spers

When I was ten, my mother uprooted the whole family and brought us to Hong Kong. She has just gotten a job in HR at HSBC. The unsuspecting bright-eyed ten-year-old that I was hurrayed at that idea and immediately rejoiced at the prospect of a “long holiday”. This long vacation lasted five years and some time in late 2019 and early 2020, my mom made plans to bring my younger brother and I back to Singapore due to the spate of protests, unrest and the last trigger was obviously Covid. That was when I suddenly heard of the term ‘SPERS’ – the re-entry route to local schools just for Singaporeans. 

Through referrals from my mom’s colleagues in Singapore, we were introduced to The Learning Space and enrolled for their SPERS intensive programme focusing on English and Math. I had less than six months to finish the ENTIRE upper-sec syllabus and I truly had no idea where and how to start. Our family contemplated continuing with the IB syllabus that we were more familiar with in Hongkong but decided against it as it would limit our choices and stretch our budget. 

I remembered vividly that my mom made a few calls and some emails and before I knew it, I started my SPERS tuition online. To be frank, I resisted the idea of tuition. I mean come on, ask any pubescent teenager if they desire tuition, I think a majority will give a resounding NO! Now, looking back, I am so glad that I had tuition. Without which, I do not think I can ever qualify for a top JC like VJC. What I felt most grateful for was the fact that I didn’t have to do this on my own. I was lucky enough to get proper help and my tutors knew the SPERS syllabus at the back of their hand. I knew I could pass, I didn’t know that I actually aced it. 

Advertisements

So till today, I am still grateful for my mom and her insistence of me getting professional tutoring for SPERS instead of just roping in my cousin in NUS (whom I appreciate) to coach me on weekends. It took a lot of stress away from us as a family. I also like to thank my grandma and grandpa for letting us stay at their place when we came back. Last but not least, I would also like to thank my tutors for their time and dedication. Without all these people, I don’t think I would be able to achieve such spectacular progress. 

Sincerely,

Elijah 

_______________

This email comes from one of our students who has achieved their desired results through our SPERS online tuition programme. 

Get in touch with us today for an immediate SPERS placement diagnosis test and be paired with our team of highly qualified MOE Teachers and tutors today. 

For more information on SPERS and AEIS programme, whatspp us today. The application period for the 2022 SPERS-Sec will start in July 2022. Tests will be conducted in September or October 2022. These periods are tentative; details will be available on MOE website by end of April 2022.

Advertisements

Returning Singaporeans who are unable to return to Singapore for the SPERS-Sec tests may participate in the supplementary placement exercise which will be announced at a later date. 

Advertisements

It is no secret that IB students in Singapore have been performing well above expectations for the last few years.

In the year 2021, over 50% of Singapore IB students (133 out of 238) are perfect scorers. This means that these students are getting a total of 45 points out of 45 points  with 42 points generated across the 6 subjects and 3 bonus points derived from Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay.)

A survey by Crimson Education reveals that the acceptance rate of IB students into Ivy League universities is up to 18% higher than the total population acceptance rate. Although there are no officially published IBDP cut-off points for ivy league universities, there have been general feedback and academic reviews on how IB scores fare in the Harvard enrolment process. To stand a chance in getting into Ivy League Schools like Harvard, IBDP students must score at least 38 points and have an immaculate portfolio which reflects their leadership qualities, sporting achievements, together with a letter of recommendation (LOR).

Where Can I Study The IB in Singapore?

There are close to 30 schools in Singapore offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) from local schools like Singapore Sports School, SOTA, ACSI, SJI to International schools like Australia International School, Tanglin to United World College.

Even preschools like Etonhouse have started a full IB programme from IB Primary Years (PYP) to Middle Years (MYP) to IBDP. Students are now able to study the two-year pre-university course at Etonhouse in their Orchard Campus.

