

Stage 2: Selection

At the Learning Space, we provide GEP Preparatory Tuition for students who are keen to have a head start. Students can choose a small group class or engage a 1 to 1 GEP Prep Teacher to guide them in this exciting endeavour. Lessons are available online or in-person and conducted by our team of highly experienced GEP Teachers. 

How can you prepare your child for the GEP Identification Exercise?

Is a gifted child a product of nature or nurture? Since time immemorial, this has been a highly controversial subject. Evidence from many recent source points to the superior character of most of the homes or families as a strong contributing factor to the high standing of these boys and girls whose I.Qs are 130 or higher. According to the University of Chicago Press Journals, other than genetics, nurture is an important consideration and there has been a consideration of methods of training gifted children. 

To help parents better prepare for the challenges of the GEP Prep test, we provide a 16 hours of intensive preparation (6 lessons of 3 hours each) to tackle the commonly tested components of the GEP Screening Exercise. All lessons are conducted online in small groups. Contact us today for more details!

GEP Boot Camp

Click here to register.

Who should sign up?

Primary 2 and Primary 3 students who are keen to gain exposure to sample questions of the Gifted Education Programme (English, Maths and General Ability). Whatsapp us at 9364 6977 for more details. 

 

 

Singapore Secondary School Cut-off Points 2021 

 

 

In a blink of an eye, soon it will be time for this year’s Primary Six students to go for their PSLE exams in September to October 2021. Click here to download the latest PSLE schedule 2021 from MOE.  In view of the recent changes to the PSLE scoring system to AL 1 to AL8, it is critical that students and parents examine closely which secondary schools they would like to go.

Many questions come to mind, “How to choose a secondary school that suits my children? What are the cut off points? What are the academic programmes to consider? Does the school offer DSA admission? What are the niche programmes offered by the school? Any affiliations to Junior Colleges?” The list of questions that parents ponder on goes on and on endlessly. 

Our PSLE series of articles will give you key insights such as providing a list of the latest secondary school cut-off points so that you can guide your child to make his/her plans. 

PSLE Scoring System 

Four important things you MUST know when it comes to choosing a suitable secondary school

1) Watch out for Affiliation Bonus  

Schools that are affiliated with one another offer a lower cut-off point to students from affiliated Primary Schools. These schools with exception of Nanyang High and Hwa Chong Institution, are typically missionary schools like SJI Junior, CHIJ Kellock Convent, CHIJ Katong, MGS, and ACS et cetera. 

2) Choosing a school with the ‘right’ school culture. What is a SAP school? 

Special Assistance Plan (SAP) known in Chinese as 新加玻特选中学 / 特选学校, caters to students who excel in both their Mother Tongue and the English language. At the moment, the SAP schools only cater to the Mandarin mother tongue language.

SAP schools tend to place a higher priority on Chinese bi-cultural education and most offer special programmes like Bicultural Studies and tend to attract more students from China. Historically, the SAP schools normally attract the Top 10% – 20% of each PSLE cohort.

This is especially relevant for students who took Higher Chinese at PSLE,

According to MOE, Students who obtained Distinction/Merit/Pass in HCL and a PSLE Score of 14 or better (i.e. PSLE Score ≤ 14) at PSLE will be eligible for posting advantage to SAP schools. However, under the new scoring system, students with better PSLE scores will be posted first to SAP schools, event if they DID NOT take HCL. In the scenario where students have the same PSLE score, those with better HCL grades will be posted to SAP schools first. 

 

There are a total of 26 SAP schools (both primary and secondary) in Singapore. Secondary SAP schools include highly established school Nan Chiau High, Chung Cheng (Main), Maris Stella High School, Anglican High School, CHIJ Saint Nicholas’ Girls, Nan Hua High School.   

 

3) Consider the IB Programme 

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme is another option for your child to consider. Embarking on the programme will eventually lead students to IBDP which is the equivalent of GCE A’levels. Most of the international schools in Singapore usually adopt the iGCSE and IB education programme. Students who choose the IB Programme will have the opportunity to enjoy a more holistic programme offering. Local schools like The Singapore Sports School, SOTA, MGS, SJI, ACS offers students IB programme. The Learning Space is a pioneer in IB and iGCSE tuition, our team of IB tutors are fully equipped and highly experienced in helping students achieve their ideal scores for the IB programme. It is important tot note that the IB curriculum places emphasis on the research processes of the students, as well as on their inquiry and problem-solving skills. Students will also have to work on programmes like the theory of knowledge essay and the individual extended essay, which are completed by students over a specified period of time under teacher supervision. 

You can find out more about IB tuition and contact our IB tutors here

4) What is an IP Programme? 

Integrated Programme (IP) is a programme where the students do not take GCE O levels instead they will embark on a six-years education programme from secondary school to junior college, culminating with the GCE A-level exams. Therefore the programme is also known as the “choo-train”, where students who get into this programme will be automatically secured a spot in the respective JCs, without having to go through another examination. 

The list of IP schools in Singapore are Dunman High, River Valley High, MGS, Nanyang, Hwa Chong Institution, Raffles Girls School, Raffles Institution, Catholic High, Cedar Girls, National Junior College, Temasek Junior College and more.

INSIDERS’ TIPS: Advice for Parents 

Former HOD of Language Arts from a top IP school, Ms Melanie Chan shares that IP programme (at Year One and Two) emphasises more on the holistic development of students who exhibited higher academic competence. Instead of “chasing the curriculum” students are given the opportunity to explore in depth and alternative assessments. For instance, IP students in Raffles Girls School have the opportunity to learn how to write poems and biography. They learn how to create animations and get fully hands-on Applied Science concepts. IP schools also tend to attract former GEP gifted students because of their academic rigour. However, it is important for parents to note that IP schools can sometimes be regarded as an epitome of the pressure cooker system because the curriculum for IP school can get progressively demanding at the Upper Secondary Level as teachers start to prepare students for A’levels. Students who are self-directed learners will definitely thrive in an IP school environment. Like the IB students, IP students are also expected to take English Literature as part of their Language Arts programmes. Students who need tuition and guidance for IP Language Arts can contact our team of MOE tutors. 

Cut-off points for Secondary School in 2021 

 See below for the affiliated points for the school. 

