An Inspector Calls Literature Notes 

The Inspector Calls by JB Priestly is an arguably most fascinating play that is most commonly taught and in Singapore secondary schools. In this series of “Like Lit or Not?” we have consolidated some character traits with quotations. These are quality and useful notes for students who are currently reading this book as part of IB Language Literature syllabus or their lower secondary literature. These notes are completely free and if you are still struggling with English or English Literature, reach out to our team of current and ex MOE tutors for tuition. 

What is the play about?

“An Inspector Calls” is a play written by J.B. Priestley, first performed in 1945. The play is set in 1912 and follows the Birling family, a wealthy and privileged family living in England. The family is celebrating the engagement of their daughter, Sheila, to a wealthy businessman named Gerald Croft, when an unexpected visitor arrives – an Inspector who is investigating the suicide of a young woman named Eva Smith/Daisy Renton. Through the series of interrogations by Inspector Goole, the audience witness how the family members slowly reveals their various roles in the woman’s death, as each character is forced to confront their own culpability in the tragedy.

What are the themes? 

The play explores the following themes 

  1. Social responsibility
  2. Class
  3. Morality

An Inspector Calls is scathing in its criticism of middle-class hypocrisy. The play gives voice to Priestley’s strong socialist principles, and carries a clear moral message, stressing the importance of social responsibility: ‘We don’t live alone. We are members of one body. We are responsible for each other’. The play raises questions about the interconnectedness of all human beings and the impact of our actions on others.


Who are the characters?

The central characters in the play are members of the Birling family and Inspector Goole. 

  1. Arthur Birling – the patriarch of the Birling family in “An Inspector Calls,”  He is a wealthy and successful businessman who values profit and social status above all else. As such, he represents the values of capitalism, individualism, and self-interest. Character Traits:  He is a proud and arrogant man who is focused on maintaining his social status and power. We can see this in his opening speech, where he suggests that “a man has to make his own way – has to look after himself – and his family too, of course.” From this, we can see the self-serving attitudes of the wealthy and powerful people in the society.
  2. Sybil Birling – Arthur’s wife and a member of the local Women’s Charity Organization. She bears testimony to the hypocrisy and class prejudice of the wealthy upper class in England. Character Traits: She is hypocritical and lacks empathy. We can see this when she says ‘I’m sorry she should have come to such a horrible end. But I accept no blame for it at all.’  Mrs Sybil Birling considers herself a champion of social justice and charity yet her attitudes towards those she deems beneath her, as well as her refusal to accept responsibility for her role in Eva/Daisy’s death, highlight her lack of genuine concern for others. 


  3. Sheila Birling – The daughter of Arthur and Sybil, and engaged to Gerald Croft. Sheila has a complex and dynamic character arc. Unlike her parents, she is a character that experiences growth and change throughout the play. She is initially portrayed as somewhat frivolous and shallow, but comes to show a greater sense of empathy and social responsibility as the play progresses.  Character traits:  Materialistic and Superficial  We witness how Sheila Birling is materialistic in Act 1 when the Birlings are celebrating Sheila’s engagement. 

    Sheila: (who has put the ring on, admiringly) I think it’s perfect. Now I really feel engaged.

    Sheila’s desire for material possession and her need to have the ring in order to feel engaged shows that she is rather materialistic. 

    However, we witness how Sheila changes throughout the play. Initially, she doesn’t take the investigation seriously and assumes that her family’s social status will protect them from any consequences. But as the play progresses, when the Inspector reveals that Eva/Daisy was a factory worker, Sheila is shocked and says, “But these girls aren’t cheap labor – they’re people.” This shows her growth in the course of the play as Sheila begins to recognise her own complicity in Eva/Daisy’s death and starts to take responsibility for her actions. 