List of schools that offer the IBDP programmes in Singapore with Annual Tuition Fees* (Please contact the respective educational institutions to get the latest tuition fees)

ACS (International) Singapore

IBDP offered since: 2006

Annual tuition fees: $25,410 – $36,960

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)

IBDP offered since: 2005

Annual tuition fees: $26,400

Australian International School, Singapore

IBDP offered since: 2010

Annual tuition fees: $42,852

Canadian International School (Lakeside Campus)

IBDP offered since: 2002

Annual tuition fees: $40,900

 

 

 

Chatsworth International School (Bukit Timah Campus)

IBDP offered since: 2004

Annual tuition fees: $32,788

 

Dover Court International School

IBDP offered since: 2017

Annual tuition fees: $33,855

 

Dulwich College (Singapore)

IBDP offered since: 2017

Annual tuition fees: $46,840

 

GEMS World Academy, Singapore

IBDP offered since: 2016

Annual tuition fees: $40,640

 

GESS

IBDP offered since: 2006

Annual tuition fees: $34,810

 

GIIS SMART Campus

IBDP offered since: 2005

Annual tuition fees: $18,945

 

Hillside World Academy

IBDP offered since: 2007

Annual tuition fees: $33,900

 

Hwa Chong International School (HCIS)

IBDP offered since: 2008

Annual tuition fees: $28,890

 

ISS International School Singapore (High School)

IBDP offered since: 2000

Annual tuition fees: $38,647

 

Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah

IBDP offered since: 2018

Annual tuition fees: N/A

 

Nexus International School (Singapore)

IBDP offered since: 2008

Annual tuition fees: $40,338

 

NPS International School

IBDP offered since: 2010

Annual tuition fees: $24,900

 

One World International School (OWIS)

IBDP offered since: 2019

Annual tuition fees: $20,136

 

Overseas Family School

IBDP offered since: 1994

Annual tuition fees: $41,000

 

School of The Arts Singapore (SOTA)

IBDP offered since: 2010

Annual tuition fees: $27,600 (international students)

 

Singapore Sports School (SSP)

IBDP offered since: 2013

Annual tuition fees: N/A

 

St Francis Methodist School

IBDP offered since: 2019

Annual tuition fees: $20,709

 

St Joseph’s Institution

IBDP offered since: 2008

Annual tuition fees: $26,400 (international students)

 

St. Joseph’s Institution International

IBDP offered since: 2007

 

Annual tuition fees: $34,058

Stamford American International School

IBDP offered since: 2014

Annual tuition fees: $42,590

 

Tanglin Trust School

IBDP offered since: 2009

Annual tuition fees: $41,067

 

United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA), Dover Campus

IBDP offered since: 1977

Annual tuition fees: $40,125

United World College of South East Asia (UWCSEA), East Campus

IBDP offered since: 2012

Annual tuition fees: $40,125

 

Click here to see List of IB Schools in Singapore

At the Learning Space, our team of school teachers and tutors can guide you or your child in their journey towards IBDP excellence. We have a strong team of current IB tutors and MOE trained teachers who are ready to support your child in their learning journey. For tuition on Language Literature, Economics, Business Management to Chinese, get in touch with us today.

Advertisements

“Should I choose JC over Poly?” is THE perennial question that all secondary students (or their parents) have to ask themselves.

Despite the pandemic, the 2021 batch of Sec Four and Sec Five students achieved the best O-level results in at least 30 years with close to 90% of the students attaining 5 or more passes. This is indeed impressive and reflects strongly the resilience of our students in Singapore.

According to the Ministry Of Education, over 50 percent of the 20,300 students who took O’levels in 2020, were posted to the five polytechnics. Another close to 40 percent of these O’levels holders were allocated slots in Junior Colleges and MI. Other 10 percent were posted to ITE. 

Advertisements

In every cohort of graduating Secondary 4 and 5 students, there will always be some students who have long decided on a polytechnic education. More often than not, this group of students are aware of their career aspirations and are keen to go to poly to further their goals vocationally. They are almost certain of their career path and see poly as a natural stepping stone that provides key industrial insights to their future career. Typically, these students are motivated and have the blessings of their parents, and they would choose to go for Early Admissions Exercise (known as EAE or the DSA route to Poly) so as to secure their ideal course before the release of O’levels results. 

There exists another group (which arguably may make up the majority) where these Secondary Four students would hover on ambivalence, and would keep their options open till they receive their results. Like most typical sixteen and seventeen year olds, they are uncertain about their career path and see the O’level results as a push and determinant nudge towards their future. They adopt ‘see-how’ mindset and will only decide and take the final plunge when they received their results.

Whichever group you belong too, in today’s blog post, let’s look at the advantages of choosing JC over Poly vice versa. 