School   IP/IB SAP school Express Normal Academic Normal Technical  
Hwa Chong Institution Boys IP 4-7  
Raffles Girls’ School Girls IP   4-6  
Methodist Girls’ School Girls IP   4-6  
Nanyang Girls’ School Girls IP 4-8 /4-7  
Raffles Institution Boys IP   4-6  
Dunman High School Co-ed IP 4-8  
National Junior College Co-ed IP   5-7  
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School Girls IP 4-7  
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Boys IP   4-7  
Catholic High School Boys IP 5-8  
Methodist Girls’ School Girls   6-8 /7-17  
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School Girls IP   4-8  
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School Girls 5-8/5-14  
River Valley High School Co-ed IP 4-9  
Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Girls IP   4-8  
Singapore Chinese Girls’ School Girls   5-9 /8-17  
Victoria School Boys IP   5-8  
Catholic High School Boys 6-9/6-12  
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) Boys   6-9/7-13  
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School Girls   4-9  
Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School Girls   8-11 /4-20 21-23 /21-25 25-28 /26-28  
St Joseph’s Institution Boys IP   4-8  
Temasek Junior College Co-ed IP   4-9  
Anderson Secondary School Co-ed   4-10 21-24 25-28  
CHIJ Toa Payoh Girls   6-10/7-20 21-24/21-25 25-30/27  
Victoria School Boys   6-9  
Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) Boys   6-11/7-22 21-21/21-24 25-26/25-28  
Bukit Panjang Government High School Co-ed   6-11 21-22 25-26  
Nan Hua High School Co-ed 6-11  
St Joseph’s Institution Boys   5-10 /8-12  
Nan Chiau High School Co-ed 4-11  
Chung Cheng High School (Main) Co-ed 6-11  
Crescent Girls’ School Girls   6-11  
Fairfield Methodist School Co-ed   8-11 /8-20 21/21-24 25-27 /25-28  
St Andrew’s Secondary School Boys   7-10 /7-22 21-23 /21-25 25-26 /25-29  
St Margaret’s Secondary Girls   9-11 /9-20 21-22 /22-25 25-27 /25-28  
Swiss Cottage Secondary School Co-ed   4-11 21-22 25-26  
Chung Cheng High School (Yishun) Co-ed   6-11 21-23 25-27  
Anglican High School Co-ed 5-12  
Commonwealth Secondary School Co-ed   8-12 21-23 25-28  
Yishun Town Secondary School Co-ed   6-13 21-23 25-27  
CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent Girls   11-13/8-20 22-24/21-25 25-29/25-28  
Ngee Ann Secondary School Co-ed   5-12 /12-16 21-22 /21-25 25-26 /26-28  
CHIJ St Joseph’s Convent Girls   9-13/8-29 21-23/21-25 25-27/25-29  
Maris Stella High School Boys 7-12 /8-16  
Kuo Chuan Presbyterian Secondary School Co-ed   8-13 /11-20 21-24 /21-25  
Zhonghua Secondary School Co-ed   9-13 21-23 25-27  
Fuhua Secondary School Co-ed   6-13 21-23 25-28  
Presbyterian High School Co-ed   8-13 21-23 25-27  
Tanjong Katong Girls’ School Girls   5-13  
Xinmin Secondary School Co-ed   8-14 21-23 25-27  
Clementi Town Secondary School Co-ed   8-14 21-24 25-28  
Riverside Secondary School Co-ed   6-14 21-23 25-27  
Temasek Secondary School Co-ed   7-13 21-22 25-27  
Holy Innocents’ High School Co-ed   10-15 /11-22 21-23/21-25 25-26 /25-28  
Kranji Secondary School Co-ed   10-14 21-23 25-27  
Tanjong Katong Secondary School Co-ed   9-14  
Dunman Secondary School Co-ed   9-14 21-23 25-27  
Edgefield Secondary School Co-ed   7-14 21-22 25-27  
St Patrick’s School Boys   10-14 /12-20 21-22 /21-24 25-27 /26-28  
Ang Mo Kio Secondary School Co-ed   11-16 21-24 25-28  
Bukit Batok Secondary School Co-ed   11-15 21-23 25-28  
Geylang Methodist School Co-ed    11-15/13-21 21-23 /21-25 25-26 /25-29  
Jurong Secondary School Co-ed   8-16 21-23 25-28  
CHIJ Katong Convent Girls   11-15/11-20 21-24/21-25 25-30/26-28  
Evergreen Secondary School Co-ed   9-15 21-23 25-27  
St Anthony’s Canossian Secondary School Girls   11-15 /10-22 21-24 / 21-25 25-27 /25-28  
Bowen Secondary School Co-ed   10-16 21-24 25-27  
Gan Eng Seng School Co-ed   7-15 21-23 25-26  
Hua Yi Secondary School Co-ed   10-16 21-23 25-29  
St Gabriel’s Secondary School Boys   10-17 /13-22 21-23 /22-25 25-28 /26-27  
St Hilda’s Secondary School Co-ed   12-15 /13-22 21-23 /21-25 25-28 /26-28  
Pei Hwa Secondary School Co-ed   11-16 21-24 25-26  
West Spring Secondary School Co-ed   10-17 21-23 25-26  
Hai Sing Catholic School Co-ed   10-16 21-24 25-28  
Ahmad Ibrahim Secondary School Co-ed   10-17 21-24 25-28  
Mayflower Secondary School Co-ed   12-17 21-24 25-28  
Deyi Secondary School Co-ed   13-17 21-25 25-28  
Queensway Secondary School Co-ed   11-17 21-24 25-27  
Pasir Ris Secondary School Co-ed   11-18 21-24 25-28  
Unity Secondary School Co-ed   13-18 21-24 25-28  
Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School Co-ed   9-17 21-25 25-28  
Woodlands Ring Secondary School Co-ed   14-19 21-24 25-28  
Bedok View Secondary School Co-ed   13-18 21-24  
Chua Chu Kang Secondary School Co-ed   216 171 137  
Beatty Secondary School Co-ed   12-18 21-25 25-27  
Yuan Ching Secondary School Co-ed   8-19 21-25 25-28  
Compassvale Secondary School Co-ed   11-18 21-24 25-27  
Kent Ridge Secondary School Co-ed   10-19 21-24 25-30  
North Vista Secondary School Co-ed   12-18 21-24 25-27  
Orchid Park Secondary School Co-ed   12-19 21-24 25-28  
Bukit View Secondary School Co-ed   14-19 21-25 26-30  
Peirce Secondary School Co-ed   12-19 22-25 26-29  
Zhenghua Secondary School Co-ed   12-20 21-24 25-27  
Bedok South Secondary School Co-ed   14-19 21-25 25-28  
Greendale Secondary School Co-ed   8-18 21-23 25-27  
Hillgrove Secondary School Co-ed   14-19 21-24 25-28  
Meridian Secondary School Co-ed   15-19 21-24 25-27  
Woodgrove Secondary School Co-ed   13-20 21-23 25-27  
Jurong West Secondary School Co-ed   10-18 21-24 25-28  
Montfort Secondary School Boys   15-20 /13-21 21-25 /23-25 25-28 /26-28  
Tampines Secondary School Co-ed   13-19 21-25 25-28  
Christ Church Secondary School Co-ed   207 166 109  
Yishun Secondary School Co-ed   207 164 109  
Seng Kang Secondary School Co-ed   13-19 21-24 25-27  
Admiralty Secondary School Co-ed   15-20 21-24 25-28  
Naval Base Secondary School Co-ed   11-20 21-24 25-28  
Hougang Secondary School Co-ed   15-20 21-25 26-27  
Punggol Secondary School Co-ed   15-20 21-24 25-27  
Regent Secondary School Co-ed   15-21 21-25  
Jurongville Secondary School Co-ed   16-20 21-25 25-30  
Westwood Secondary School Co-ed   11-22 21-25 25-28  
Greenridge Secondary School Co-ed   195 156 126  
Canberra Secondary School Co-ed   11-22 21-24 25-29  
New Town Secondary School Co-ed   13-20 21-25 21-25  
Juying Secondary School Co-ed   12-21 21-25 25-28  
Pei Cai Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 22-25 26-29  
Queenstown Secondary School Co-ed   16-22 21-25 25-28  
Assumption English School Co-ed   10-22 22-25 25-29  
Bartley Secondary School Co-ed   13-22 21-25 25-28  
Bedok Green Secondary School Co-ed   13-20 21-25 25-28  
Bendemeer Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 21-25 25-29  
Boon Lay Secondary School Co-ed   188 152 101  
Broadrick Secondary School Co-ed   7-22 21-25 25-27  
Bukit Merah Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-28  
Changkat Changi Secondary School Co-ed   13-22 21-25  
Damai Secondary School Co-ed   15-22 21-25 25-28  
Dunearn Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-30  
East Spring Secondary School Co-ed   12-22 22-25 25-28  
Fajar Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 21-25 25-30  
Fuchun Secondary School Co-ed   188 152 100  
Guangyang Secondary School Co-ed   16-21 21-25 26-29  
Junyuan Secondary School Co-ed   17-22 21-25 25-28  
Loyang View Secondary School Co-ed   15-21/13-22 22-25/23-25 26-28/26-28  
Manjusri Secondary School Co-ed   15-21 /13-22 22-25 /23-25 26-28 /26-28  
Marsiling Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-30  
Northbrooks Secondary School Co-ed   12-22 21-25 25-28  
Northland Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 22-25 26-28  
Outram Secondary School Co-ed   4-22 22-25 26-30  
Ping Yi Secondary School Co-ed   188 152 108  
Sembawang Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-28  
Serangoon Garden Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 21-25 25-28  
Serangoon Secondary School Co-ed   16-21 22-25 25-28  
Springfield Secondary School Co-ed   10-22 21-25 25-28  
Tanglin Secondary School Co-ed   188 152 100  
Teck Whye Secondary School Co-ed   6-22 21-25 25-29  
Whitley Secondary School Co-ed   7-22 21-25 26-29  
Woodlands Secondary School Co-ed   9-22 21-25 25-28  
Yio Chu Kang Secondary School Co-ed   16-21 22-25 25-28  
Yuhua Secondary School Co-ed   14-22 21-25 25-30  
Yuying Secondary School Co-ed   8-22 21-25 26-28   
Yusof Ishak Secondary School Co-ed          