  4. Eric Birling – The alcoholic son of Arthur and Sybil, who is portrayed as a troubled and insecure young man who steals from his family and hits the bottle to numb himself from life realities Character Traits: Eric is initially portrayed as irresponsible and immature, often turning to alcohol to cope with his family’s issues. He is also shown to be apathetic towards the struggles of the working class, as evidenced by his flippant attitude towards Eva Smith’s death. However, as the play progresses, Eric begins to take responsibility for his actions and express remorse for his mistakes. He acknowledges his role in Eva’s death and admits that he needs to change his ways, stating “We’ll have to start all over again, getting to know each other” (Act 3). 
  5. Gerald Croft – Sheila’s fiancé and the son of a wealthy businessman. At the start of the play, he is described to be “an attractive chap about thirty … very much the easy well-bred young-man-about-town.” Character Traits: As the play progresses, we see how he is actually an unfaithful man who cheats on Sybil Birling and toys with the feelings of Daisy Renton/Eva Smith. He manipulated the feelings of Eva and not only did he not love her as he confessed to not ‘feeling about her as she felt about’ him. He even tries to defend himself by saying that he made a mistake just like ‘nearly any man would have done.’
  6. Inspector Goole –  A highly enigmatic figure whose name rhymes with Ghoul. He arrives at the Birling house unannounced and starts to investigate the death of Eva/Daisy. He represents a force of morality and justice, and his questioning of the characters ultimately exposes their various roles in the tragedy. Throughout the play, the Inspector’s identity and purpose remain ambiguous. Was he a supernatural figure that represents the spirit of divine justice? Others have argued that he is a metaphor for Priestley’s own socialist beliefs, which emphasize the interconnectedness of all people and the need for collective responsibility.


Hope these notes are useful to students are are preparing for their literature exams or IGCSE, IB individual oral commentary (IOC).

Contact us today and let us connect you with an English or literature tutor today. Find out how our IB students from Australian International School, Hwa Chong International, ACS, Methodist Girls School manage to score 6 and 7 in their Language Literature. Our team of current and ex- MOE teachers will be able to help you achieve your academic goals. Looking for literature tuition in Singapore? Email or whatsapp us today! 





Hi O Level A Math students and parents,

Below is this year’s 2023 O Level A Math Formula Sheet from Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB).

Candidates are allowed to refer to this formula list during the O Level A Math Examination. Make sure you learn the formulas and understand how to apply them well!

2023 O Level A Math Formula Sheet


2022 MOE O Level A Math Formula Sheet Singapore


For queries on how to best use the 2023 O Level A Math formula list to your advantage,

Contact us via WhatsApp




Come next year 2024, MOE will introduce Full Subject-Based Banding (Full SBB) in over 100 mainstream schools in Singapore. This is good news for many as some would rejoice and recognise MOE’s ongoing efforts to encourage the joy of learning and develop multiple pathways that will be better suited to the varied strengths and interests of our students in Singapore.

How will Full SBB affect students, particularly Secondary Two students choosing their subjects?

First and foremost, with full implementation of SBB, there will no longer be separate Express, N(A), and N(T) streams, and students will be in mixed form classes where they can interact with peers of different strengths and interests. This means that if you meet the eligibility set by your school, you are able to take on a subject at a higher level. 

According to MOE website, for Secondary Two students who are choosing their subjects for Upper Secondary can choose to take the subjects at a more demanding level provided they meet the set criteria (indicated by their school.) From 2024 onwards, Secondary 1 students will be able to offer subjects at three levels: G1/G2/G3 (G stands for General), mapped from today’s N(T), N(A) and Express standards respectively. Students can take a range of G1/G2/G3 subjects based on their abilities. There will no longer be NT, NA or Express stream. 


This being said, does it mean that you should choose to do a subject at a higher level, simply because you are eligible? Also, should you choose to take A-Math or just be contented with E-Math? What are the differences? 

What is Additional Mathematics (A-Math)?

Additional Mathematics Singapore-Cambridge General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (2021) (Syllabus 4047) /  Additional Mathematics O-Level Syllabus 4049 (2023) – SEAB 

For A-Math, you will learn Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry, and Calculus which set the foundation for you to take on Math at A’Level. Besides conceptual understanding and skill proficiency explicated in the content strand, the development of process skills, namely, reasoning, communication and connections, thinking skills and heuristics, and applications and modelling are also emphasised. 


What is Elementary Mathematics (E-Math)?