Advertisements

 

Advantages of choosing JC  Disadvantages of choosing JC
1) Shorter duration – Two years over three years at a Polytechnic.  1) Potentially overwhelming workload – the JC Workload can be challenging and the pressure is on to perform above or within expectations within a span of less than two years for a high key national examination. 
2) A more direct route and better chance to enter local universities – With the current pandemic, it has become increasingly more appealing and competitive for students to stay in Singapore. Statistically, over 70 percent or more JC students get into Uni while 30% Poly students get into Uni (Local). There is admittedly more certainty to get into the local Universities when you go to JC.  2) No real change in the environment. The school rules continue, CCA remains similar and subjects available are still close to those offered in secondary. 
3) JC are more cost effective – It is cheaper (for Singaporeans especially). The cost of school fees for a non independent JC is less than $10 per month. School Fees for Polytechnic on the other hand is around $250 per month. Tuition grants are available for students. In addition to this, there is no need to factor in a ‘wardrobe budget’, in JC , you wear Uuniforms every day. Hurray for the budget and eco conscious. Another serious consideration that you need to have is that if you value a local University degree but have no budget to go overseas, JC is definitely a very attractive option. 3) Lack freedom, You feel ‘kiddie’ and a Fashionista nightmare – Unlike the Poly students, JC students can only wear their uniforms. Rules are stricter and you have your usual assembly and other familiar obligations. There are limited subjects to choose from and most are extensions from secondary school. 

 

4) It is similar to secondary school and you do not have to decide on your preferred course yet. A plus for students who have yet to decide on their career routes, JC would ‘buy more time’.  4) You will need to take another major national exams, the A’Levels in less than two years. You are stuck with subjects like GP which have gained the notoriety of being ‘hard to pass/score.’ Just as you are ‘recovering’ from O’Levels, you are ushered into another round of preparation for yet another National Exam. 

Choosing Poly or Jc is definitely a daunting task. Admittedly, It may seem more prestigious ‘to go on the ‘Junior College’ route, which is a path that leads to the studies of even more theoretical applications. However, it is pivotal to consider your own strengths and weaknesses before making the decisions. Do not choose a route because your best friend is choosing it. Talk to your seniors, parents or the school career counsellors, whatever your choice may be, our team of former and current MOE teacher tutors will be able to support you in your journey to academic excellence. Our online GP tuition starts from just $35 onwards. Get in touch with us today and let us support you in your academic endeavours with the best tutors in Singapore. 

Advertisements

GRAMMAR QUIZ: 
Should you say “I am wearing an or a uniform.” ?

Read on for the answer below. 

When do you use An or A?
Simply put, you use ‘An’ when initials sound a e i o u. In uniform ‘u’ sounds like ‘you’ which starts with ‘y’ not ‘u’ sound like the one in an umbrella. Hence a uniform is correct.’
How can you improve on your Editing? 
In O’levels English Paper 1 (1128), Editing is a weighty section worth 10 marks. Many students are unable to score a good grade for this section because they may not be familiar with some key rules of grammar. Read on for some quick tips for editing and common preposition mistakes. 

To get professional help for English Tuition in Singapore, reach out to us and our team of tutors (MOE Trained Teachers, Full Time Tutors and University Undergrads) today. For a limited time, you can get a trial lesson for online Secondary English Tuition at just $40 onwards.  

Tips for Editing at O’Levels

(i) Prepositions of Time 

When do you use ‘In’ , ‘On’ and ‘At’ ?

In

  • Parts of days

Morning / Afternoon

E.g. It is 7am in the morning. 

  • Months

E.g. My birthday is in July

  • Years

E.g. I was born in the year 2005.

  • Centuries 

E.g. As we usher in the 21st Century …

On

  • Holidays that end with ‘day’

E.g. I was born on National Day.

  • Days of the week

E.g. I forgot that my homework was due on Monday. 

  • Days of the month 

E.g. Singapore’s National Day is on 9th August.

  • Dates 
At

  • Holidays without ‘day’ (Lunar New Year, Deepavali) 

E.g. I am always busy at Deepavali because I have many relatives to visit. 

  • Time (Midnight, Noon, 10am, 1pm) 

E.g.  I am going to meet my best friend for lunch at 1.30pm. 

Prepositions of Place >>  in, on, and at.