Now that you can refer to this list of cut-off points, it’s time to decide which school you’d be applying for! Why not give yourself a headstart for your secondary school life with

  


Want more tips for PSLE or Oral? Watch our youtube video here

It’s finally here! Your O’levels results are released! 

Despite the pandemic, students who sat for the O-level examinations last year set a roaring new record, with over 80 per cent of the cohort attaining five or more passes. 

What should you do next?

For those of you who passed with flying colours, congratulations. For some who didn’t do as well as you like and aren’t sure what to do next. Grab a treat and read on.

 

Let’s start by look at some numbers.

How did the previous batch of candidates fare? In 2019, 85.2 per cent secured five or more passes, while the 2020 batch scored 85.4 percent, up 0.4 percentage points from the previous year.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) said that of the 20,300 candidates who sat for O’levels in 2019, 52 per cent were posted to the five polytechnics here. Another 38 per cent were given places in the junior colleges (JCs) and Millennia Institute, and about another 10 per cent were posted to the Institute of Technical Education.

What to do after O’levels?

 

First and foremost, be brave, if results aren’t what you expected or you have changed in the last year and now want something different, then do it! Defer entry, travel, change your course just don’t feel trapped into doing something that isn’t right for you. If your results did not meet your expectations, chin up. Take comfort in the fact that local universities will no longer factor in O-level results for admission come 2020. 

There could be a myriad of reasons why O’levels did not go well for you. Perhaps, you were too stressed or ran out of time. Move forward. You can’t change the past, but you can make things better. 

Here are some paths you can consider after your O’levels results. 

1. Consider retaking your O-levels

If you have an ambition to fulfil, a dream course or school in mind that you cannot get into after trying all avenues (like appeals), give this option some serious thought. Being a year behind your peers is perfectly okay; everyone takes different paths and you’ll see this especially in polytechnics, where you can have classmates twice your age!