E-Mathematics O-Level Syllabus 4052 (2023) – SEAB

The syllabus is intended to provide students with fundamental mathematical knowledge and skills. The content is organised into three strands, namely, Number and Algebra, Geometry and Measurement, and Statistics and Probability. Besides conceptual understanding and skill proficiency explicated in the content strands, important mathematical processes such as reasoning, communication and application (including the use of models) are also emphasised and assessed.

What are the differences between  E-Math and A-Math?

Other than the obvious fact that the content covered for the two subjects are different, A-Math which is an abbreviation for Advanced Math, is reputed to be a lot more systematic and straightforward than EM. The phrasing chosen in A-Math questions are often fixed and not very tricky. There are lesser question types simply because students can only choose A-Math at Upper Secondary so that have only two years to finish the syllabus. A-Math is more similar to JC-Math and will indeed prepare students more rigorously for JC.

The questions that come up in A-Math exams are repetitive and very similar to the ones students would have done in their daily practices. Most students who take A-Math would agree that as long as they memorise the needed Maths formulas (which we have included a list of 2023 O Level A Math Formula Sheet here), they stand a good chance of passing with flying colours. 


On the flip side, EM requires more logic and out-of-the-box thinking. Even with practice, the questions that students encounter during exams can be differ from their practices enough to confuse them. There are also many variations of phrasing in EM questions and they all affect the answer. In addition to this, AM may have fewer questions but the time spent to do the workings and the accordance of marks to the workings differ greatly from E-Maths. 

In E-Maths, there are shorter-ended questions with less emphasis placed on the workings.  However, it is pertinent to note that for E-Math, marks still  awarded for workings and students should not skip steps as they still will be penalised. 

In a nutshell, taking A-Math definitely helps you to pave the foundation needed for Junior College, if you are thinking of joining Polytechnic after Secondary Four, you may not need to go down this “rabbit hole”, provided the course you choose does not need this requirement. 


Need more help? Find a reliable tutor that can help you navigate through this whirlwind. For tuition on A-Maths or E-Math, you can whatsapp us or contact our team of qualified current and ex MOE tutors who will be able to guide you further. 



Are you looking for Literature Tuition in Singapore? We provide literature tuition for IB Language Literature, Secondary and iGCSE Literature. For this blog, we will focus on Secondary Literature at mainstream schools.

For 2065 LITERATURE IN ENGLISH GCE ORDINARY LEVEL SYLLABUS, two papers of equal weightage both 50%, will be set (Papers 2065/01 and 2065/02). Candidates are expected to answer a total of four questions. 

Paper 1: Prose and Unseen Poetry Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

Details of Paper and Sections: 

Section A:

Prose [25%] • For each of the six set texts in this section, one passage based question and two essay questions will be set. • Candidates will answer one question [25%] based on one of the six set texts. • For every year of examination, one or two Singapore texts will be set.



Section B: Unseen Poetry [25%] • There are no set texts in this section. • There will be a choice of two unseen poems with one question set on each poem.

Candidates will answer one of the two questions [25%]. 

For every year of examination, one question will be set on a Singapore text.

Paper 2: Drama    Duration: 1 hour 30 mins

Candidates will read one text from any of the five set texts.

• For each of the five set texts, one passage-based question and two essay questions will be set. •

Candidates will answer one compulsory passage-based question and one essay question on the selected text. • Each question is 25% of the total weighting. • For every year of examination, one or two Singapore texts will be set.


‘O’ Level Humanities (Social Studies, Literature in English) (Syllabus 2274/02) & ‘N’ Level Humanities (Social Studies, Literature in English) (Syllabus 2177/02)


The prescribed text for Elective Literature as follows:

Need help for Literature? Get Literature Tuition in Singapore from our humanities team. Our teachers provide quality notes and guidance for Secondary and IB Let our team of English and Literature tutors help you today. Whatsapp us today. 