In

    • Neighbourhoods

    E.g. I live in Clementi 

    • Cities

    E.g. I work in London

    • Countries

    (China)

    E.g. My family lives in China 

On

    • Streets, Avenues

    E.g. I live on the Sixth Avenue 

    • Islands

    I live on Sentosa Island

    1. Large Vehicles or surfaces 

    E.g. Train, Bus, Ship

    E.g. I lost my wallet on the train 

At

    • Addresses

     

    E.g. I live at 210 Riverdale Street 

    1. Specific Location 

    E.g. I am at home now

For a limited time only, we are offering a special promotion for Secondary 1 to 5 O’levels Express Online Tuition at just $40 for one class (50% off). You will gain access to notes and coaching by our team of ex and current MOE Teachers. Whatsapp us or email us today.

Advertisements

How do I get into a polytechnic after my N’Levels? What are my options?

Option 1. Apply to a Polytechnic via DPP

According to the Ministry of Education, N’level students can go for the Direct-Entry-Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP). This is one of the two Normal (Academic) through-train pathways that were launched in 2013. It enables Secondary 4 N(A) students who are interested to go to Polytechnic but may not be meeting their academic targets as yet, to 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.

Students would then need to complete the course with the minimum required Grade Point Average (GPA, typically around 2.5 to qualify for Polytechnic Admission) so that they can be guaranteed a place in a polytechnic diploma course which in turn will be mapped to their Higher Nitec course.

Advertisements

Who can apply ?

Secondary 4 N(A) students who have taken the most recent N-Level examinations as a school candidate. The DPP application starts right after receiving the N’levels results and will go on for around a week or so. Students can find out more by clicking this link. The posting results will typically be released after Christmas.

How do I know if I can go for DDP?

 According to MOE, Secondary 4 Normal (Academic) students who scored an aggregate of not more than 19 points in English language, mathematics and the best three subjects, and at least a Grade 5 for all subjects used in the computation of this five-subject score, can apply for the Direct Entry Scheme to Polytechnic Programme (DPP). Students can also enter the PFP (Poly foundation Programme) which is a year long foundation programme conducted at polytechnics which serve to prepare students for entry to diploma courses. Students need to pass all the modules in the PFP programme to move on to a diploma course in polytechnic.  

 

Option 2: Continue to Secondary 5

Why should your child continue to promote to Sec 5? In 2021, over 79.2 per cent of the close to 9500 candidates were able to move on to Sec 5. Students who wish to go to Junior Colleges or Millennia Institute(three year Pre University course) will typically choose this route. 

Advertisements

What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to Secondary 5?

 

Advantages of going Sec 5

  1. Students will still stand a chance to continue their aspirations of going to a Junior College or taking the A’Levels.
  2. Secondary 5 helps to buy time. It is the most direct route for students to pursue when they are still uncertain of their career options. Entering a polytechnic when you are not certain of what course you want can potentially result in three years of ‘hell and misery’, although for some, having a new social circle may mitigate this. 
Disadvantages of going Sec 5
1) You have to relearn the O’levels syllabus in just one year or less. Unless you have the help of a qualified tutor, it will be extremely challenging to take on the O’levels on your own. The syllabus are largely different and students have to re-learn many subjects. 
2) What if you fail the O’levels?
Some students who have gone on to Secondary 5, realised the leap in academic expectations and simply cannot manage the stress and subjects. Having just taken the N’levels last year and to pursue another major National Levels such as O-Levels so soon is a potentially tedious process, especially in this pandemic.

With the release of O-levels results, happening on 10 January 2022, more N’levels students and their O’levels counterparts will be facing this beckoning conundrum. Whether it’s polytechnic or to continue with Secondary 5, students are well advised to attend virtual open houses and go for career fairs in order to obtain an inkling of their career directions.

Our team of qualified tutors and MOE trained teachers are standing by to give students academic support and strategies. From now till 31 January, all O’levels and N’Levels 2021 candidates are eligible to sign up for our online English and Math tuition courses at just $40 (usual price $60) for a trial lesson. 
Advertisements
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?

Advertisements

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.

Advertisements

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.

Advertisements
Advertisements
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. 

Advertisements

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 (for tips on informal email writing, check here)
  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 :

Advertisements

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.

Advertisements
Advertisements
secondary school students

Will access to technology help Singaporean students reduce inequality?