If you decide that this is what you want to pursue, please be reminded that you’ll have to pay to sit for the exams again. There are two ways to go about it:

  • Retaking your O-levels as a private candidate 
  • Retaking your O-levels in your current secondary school, which needs you to meet certain criteria

Retaking as a private candidate demands a lot of self-discipline. You’ll need to work out a studying schedule and keep to it, find out when and where to register for the papers and remember that the extra year you’re taking is an investment of your time and money. Sign up for our preparatory courses for O’levels English or tuition classes and let our tutors guide you. Most of our tutors are former teachers who will definitely be able to give you sound advice. Click here to reach us. 

Alternatively, ITE offers a General Education (GE) Programme that offers part-time classes for English, Combined Humanities, Maths, Additional Mathematics, Double Sciences, Literature, Geography, Chinese, Tamil as well as Principles of Accounts. Classes run up to 32 weeks.

2. Take a Foundation Course

Private institutions here offer foundation diplomas that you can take—these last anywhere from 6-12 months full-time and give you the qualifications to progress to relevant diplomas offered by the same institution. Admission criteria is manageable for foundation diplomas; typically, all you’ll require is one GCE O-level pass and an O-level grade in English ranging from A1-D7, depending on the private institution.

Alternatively, you can explore pre-university entry programmes from private universities like Kaplan, MDIS, James Cook or even foundation year programmes abroad (which give you the chance to gain admission to overseas universities).

Do note that this option can be very costly and in times of Covid-19 pandemic, it may not be the best approach at the moment. 

3. Slow down and study in a Centralised Institute

How about joining Millennia Institute (MI)?A Centralised Institute offers three-year pre-university courses under three streams. These are the arts and science streams that a typical JC offers as well as an additional commerce stream. 

The three years will give you a little more time to catch up on your studies and mug for the A-levels if you need some time (again, you’ll still need self-discipline). You’ll need an L1R4 of 5-20 to be eligible for admission.

Specific subject requirements are as follows:

English Higher Chinese/Malay/Tamil Chinese/Malay/Tamil Chinese Basic/Malay Basic/Tamil Basic E Math/A Math
A1-C6 A1-E8 A1-D7 Merit/Pass A1-D7

 

If you find yourself unable to meet these requirements, Millennia Institute has a conditional student programme which will require you to re-sit for the relevant language and/or mathematics papers O-levels. You can re-take them for 2 times before your offer is revoked.

4. Consider enrolling for Poly Early Admissions Exercise

You can consider studying for a NITEC or Higher NITEC in ITE, before applying for a place in a Polytechnic via the Early Admissions Exercise (EAE). The EAE is a centralised aptitude-based admissions exercise, which allows students to apply for and receive conditional offers for admission to polytechnics prior to receiving their final grades.

This will be a longer route that will require a lot of resilience, but there are many who have taken it before you and succeeded. It’s also a suitable option if you’ve already set your heart on a polytechnic course, or have narrowed down an area of interest. You might need to submit portfolios and undergo interviews and aptitude tests, so start preparing early!

Hopefully, this article clears your doubts and let us link you up with a team of best tutors to help you fulfil your dreams. We are currently offering a trial lesson for private candidates. Email us your interest today.

“We can never close the gender divide.” Do you agree? 

(For JC GP Prelims Questions 2020, subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel. You will be the first to get the latest essays and questions!)

GP Essay Question: Model Essay

As the COVID-19 pandemic pushes on and persists to affect lives and livelihoods around the world, we are witnessing a tide of economic fallout, which has a regressive effect on gender equality. According to Mckinsey Research, women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable in this crisis compared to men’s jobs and It is predicted that women make up 39 percent of global employment, will account for 54 percent of overall job losses. Some put forth the view that we can never close the gender divide due to such economic realities, legislative barriers and sexist mindsets that pervades in our society today, creating an irreconcilable chasm between males and females. This has led some to believe that the gender divide is insurmountable. However, it is my conviction that while closing the gender divide will be difficult, it is not out of the question, mainly attributed to changing attitudes in legislature and shifts in societal mindsets towards women. Ergo, it will be difficult, but closing the gender divide is indeed possible.

Some espouse the opinion that it is not possible to close the gender divide largely due to the existence of legislative barriers that institutionalise gender discrimination and perpetuate gender inequality. In Singapore, for instance, although the Government has taken steps in the recent years to educate and incentivise employers to be fair and to promote flexible work arrangements so that, yet there is still an absence of legislation that clearly lays out employer duties and responsibilities, this results in many companies being able to get away with little more than superficial commitments to be more inclusive. The situation is even more bleak in less developed countries like India. In the recent years, the numerous cases of rape across the country once again exposed the failures of the criminal justice system. Nearly six years after the government amended laws and put in place new guidelines aimed at justice for survivors of rape and sexual violence, yet girls and women continue to face barriers to reporting such crimes. Victim-blaming is also rampant, and the lack of witness and victim protection laws make girls and women from marginalized communities even more vulnerable to harassment and threats. Across the spectrum, from developing to more developed countries, what persists is a disturbing observation that legislation either explicitly hurts women and promotes sexism, or it condones behaviours that hurt women and promote sexism. It remains a deeply painful and saddening reality that the patriarchy continues to be entrenched in legislature, and ingrained in societal institutions, leading some to think that it is a futile quest and that we can never close the gender divide. In view of all these challenges, it does seem like an uphill task when it comes to closing the gender divide. But to say that it is an impossible dream would be too fatalistic. I strongly stand by the view that closing the gender divide is not completely impossible- there is definitely more than a glimmer of hope. First and foremost, there have been changing attitudes in legislature that have led to tremendous progress for women’s rights on paper. Right here in Singapore, the government has just announced that they will embark on a review of women’s issues showing a strong committed step towards greater gender equality. In the pipeline are a series of engagements termed as “Conversations on Women Development” scheduled to take place between the public and private sectors, as well as non-governmental organisations, with the objective of identifying and tackling issues concerning women in Singapore.  These will culminate in a White Paper to be issued by the Government in the first half of 2021.