PSLE English 2022 Question – A Long Wait (Model Essay) 小六PSLE英文优秀作文



新加坡小六会考2022年的PSLE English 就是以“(漫长)的等待” 作为主题, “A Long Wait” 

请阅读我们学生的优秀作文。 要如何才能写出高雅亮洁的好文章?让我们的英文补习老师帮助您的孩子提高写作技能!今天就联络我们吧。

PSLE MODEL ESSAY: 2022 A Long Wait

As I gathered myself and try my best to hastened toward the door to greet my mother, the rampant thudding in my heart got louder. Unease slithered down my spine. My legs turned jelly. I could feel myself wobbling uncontrollably.

“What did the doctor tell them? Is it finally over?” I thought to myself grimly. As the door swung open,  a draft of air hits my face, the air was warm and with a tincture of bleach. I have been trapped in this hospital ward for weeks yet the acrid smell of the hospital never fails to assault my senses. I looked with anticipation at my mother’s weary face, hoping that she will give me some answers that I’ve longed for. 

“Can I leave now?”

“Carin, hang in there. The doctor has not told us the results yet.” my mother whispered as she stroked my cheeks gently, wiping away my tears. 


“This is not fair!” I whimpered as I ran my hand over the rough paint on the hospital wall. I could feel my insides squirm in a way they haven’t done before. I absolutely hate this place. This cold, unfeeling and upsetting place. 

 “How long more must we wait?” I begged for an answer in a soft voice.

My mother bit her lips in an attempt to stop them from quivering. I could feel her body press in, soft and warm as she enveloped me in a hug so tight, it was as if she was worried it would be for the last time.

“Just a few more days, sweetheart. The doctor said we can go home today but we have to come back in three days for the results” she answered tenderly, pointing at the doctor’s letter with a date circled in red ink and a note scribbled ‘White Blood Cell Count Results.”


“I cannot do this anymore, Mummy! Please let me stop all these tests!” I screamed inconsolably, my energy depleting along with my tears. 

The day finally came and we headed back to the dreaded hospital waiting room again. Everything was the same. The rooms, the outfits, the pain. Nothing felt different and I was losing sight of when, if ever, this nightmarish ordeal would ever end.

“Carin Tan Xiyue” I heard the nurse called my name and I nearly jumped out of my seat.

“He’s ready to see you now,” the nurse announced as she opened the door, motioning for my mother and I to enter. I dragged my feet into the doctor’s room reluctantly, moving to sit opposite the doctor, a man in his late forties with heavy brown-rimmed glasses that kept sliding down from his nose. 


 “I have good news for you Carin. Your wait is finally over . That was your last chemotherapy session,” the doctor cheerfully declared. Your cancer cells have been destroyed.”

As he uttered these words, I could not believe my ears. Tears of relief rolled down my cheeks. I thought to myself, “Of the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” I am so glad that this long wait is finally over. 

时间如此短暂而又如此公平,不同的人对待它截然不同,有人视时间为生命,分秒必争,为人类作出了许多贡献;而有人却不然,他们碌碌无为虚度光阴,时间的价值在他们的身上完全消失 了,这样的人生又有何意义而言呢?家长们,时间就是如此,如果你是一位智者,请珍惜身旁的每分每秒吧! 2023一转眼就到了,今天就 Whatsapp 我们,让我们的老师们帮助你的孩子吧!#新加玻英文补习



English O’Levels 1184: How to answer Oral Planned Response Question 


In this new syllabus for GCE O Level English Language Paper 4, students have to present their ideas and opinions fluently and effectively to engage the listener through Planned Response. 10 out of 15 marks are allocated to delivery. Some common questions that students have would be “How then do you structure a planned response so that it can be easily understood?” Read on for our useful template to structure your planned response. 


You will watch a video which shows people watching a lion dance performance.

As you watch the video, think about how you will respond to the following prompt.

Would attending such an event appeal to you? Why or why not? 

This is a typical planned response question during Oral Examinations. On the day of your oral, you will be given ten minutes to view a video. The audio of the video is inconsequential. You should focus on the theme of the video. Candidates are expected to plan and deliver a response to a 1 minute video clip and accompanying prompt presented on a computer screen. 


How to approach the planned response question?