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced during a national broadcast on today, June 17 that 

Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has plans to fast-forward the plan to equip all secondary school students with their own personal laptop or tablet by next year 2021.

This means all students (regardless of family income) can finally have their own private digital devices where they can access HBL online learning materials, attend online tuition lessons, do research on their tablets, download educational apps and of course, socialise all on their very own devices. 

In recent years, Senior Minister Tharman has often advocated that social mobility has been and is at the heart of Singapore’s ambition and how it is absolutely imperative for the government to do their best to address this concern.

Advertisements

Like most globalised nations, social divisions are part of an unfortunate reality in meritocratic Singapore. On one end of the spectrum, we have some students in Singapore who are trapped in the poverty cycle, struggling with basic needs, living without access to wifi or their own laptop devices. On the moneyed end, we have students in Raffles Institution who flush S$50 and call it ‘our toilet paper’.

secondary school students

Not too long ago, in 2018, Singapore ranked 149 in an Oxfam index where 157 countries are ranked based on their efforts to tackle the gap between the rich and poor. Singapore is just eight ranks ahead of countries like Nigeria (157) and Bhutan (152). 

In his speech, Senior Minister Tharman recognises that due to the Covid-19 crisis, the income inequality has definitely widened. Job and income losses have hit some groups much harder than others. Children without well-off parents are falling behind, with their schooling disrupted and little done to help them. 

Advertisements

Singaporeans spend twice the global average on children’s local education and buying assessment books are one of the expenses that they incurred. 

At The Learning Space, we provide affordable online tuition, quality and free learning materials and test papers to help parents ease their pockets. Subscribe and get the latest updates on sample essays, test papers and more. 

Advertisements
iGCSE and GCE O'Levels

 

One of the most common questions we get asked by students is what is the difference between IGCSE and GCE O’levels.

The IGCSE goes back to over 30 years ago by Cambridge Assessment International Education. IGCSEs were created to give students overseas access to a similar qualification of the same standard as GCSE. Since then many UK awarding bodies also provide a range of subjects at IGCSE. In Singapore, this is mostly available in International Schools or open to private candidates pursuing iGCSE at private institutions.

Some background information: In Singapore, secondary students (depending on their PSLE results/DSA and background) are able to choose to embark on the following tracks:

Advertisements

1) Integrated Programme (6 years programme gearing towards A’levels)

2)Integrated Programme Pre-IB (6 years programme gearing towards International Baccalaureate Diploma)

3) GCE O’levels (4 years programme leading to a Poly Diploma or A’levels)

4)iGCSE (offered mostly at International schools gearing towards International Baccalaureate Diploma)

So, what exactly is the difference between GCE O’levels and iGCSE?

In Singapore, the IGCSE or International General Certificate for Secondary Education is usually taught at International Schools like Dulwich College, Tanglin Trust School, Hwa Chong International, SJI International, Australian International School, UWC, Canadian International School, and many more. Students are expected to do the exam in Year 10. This was originally found by Cambridge Examinations and is an internationally recognized qualification. When you pass this exam, you are entitled to study for A/AS level or Advanced Level.

Similar to the GCE O’levels, the iGCSE syllabus, requires you to take core subjects like English, a Second Language, Maths, Science, Humanities like Global Perspectives, Economics, Business Studies and electives like Programming, D & T, Arts, Drama, Photography etc (depending on what your school offers)

For O’levels aka Ordinary Levels which is available at all mainstream schools in Singapore, students will take core subjects like English, Mother Tongue, Science, Humanities like Social Studies + Geography, History or Literature. Students can also consider electives subjects like Music, Art, D & T. Business-related subjects are more limited under the GCE O’levels syllabus, the main offerings being Principles of Accounts, Economics and Business Studies (just a mere handful of secondary schools like Outram Secondary and Temasek Secondary offer this.) What is most interesting to note is that seven new subjects, ranging from robotics to sports science, are now available for students on the O- and N-level track. This is certainly great news as it shows that our Ministry of Education is keeping up with the demands of the economy and is working towards giving students a chance for more hands-on learning.

Advertisements

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our team of carefully selected, shortlisted professional tutors and former teachers are available to assist your child in achieving their academic goals. We have tutors who are International Baccalaureate and iGCSE trained tutors, they are familiar with the syllabus requirements and are fully ready to assist.