Across the globe, in terms of the right to political representation, the presence of women  has been growing- in the upcoming US Presidential elections, Kamala Harris’s nomination as the Vice President for the democratic party is a milestone. She is the first woman and the first person of colour to serve as vice president.  In Canada, Justin Trudeau made half the ministers in his cabinet women. Similarly, in Singapore, other than having a first female president, the recent election 29 per cent of the 93 seats for elected Members of Parliament (MPs), 27 – or elected seats – went to women, compared to 21 out of 89 seats after the 2015 polls. Even in countries without a female head of government, changes in legislature have indeed been growing to ameliorate gender inequality and boost the rights of women. Japan has adopted new legislation to promote women’s political participation by urging political parties to make the number of male and female candidates as equal as possible and set targets for gender parity. Notoriously patriarchal countries like Afghanistan had a record of 417 female candidates that participated in the October parliamentary elections in 2018. These are all concrete evidence that legislature has been changing to increase rights for women and enact gender parity, closing the gender divide. With more female representation in politics and in view of these steps towards women representation, it is still very much possible for us to close the gender divide in the near future. 

In addition to this, it is definitely possible to close the gender divide because there has also been shifting societal attitudes towards women. At a societal level, the #MeToo movement directed unprecedented attention to the historic injustices and inequalities experienced by women, specifically those related to sexual harassment in the workplace. Led by grassroots activists, this movement gained traction across Asia, opening space for countless stories of harassment and new opportunities to hold perpetrators to account. Even countries that have been traditionally patriarchal in nature like South Korea is making headways in gender equality. Enterprising Korean women are increasingly visible in a traditionally male dominated country like South Korea. More young women are earning university degrees than men. More than 70% of women between 25 and 34 are active in the workforce. Young women are far more vocal than previous generations in challenging the conservative social mores that hold them back. For instance, two female Youtube Influencers Jung Se-young and Baeck Hana, are part of a wave of feminist activism that has swept South Korea. These ladies have cut their hair, thrown away their make-up and sworn off relationships with men. With the advent of social media, the influence of feminism is increasing spreading across social media platforms and society is waking up to the fact that young digital natives no longer want these conservative traditions, and women are free to reject them. Thus, it is highly possible that due to shifting societal attitudes that promote gender equality, the gender divide will be definitely be closed. 

All in all, although the path towards gender equality may seem frustratingly slow. But the fact that inequality is now being openly discussed is progress in itself. In these recent years, societies and government worldwide have been placing gender equality issues on their agenda. With this growing trend towards more rights for women on paper, coupled with the shifting societal mindsets, it is completely possible that our generations will be able to close the gender in our lifetime. The journey towards gender equality may be winding. There is no silver bullet and admittedly there is a lot to do in the field of equality, but nothing is impossible. We must and can continue to fight and narrow the gender divide. 

(This essay has been reviewed and marked by GP Tutors. For GP tuition by school teachers or full time tutors, contact us today.)

 

What do H1, H2 and H3 in JC mean?

GCE A-Level Singapore Special

 

Advanced level, better known as the A’levels is the national exam that students will take after the GCE Ordinary Level aka O’levels. Alternatively, secondary students in Singapore can proceed to other forms of tertiary education, which is any one of the following: ITE and  Polytechnic.

 

There are 3 different tertiary options for a student after their O Level results; ITE (Nitec or Higher Nitec), Polytechnic and Junior College (JC) or Millennia Institution (MI). 

Junior College

The rumour in the grapevine has always been that by passing your O’levels you prove that you’re not an idiot… but by passing your A’ levels you prove that you’re smart”. Whether this holds any truth remains open to speculation, but what is real is that in order to enter any Junior Colleges in Singapore, students have to either go through the traditional academic route (usually the top 20 percent of the cohort) where they will have to excel at their L1R5 which means first language plus best other 5 subjects (The L1R4 would be for Polytechnic/ITE entry). Do note that a maximum of 4 points can be deducted from a student’s raw L1R4/5 score. (The Raw Scores is the score students have obtained without any deduction of points from CCA or Higher Mother Tongue Language (HMTL). 

Students can also enjoy 2 points from their CCA achievements (usually leadership, competition participation etc) and 2 points can also be deducted from passing their Higher Mother Tongue Language in Secondary school. 

 

What does entering Junior College in Singapore mean? 

When students choose to join a Junior College, this means students will embark on a 2-year programme and take the GCE Cambridge A-Level examinations after that. The Singapore GCE Cambridge A-Level is slightly different from the International Cambridge A-Level. For students who are from IP schools, they will join their affiliated junior colleges where some students are from the O’levels. For instance, a student from Temasek IP Programme will progress to Temasek Junior College while students from RI and RGS will join Raffles Junior College, now known as Raffles Institution located at RI. Some schools like River Valley High School offers both Junior and Senior High, students will stay within their school (usually moving to a new building for their final two years). 

Not sure about what are the cut-off points requirements to enter Junior College? 

These are the cut-off points for your reference. 

Below is a table stating the cut-off points for 2021 for the different streams in JC, ranked according to alphabetical order. Please note that you will need to check the requirements each year with your choice colleges. For cut off points in 2022, you will need to check back here again. 

List of Junior Colleges in Singapore Arts Science / IB
Anderson Serangoon Junior College, ASRJC 11 11
Anglo-Chinese Junior College, ACJC 9 8
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), ACSI 5
Catholic Junior College, CJC 13 13
Dunman High School, DHS 9 8
Eunoia Junior College, EJC 8 7
Hwa Chong Institution, HCI 5 4
Jurong Pioneer Junior College, JPJC 16 15
Nanyang Junior College, NYJC 6 6
National Junior College, NJC 8 7
Raffles Institution, RI 5 4
River Valley High School, RVHS 9 8
St. Andrew’s Junior College, SAJC 11 10
St. Joseph’s Institution, SJI 8
Tampines Meridian Junior College, TMJC 13 13
Temasek Junior College, TJC 9 9
Victoria Junior College, VJC 8 7
Yishun Innova Junior College, YIJC 20 20

Millennia Institution (MI) – An Alternative to Junior College

Junior colleges are not the only way to A’levels. O’level graduates can also pursue a three-year course at Millennia Institution (MI), the only three-year pre university institution in Singapore Some parents may remember days where there used to be another Pre-University Insitute known as the Jurong Institute (JI). At MI, the school offers the same subjects and curriculum as the Junior Colleges in Singapore.  However, the only difference they have is that the Milennia Institution is a 3-year Pre-U course, while the other Junior Colleges offer only 2 years. To enter MI, the school will consider the student’s L1R4 instead of their L1R5. 