Step 1: Brainstorm on possible questions while watching the video. You can consider using 5Ws and 1H method. 

Step 2: Pay attention to the prompt and work your answer around it. You should have two PEEL paragraphs as part of your response, drawing reference to the video when apt. You are expected to use your own personal stories or other facts to support your opinion. 


Step 3: Consider using this template in setting up your PEEL response

Need more help? Contact us and let us connect you with our team of MOE and NIE trained tutors. Watch our youtube for O’levels Oral Practice questions and you will soon be on your way to scoring distinctions. Stay tuned and subscribe for more free tips on oral English for PSLE and O’levels. 






2022 PSLE Posting is finally over and Secondary One students have received their posting. Most are rejoicing and preparing for an exciting journey to secondary school. There are a handful, however, who are not rejoicing because they did not get into their dream school. If you are looking to appeal, or keen to find out more about the Secondary School Cut Off Points for 2023, do read on! 

Cut Off Points for Top Twenty Schools in Singapore (IP and O’Levels)

Secondary School  Cut off Points 2023 for IP Cut off Points for O’levels (Non-Aff)
Anglican High School   5(HCL Dist) -12 (HCL Pass) Points
Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)   7-13 (Affiliated) 
    6-9 (Non-Affiliated)
Cedar Girls’ Secondary School 4-9 4-8
Raffles Girls’ Secondary (IP) 4-6  
Raffles Institution  (IP) 6  
Methodist Girls’ Sec 4-6 7-17 (Affiliated)
    6-8 (Non-Affiliated)
Nanyang Girls High School (SAP) 7 Dist in HCL   
  8 Merit in HCL  
Hwa Chong Institution (SAP) 4 Dist in HCL  
  7 Merit in HCL  
CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ Sec (SAP) 4 Dist in HCL 7 Merit in HCL 5 Dist in HCL
    8 Dist in HCL
Nan Hua High School (SAP)    6-11     
National Junior College 5-7   
Dunman High Sch 4-8 Dist in HCL  
Catholic High Sch 5-8 Merit 6-9 Merit
Crescent’s Girls    6-11
Singapore Chinese Girls’ Sec 4-8 5-9 (Non-Affiliated) 
St Joseph’s Institution 8 10 (Non-Affiliated)
    12 (Affiliated) 
Victoria Sch 5-8 6-9
River Valley High School(SAP) 4 Merit in HCL   
  9 Dist in HCL  
Temasek Junior College 4-9  

Getting to your dream school is your first step to success, get the best tutors to help you achieve your dreams. Contact us via whatsapp or email today. If you are a Secondary One IP student, quote “S1IP” to get $10 off your online tuition class for Language Arts or Higher Chinese.




O’Levels and N’Levels Results 2022 – What should I do after N’Levels or O’levels? What are my options?

Today is D-Day where N’levels candidates both NT and NA will collect their results in school. With a new common national examination to be launched in 2027, a mere four to five years away, this year’s batch of over 13,000 students (both NT and NA) will be one of the last few batches taking the GCE N-Level. 

How did this year’s N(A) students fare?

According to MOE, there are 9,000 students that took the N(A) course of which close to 79 per cent of them scored an aggregate score of 19 points or less in English Language, Mathematics and the best three other subjects (ELMAB3). This would allow them to progress to Secondary 5 N(A), as they have a score of 19 points or less. Students who choose to progress to Secondary 5 will take have to take the O’levels Syllabus within a year and they will have a choice of entering a Junior College (L1R5 below 20) or Polytechnic next year. 

This blog post seeks to answer some of the many questions that will pop up after getting your O’levels or N’levels results; “Should I retake my O’levels?” “What can I do if I cannot make it to Sec 5?” “Should I choose to go to Secondary 5 if I am eligible?” “What is DPP programme?”


What are my options after N’Levels exams? 

(1) Move on to Secondary 5

As mentioned earlier, those who obtain an aggregate of 19 points or lower in English, Mathematics and the best three subjects (ELMAB3), and at least a Grade 5 for all subjects used in the computation of the ELMAB3 to qualify for Secondary 5 N(A). But this means that you will need to go through the O’levels syllabus in just one year. 