Some of our tutors are current teachers are currently teaching in local junior colleges, international schools, or former moe-teachers who are very experienced in teaching the GCE O’levels and A’levels.

 

Let us help you or your children achieve their academic goals. Drop us a note today and tell us what kind of tutors you are looking for. We will definitely be able to help.

Advertisements
Advertisements
O’levels Paper 1

O’levels Paper 1 Student’s Model Essay:

Question: Write about an occasion when an inconsiderate act leads to drastic consequences

“Bang, bang, bang, buzzzzz,” the sound of the relentless pounding of the drill reverberated throughout the walls of my flat. The cacophonous sound had jolted me from my deep slumber. Bleary-eyed, I dragged myself towards the main door, hoping to find out who or what is causing such a din.

I opened my door and was livid to find that the entire common corridor has been filled with tools, wooden planks, stacks of old newspaper and old furniture. A long extension ladder was also placed against the parapet. It turns out that my new neighbour Dashen has been using the common corridor like his own workshop.

“Oh my gosh! Can you please STOP?!” I yelled, my voice shooting up 50 octaves, my eyes flashing angrily.

“Why are you making so much noise so early in the morning? Don’t you know you cannot block the common corridor? You are obstructing everyone. This is very inconsiderate!” I hollered again. Rage gripping me and anger flooding through my veins.

Advertisements

Dashen darted me a baleful look, flicked his cigarette, turned his head, walked back into his flat, ignoring me completely.

At this point, I could feel a vein popped out in my neck, my jaw thrust forward with indignation. I stomped back to my room to put on some proper clothing so that I can confront him.

Suddenly, an acrid smell hit my nostrils. It was smoky campfire-ish smell. I raced to the front door only to find thick gray smoke billowing in. Like a monstrous beast, it wolfed everything in its way. Nothing was spared. Flames ripped across the ceiling as if they had been shot from a flamethrower. At the corner of my eyes, I caught a glimpse of a burning cigarette that landed on the pile of newspaper.

Advertisements

 

Immediately, everything clicked.

Our inconsiderate new neighbour, Dashen, must have flung his cigarette onto the newspapers that he had left outside. The cigarette must have stabbed into a tottering stack of cardboard boxes intermixed with old newspapers and an old cabinet that was missing a leg. The suffocating smoke jolted me to my senses. I quickly reached for my phone and dialled 995. As I put down the phone, a thought struck me like lightning. Oh no! I have to alert Auntie Wong, our recently widowed, octogenarian neighbour who is living alone. I knocked furiously and frantically at her door. Just as I thought, she was home and had just woken up too.

“We have to get out of here! There is a fire!” I bellowed. Mrs Wong was hyperventilating. I took her hand and helped her out of her flat. There was choking smoke, so black and thick that it seemed you could grab it by the handful. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I heard a lot sound. Crack! Thud! The ladder that Dashen left outside the corridor had fallen, landing on Mrs Wong’s left leg. Gasping for breath, I mustered all my strength and pushed the ladder away, almost tripping over the debris. I picked the frail Mrs Wong up and carried her down the stairs. Just as we were able to go down the stairs, a loud boom echoed behind me and we were hurled forward. At this point, the firemen had arrived and managed to bring the both of us to safety.

After battling with the fire for close to four hours, the fire was finally extinguished. The police had also arrived and told us that there some flammable substances such as cleaning agents and electronic items in the old cabinet that Dashen had left outside the corridor. Dashen was also questioned by the authorities and the police took him away to assist with further investigation.

Advertisements

Dashen’s terribly selfish, horribly reckless act endangered everyone. Lives could have been lost because of such thoughtless act and careless oversights. Dashen’s inconsiderate act has started a disastrous fire which took have taken a heavy toll on innocent lives.

What exactly do examiners look for in a well written narrative or personal recount essay?

Content: Students need a well-organized story will have all three parts, and the ideas will be presented in a clear and logical way. Your story must be credible and not too far-fetched.

Language: To get The paragraphs will be set appropriately, with colons and semicolons used as they should, and the ideas presented should be easy to connect and understand, making it a smooth read for the reader.

Advertisements

For more insider’s tips and sample essays, subscribe here. You can also reach out to our team of professional and experienced tutors to give you a head start today.

Advertisements