Millennia Institute is the only Centralised Institute offering a 3-year Pre-University course, leading to the GCE ‘A’ Level certification. For students who took the GCE ‘O’ Level examination and are eligible to apply for admission through the Joint Admissions Exercise (JAE), the minimum requirements specified below must be met.

 

  1. Aggregate Range for L1R4 ≤ 20.
  2. Meet Subject Requirements:
Subject Requirement
English Language A1 to C6
Mother Tongue Language:
       Chinese Language, Malay Language, Tamil Language
OR Higher Chinese Language, Higher Malay Language, Higher Tamil Language
OR Chinese Language ‘B’ Syllabus, Malay Language ‘B’ Syllabus, Tamil Language ‘B’ Syllabus
A1 to D7
A1 to E8
Merit or Pass
Mathematics:
       Mathematics
OR Additional Mathematics
A1 to D7
 A1 to D7

Students who satisfy the conditional admission criteria and are conditionally admitted to Millennia Institute would be required to re-sit for the relevant language and/or mathematics papers by the following year’s GCE ‘O’ Level Examination.

For more information, please access the MOE website

Your ultimate guide to Singapore GCE Cambridge A-Level Curriculum

Step 1: Choose a stream.

Depending on your score, you will be eligible for different streams Science or Arts when they are choosing for their post-secondary choices. For students, who wish to pursue Business Management at A’level, the option will be to join MI as most JCs do not offer this subject. 

Step 2: Find a college that offers you the best standing

Consider your preferred stream over your dream Junior College. Most students, if not all, have their ideal Junior Colleges that they want to enter. Some are doing so because of a particular school’s brand name or heritage, others want to keep their family tradition and join their parent’s alma mater, whatever the motivation, it is worth to take a moment and consider “What’s at stake?”. Ultimately, you are looking for entry to University and it is pivotal to note that some students do consider entering a lower-tier JC so that they can stay in the science stream which offers them more options to courses in University. 

Step 3: Decide on what are your H1, H2, H3 subjects

The H in H1, H2 and H3 stands for Higher. 

To enter University, you need this minimum subject combination:

  • Three H2 content-based subjects 
  • One H1 content-based subject 
  • Compulsory H1 subjects
    • Mother-Tongue Language (MTL) if you did not take higher Chinese at O’levels
    • General Paper
    • Project Work 

Do note that A-Level students must take at least one contrasting subject. What is considered a contrasting subject? For Science stream students, you must take at least one subject from the Humanities & the Arts. On the other hand, Arts stream students must take at least one Science subject, usually H1 or H2 Mathematics. 

What is the difference between H1 and H2 subjects? 

The difference between H1 and H2 subjects is similar to IB Standard Level versus IB Higher Level. H1 subjects cover lesser topics compared to H2 subjects. For instance, H2 Economics is worth 20 rank points and will cover more topics and there are P1 and P2 (Essays). Economics is a challenging subject but most students will choose to take it because it is a practical subject. If you need help in Economics tuition, contact us today via whatsapp us or email.  

Why do some students take four H2 subjects?

Some students can take four H2 content-based subjects if they meet a minimum cut-off points requirement and for students who truly excel in a particular domain, they can choose to pursue H3 content-based subjects if they are eligible. 

How will H3 subjects be graded?

H3 is an additional subject on top of all your H1 and H2 subjects, therefore, you have to be mentally prepared to devote more and sufficient time to all your subjects.  H3 subjects are not graded into the rank points. They are additional subjects that are taken on top of their H1 and H2 subjects. H3 subjects can allow students to be exempted from modules in their university, depending on the course and module taken by the student.

Grading
H3 Grade Marks (%)
Distinction 70 to 100
Merit 55 to 69
Pass 45 to 54
Ungraded 0 to 44

Frequently Asked Questions by JC Students:

What is H1, H2, H3?

H1 subjects are worth 1 point and H2 subjects are worth 2 points. H3 subjects are ONLY offered to students who are academically able to cope with the additional subject(s) on top of their H1 and H2 subjects. Usually, schools will decide who are the students they will be “inviting” to take H3 subjects. Students who choose to take H3 subjects usually want to stand out among competitors who are choosing a similar University course. However, it is important to note that the demands of H3 subjects are considerable, if students are not able to excel in H3 subjects at A’levels it may backfire instead. 

What are rank points?

The maximum number of rank points (RP) for admission to university is 90. A higher score would place a student in a better position for admissions to university. 

Grade Scores H1 Ranking Points H2 Ranking Points
A 70% and above 10 20
B 60% to 69% 8.75 17.5
C 55% to 59% 7.5 15
D 50% to 54% 6.25 12.5
E 45% to 49% (passing grade) 5 10
S (sub-pass) 40% to 44%  2.5 5
Ungraded 39% and below 0 0
GCE a-level Rank Points Calculation

Overview of the GCE A-Level curriculum 

H1, H2 and H3 refer to the depth of the subject taken by the student, with H1 subjects being briefer than H2 and H3 subjects and H3 being a more advanced level of the subject. 

For example, an H2 Chemistry subject would have more topics than H1 Chemistry but their difficulty level of the questions asked would roughly be the same. 

As for H3 Chemistry, the topics learned will not be more than H2 Chemistry since H3 subjects are an extension to H2 subjects. This would mean, learning would be more in-depth and specific when it comes to taking an H3 subject. 

Arts/Science Stream Criteria 

One of the four content-based subjects must be from a contrasting discipline. In other words, you are not allowed to take all Science-based subjects as such; Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. 

H1 

The compulsory subjects that should be taken by all students would be General Paper and Project Work. Students may also offer Knowledge and Inquiry in place of General Paper (GP), or offer Mother Tongue Language and Literature at H2.

Students can be exempted from taking H1 Mother Tongue if they have passed their Higher Mother Tongue in Secondary School, but it still counts as 1 point. However, if the student did not undertake Higher MTL in Secondary school ‘O’ Level, it is compulsory for him/her to complete H1 MTL in JC. 

National Examinations for H1 subjects will be taken at the end of JC2 (second year of JC) with the exception of H1 Mother-Tongue Language and H1 Project Work which will be taken in JC1. 