(2) Apply for Direct-Entry-Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP)

If you scored a raw aggregate score of 19 points or less in ELMAB3, and met subject-specific entry requirements for their chosen course. This means that Secondary 4 N(A) students will be admitted directly into a 2-year Higher Nitec programme at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) without having to sit for the O-Level examinations or undergo a Nitec programme. How to apply? You can apply directly to the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) based on a combination of your N-Level examinations results and your school’s preliminary examination results. Click here for more details. Under this scheme, you may first enrol in a 2-year Higher Nitec course at ITE. You will subsequently be assured of a place in a related polytechnic course, provided you achieve the qualifying Grade Point Average (GPA) score in your 2-year Higher Nitec course. This means that you need to maintain your grade and no goofing around in ITE! 

(3) Go on to Polytechnic Foundation Programme (PFP) if you scored 12 points or lower for ELMAB3

This is the most direct route to polytechnic education open only to students who achieved 12 points or lower for ELMAB3. To compute the score, take English Language + Mathematics + Best 3 subjects (which also include one of the relevant subjects based on either Group 1 or Group 2 courses). Instead of continuing with your ‘O’ Level examinations in Secondary 5, you can join the poly of your choice as part of this programme to prepare yourself for your pre-selected diploma course. However, you need to still progress to Secondary 5 till end of Jan 2023 while you await for your posting. It is extremely important to note that eligibility to apply for PFP does not guarantee placement in the programme. Whether you will get a placement or not, depends on factors like competition based on merit and the availability of places. All the five  polytechnics in Singapore will offer a total of 1,500 PFP places and applications will open in January 2023, on the day of the O-Level Examination results release. If you choose a highly popular course, you need to be aware of the competition. For more details, click here


(4) Apply to take O’levels as a Private Candidate 

For students who did not achieve their ideal grades for N’Levels but desire to take O’levels (but you cannot meet the criteria of going on to Sec 5 because you did not score 19 points). You can choose to take the O’levels as a private candidate at schools like MDIS and TMC Academy. Both schools provide Preparatory Courses for students. However, do be prepared to pay $7,000 to $15,000 plus for the programmes, depending on school and duration. For more information, click here for TMC O’levels Preparatory Course and MDIS  

Whatever options you choose, you need support both from your parents and quality, professional tutors who can help you achieve your dreams. Whatsapp us today or email us





Primary 1 (P1) Registration Exercise for Phase 1 started on 29 June 2022  and will close today 30 June 2022. As you should know by now, MOE has made some significant changes to this year’s registration, namely increasing vacancies in Phase 2C from 20 to 40 places in each primary school and merging Phase 2A. This means a total of 60 places (after including 20 places in set aside in Phase 2B for clan and parent volunteers) reserved places will be set aside in all schools at the start of the P1 Registration Exercise. In addition to these reserved places, one-third of any remaining vacancies at the end of Phase 2A will be allocated to Phase 2B, and two-thirds to Phase 2C. This will definitely shake things up for Primary 1 Registration this year!

Phase 1 is for those who have an older sibling at the school. Children who register under this phase are guaranteed a place at their school of choice. The pertinent question comes to mind for parents after the end of Phase 1 Registration would be “How many slots are left in popular primary schools after Phase 1?”

We take a look at the registration slots left in top ten popular primary schools in Singapore. Read on to find out:






Ai Tong School 

Available vacancies in Phase 1




Number of Applicants



122 (51% vacancies taken up)

Anglo-Chinese School Junior 210 78 (37% vacancies taken up)
Catholic High Primary School  180 70 (39% vacancies taken up)
CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School (Primary) 150 60 (40% vacancies taken up)
Henry Park Primary 240 122 (51% vacancies taken up)
Nan Hua Primary 180 97 (54% vacancies taken up)
Nanyang Primary 330 165 (50% vacancies taken up)
Raffles Girls’ Primary 210 89 (43% vacancies taken up)
St Joseph’s Institution Junior 180 73 (41% vacancies taken up)
Tao Nan Primary 300 163( 54% vacancies taken up)