H2

Taking 4 H2

Students can be offered to take up 4 H2 instead of the standard combination of 3 H2 and 1 H1 at the beginning of their J1. Schools will determine whether a student can be offered to take up 4 H2s, determining factor being the student’s raw cut-off points when they enter the JC. This differs from JC to JC. 

How to calculate your GCE A-level Rank points

Some Junior colleges include the students’ rank points in their results. If your college does not, do not fret, here’s how you can calculate it.

Rank Points for Students take 3H2 Subjects

[(3 H2 Subjects + 1 H1 Subject + 1 H1 GP + 1 H1 PW + 1 H1 MTL) /100] x 90

= [(20 + 20 + 20 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10)/100] x 90

= (100/100) x 90

90 RP

Rank Points for Students take 4H2 SubjectsFor students that are offered 4H2 subjects instead of 3H2 and 1H1? RP is calculated this way: 

Should the scenario arise when a 4H2 student do not have an H1 content-based subject, the student’s weakest H2 subject will then be computed as an H1 content subject. This means the rank points of the H2 subject would be halved (calculated as /10 instead of /20).

3 H2 + weakest 1 H2 calculated as H1 + H1 GP + H1 PW

= (20 + 20 + 20) + (17.5/20 x 10) + 10 + 10 

= 88.75 RP

Looking for more GCE A-Level related resources? Click here for GP Model Essays.

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what do voters want

 

If you stayed up watching CNA till 4am this morning, you would have known that the PAP was narrowly defeated in Sengkang GRC yesterday. Only one opposition party won seats in the parliament. PSP led by 80 year-old Dr Tan Cheng Bock Singapore Progress Party was (narrowly) defeated in West Coast GRC while the Worker’s Party won Sengkang GRC, Aljunied GRC and Hougang’s SMC.

Source: Straits Times July 10 Singapore Election Results

The worker’s party team comprising of lawyer He Ting Ru, 37, economics professor Jamus Lim, 44, social enterprise founder Raeesah Khan, 26, and equity research analyst Louis Chua Kheng Wee, 33 knocked out The People’s Action Party team for Sengkang consisting of Labour chief Ng Chee Meng, 51, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health Lam Pin Min, 50, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Amrin Amin, 41, and lawyer Raymond Lye, 54.

In this 2020 election, one of the main observation is the rise of younger voices and younger candidates. Is the fall of Sengkang GRC a reflection that younger voters in Sengkang and perhaps Singapore on a whole, are reflecting their desire for post material value beyond that of bread and butter? What role has Social Media played in this year’s 2020 election?

Stay tune to our page as our class of A’level GP students share their essays on leadership, examine the impact of Social Media on governance and politics. Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to get sample essays, test papers and notes.

class size in Singapore

Former Secondary Math Teacher with over ten years of experience Mrs Elizabeth Ong shares her views:

Talk to any teachers or parents and you will surely hear mixed responses on what exactly should be the ideal class size in school. Being a former teacher, I am definitely for the (piped) dream of having a smaller class size, simply because it would allow me to get to know my students better and dedicate more resources towards them.

My sentiments are shared by others. According to a study by Princeton University professors, one of the key advantages of having smaller class sizes is that teachers are able to get to know their students better, and can build stronger relationships. The Princeton study also noted that students who were in schools with smaller class sizes scored higher on achievement tests, even when they were no longer in a smaller-class-size model school.

Currently, the average class size in Singapore for mainstream schools (primary and secondary) can go up to 40 students per class. Each class usually have a Lead Form Teacher and one or two Co-Form Teachers (usually for Normal Technical or Academic Classes which will cease to exist by 2024.) In the recent years, MOE has gradually been trying to increase the Teacher to Student ratio by having some classes to be conducted by two Teachers, one leading and the other facilitating. MOE has also hired more Allied Educators that can support Teachers during lessons administratively or reaching out to “weaker” students that need more guidance.

It is no secret that teachers find it more challenging to work with students in classes larger than 25 or 30 students. Large classrooms make discussion and group work more difficult. A study conducted by three professors at the University of London found that in larger classrooms, students were definitely less engaged. What was most surprising to the professors was that students who disengaged were the students struggling most in school. Also, the teacher had more negative behaviors to address with students who were having difficulty in school.

Will there ever be a day where our class size in government schools will shrink to just 20 per class? Perhaps.

In the upcoming GE 2020 election in Singapore, the worker’s party is proposing that reform as part of their manifesto.

Here are some of the proposals WP laid out in its manifesto:

SMALLER CLASSES

  • Prune average class sizes to 20 — from the present 29 to 34 in primary and secondary schools
  • In nations that are part of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose membership comprises mostly rich countries, the average class size is between 21 and 24
  • The smaller classes should be instituted progressively, with academically weaker students benefiting first. Priority should be given to foundational subjects in primary schools and Normal stream subjects in secondary schools

Although there are numerous advantages when it comes to having a small class size, yet there are similar benefits that we should recognize when it comes to having a larger class can offer. Other than easing the taxpayer’s pockets due to economics of scale, a larger class size can actually promote diversity and having more students in a class often translate to higher energy and fun. Classes will go by quicker and are less boring, students may also indirectly become more independent because teachers would not be able to pay too much attention to them.

A smaller class size may be a pie in the sky for now. Most parents would definitely wish that it can be realised soon. In the meantime, finding tutors can definitely help support your children’s academic journey. For math tuition by former MOE teachers , please contact here.

Fahrenheit 451 English Literature
Studying English Literature In Singapore and Dystopian Novel

Imagine a society where all books are banned and firemen don’t put out fires, instead they are hired to set ablaze houses that contain outlawed books. A world where you have robotic dog-like creatures that go around hunting book hoarders and intellectuals are now drifters who have each memorized books should the day arrive that society comes to an end and is forced to rebuild itself anew.

This is the synopsis of the book Fahrenheit 451. The significance of the book’s infernal title Farenheit 451 is because that is the temperature which papers/books burn. The book is a dystopian novel by American writer Ray Bradbury, which is one of the texts which secondary schools students can choose to read for O’levels Literature in English (Syllabus 2065).

The current Covid-19 pandemic has been said to be one of the most surreal and scary global disruptions of our time. As we embrace a reality where social distancing is a norm, wearing masks is a daily affair and having PUB’s robotic dog-like creatures prancing around imploring joggers to observe social distancing becomes a common sight. Perhaps having students read dystopian fiction in school is one way to allow them to draw strength from characters of the novel and make sense of this rather unpredictable and volatile world?

Over the years, some Language-Literature students who taking International Baccalaureate are also reading dystopian literature like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and ‘Brave New World.’ Exposing students to such genres in unprecedented times like these, may just help them discover another dimension to governmental policies and events happening around them.This is because very often Dystopian fiction explores at least one reason why things are that way, often as an analogy for similar issues in the real world.

Why do writers write Dystopian Literature?

Dystopian literature is used to “provide fresh perspectives on problematic social and political practices that might otherwise be taken for granted or considered natural and inevitable”.

A worldwide decline of Liberal Arts subjects

All over the world, subjects like Literature and English are seeing a sharp decline in enrolment. According to figures from the Ministry of Education (MOE), only about 5,500 students sat for the literature O-level examinations in 2015, down from about 6,000 students in 2012. Liberal Arts education worldwide has seen a sharp decline as governments drive to steer young people away from the arts and humanities to study science, technology, engineering and maths – the so-called Stem subjects, which have become the holy grail of 21st-century education in Singapore and England. Simply put, students just do not see the value of taking English literature and are preferring more practical humanities like International Baccalaureate Business Management, iGCSE Business Studies, Economics and likes.

What are the benefits of learning Literature?

Fahrenheit 451 English Literature

MOE Singapore Literature

Although there are fewer English and English Literature majors, governments do realise (to a certain extent) the value of literature for every student. Literature is still compulsory for lower secondary students in mainstream schools. Similarly. all IP schools like Raffles Girls, ACS, Methodist Girls, Cedars Nanyang Girls, Dunman High et cetera makes Language Arts (a combination of Literature and English) mandatory for the lower secondary students. The Ministry of Education shares that one substantial benefit of having students in Singapore pick up literature is because the study of Literature raises awareness of the range of perspectives that human beings – separated by time, space and culture – are capable of developing. This increased awareness promotes empathy and global awareness. Students become cognisant of and reassess their own values, beliefs and biases.

Is it near impossible to score a distinction for literature?

Mrs Wee, a full time teacher and a former MOE teacher English and Literature at Raffles Institution, recognises the fluidity of all humanities subjects but stresses that there is indeed a formula for getting distinctions. She adds that “It is still very possible to score distinctions for literature, provided that students are guided on the correct strategies and approaches.”

If you need a helping hand for literature tuition or Language Arts and Literature tuition in Singapore, drop us an email here and we will match you with a suitable tutor from our strong bastion of English and Literature tutors. If you are looking for literature notes and handouts, subscribe to our newsletter and you will be the very first to get model essays, notes and more.

Situational Writing

In O’levels English Language Paper 1 (Singapore, Syllabus 1128), you will encounter The Situational Writing in Section B.

Section B:

You will need to write 250–350 words on a given situation which will involve viewing a visual text. The weightage (30 marks) is the same as Section C: Essay. Candidates will need to write a text of 250–350 words based on a given situation which will involve viewing a visual text (e.g. an email, a letter, an article, a report or a speech) to suit the purpose, audience and context.

How to score?

You will be graded according to your content and language. To get the top band for Task Fulfilment, you must show a very good understanding and clear awareness of the PAC (Purpose, Audience and Context).  

To get the top band for Language and Organization, your language must be accurate with hardly any errors in grammar, expression, spelling and punctuation. You must use a variety of vocabulary and sentence structures. 

To really, really shine, stand head and shoulders above your peers, your script must demonstrate a high level of personal engagement and inject your personal voice. Most students are caught in the Average-Marks-Belt because they are unable to differentiate themselves due to a lack of character in their writing or they merely copy or re-hash the points given in the stimulus.

Remember, your ideas and facts must also be well-linked and sequenced, such that the information presented is very clear.

Format:

What are the types of situational writing? 

  1. Formal Letter
  2. Informal Letter 
  3. Proposal
  4. Report
  5. Article / Newsletter
  6. Speech 

1. Understand what are the requirements of the question. 

The first thing you should do for situational writing is to analyse the prompt. A prompt is the brief passage of text (first few paragraphs) in the question paper and the visual stimulus that paints the scenario. Within the prompt, you should identify the PAC and apply the 5Ws brainstorm principle. Ask yourself, who am I writing as? This will help you to get into character (who are your writing as, are you a student leader giving a speech? You need to be mindful of your tone while elaborating on the important points in the prompt. 

Planning:

Identify the writer’s role – What is your role/character?

Format (e.g. formal letter, newsletter, article, proposal, speech, complaint letter, report)

P (What do you hope to accomplish through this speech/article/formal letter/proposal)? 

A (Who are you writing to?)

C (What prompted you to write this letter?)

2) Always refer to the visual stimulus / text given

Pay attention to the details provided, annotate by applying the 5Ws and 1H principle.

3) Structure your proposal

A general rule of thumb, the situational writing (except speech and article) should be divided into 6 body paragraphs in the order of :

Para 1 : Intro:

You should explain what is your objective of writing this and why they are writing it. This will show that they understand the objective and purpose behind the situational writing question.

Para 2 : Point One 

Para 3 : Point Two 

Para 4 : Point Three 

Para 5 : Counterargument + Rebuttal (if necessary) 

Para 6 : Conclusion

-summary of the whole proposal 

-a polite thank you for favourable consideration of your ideas

3) Language

Keep in mind these language tips you write, for a well-rounded and watertight proposal. 

> Write in present tense (predominantly) unless you are citing a past event 

> Be persuasive, respectful and polite. 

> Be clear and precise (describe with details your activity e.g. how you will be conducting the event)

>Each paragraph should have a clear topic sentence and connectors to make your writing more fluent and coherent.

Sign up as a member and get the most comprehensive situational writing format guide by school teachers. Click here to download a free preview. 

Be first to get more situational writing tips where our team of teachers and tutors share with you secrets to getting that A*. Get online tuition from just $35 onwards. For more sample GCE O’levels English Essay, click here.