2014 A levels H1 General Paper (8807) Paper 1 Suggested Solutions

JC General Paper
For the benefit of our students and their revision, here’s the questions for the 2014 paper. Stay tune for our short outlines on these questions. The aim of our outlines is to create discussions online on possible arguments or perspectives on the questions. Feel free to comment on these questions when we have them up. We look forward to your engagement.
1. ‘Traditional marriage is an outdated concept.’ To what extent is this true of your society?
2. How far should firms be allowed to limit their workers’ rights when profits are at stake?
3. ‘Gambling on sport undermines its spirit and should be banned.’ How realistic is this position?
4. Discuss the view that, with an increasing global need for energy, every possible source should be exploited to the full.
5. ‘For the majority of people, the Arts are irrelevant to their daily lives.’ How true is this of your society?
6. How far is it important for people to be aware of current events in countries other than their own?
7. In times of economic hardship, should a country still be expected to provide financial or material aid to others?
8. Do films offer anything more than an escape from reality?
9. To what extent can the regulation of scientific or technological developments be justified?
10. ‘Getting what one wants in life is what matters.’ Discuss.
11. Examine the extent to which expenditure on arms and the armed forces is justifiable in the modern world.
12. Consider the view that some careers are better suited to one gender than the other.

Welcome J1 to your new academic life :)

JC General Paper, JC Mathematics

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How far is it possible for one country to forgive another for its past actions?

JC General Paper

How far is it possible for one country to forgive another for its past actions?


Past actions: war time atrocities, political feuds, economic conflicts, social and ideological conflicts

Forgive: the ability to “forget” and to move on with past historical animosities and collaborate with one another on international matters or even domestic affairs.  What exactly entails forgive? This is open to debate. Does forgive mean that we totally forget the whole incident and never bring it up again? Can countries still commemorate these past actions in their national histories but still cooperate with the other nations? What exactly is the yardstick that you are going to set?

How possible is it really for a country to forgive one another really depends on the nature of the conflict, and how easy is it to resolve these conflicts. One has to also consider factors such as whether there is any third party mediation to resolve tensions between the countries and to reduce tensions between them.

Yes it is entirely possible to forgive

1.Due to pragmatic purposes, countries may have to put aside their past conflicts and cooperate with one another in order for their economies to progress. Economic reasons have always been the sole overriding factor for most of the conflicts that occur.

It is no secret that Singapore and Malaysia share a very difficult past due to their separation and that tensions exist between these two neighbours. However, both have put aside their past hostilities and differences and sought cooperation with each other on many levels. One such example is the recent talks cooperation for a high speed railway train.

No, it is not possible to forgive

1.Forgiving is especially difficult when the conflict is one that hinges on racial and religious sentiments, and that the actions of the nations have already been entrenched in their national histories and minds. Such conflicts will shape the relations of both countries for a long time, even after the conflict has passed.

Racial politics could very well undermine the stable sovereignty of another country, especially when the racial hostilities were extended to or created by communities of people instead of played out by the national elites themselves. Government policies which are deemed threatening to another country’s racial policies inevitably lead to tensions between the two countries, because the viability of states may decrease, leading to their loss of legitimacy.

An example would be the case study of Malaysia and the Philippines. Their relations were affected by alleged Malaysian support for the Moro Muslim rebellions in Southern Philippines. Malaysia has been implicated in the Muslim conflicts in the Philippines from the beginning. Sabah’s ruler, Tun Mustapha, was suspected by the Philippines of tolerating, even assisting the provision of military supplies to the Muslim rebels and providing sanctuary for Moro fighters. As chief minister of Sabah, Tun Datu Mustapha allegedly allowed Sabah to be used, during 1972-1976, as a training camp, supply depot, communication center, and sanctuary. The Malaysian government has never publicly admitted its involvement in the Moro struggle. But Malaysian assistance gave the essential incentive to the Moro separatists. The support of Sabah and other Malaysian Muslim sectors enabled the Moros to elevate the level of conflict from a fight for equality and justice to a war of liberation, demanding self-determination. In 1970, Tunku Abdul Rahman promoted international support for the Moro cause. The unofficial Malaysian support for the Moros has been the main reason why the Philippines has not dropped its claim to Sabah, which can be used as a lever to put pressure on Malaysia to curb the activities of its Moro sympathizers.


  1. It is very hard for an aggrieved nation to move on with the past hurt committed by an aggressor nation, especially if the aggressor has chosen not to “remember the incident”.

China and Japan share a very tumultuous relationship due to the war crimes committed by Japan during the Second World War where massive number of people has been killed, tortured and even raped. Things are made worst when Japan has still not apologize for their actions formally to China, and insist on covering up their atrocities committed in their national history textbook. In fact, Japan PM even went so far to deny that the Rape of Nanking even occur though it has been recorded in many history textbooks. The PM repeated visit to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine has always sparked off tensions between these two neighbours.

  1. Differences in political ideologies have always been a sore point among nations, especially when these differences serve to threaten their existence and legitimacy in the eyes of the international arena. Such ideological differences have the effect of increasing mutual suspicion and tensions with one another, so much so that it is difficult to work and cooperate with one another.

A case in point is the cold war rivalry between USA and USSR. Even though the cold war has long ceased in 1991, tensions between these 2 superpowers are still evident on the international stage.  This is clearly evident today as Obama and Putin clash over Syria.


Students should note that by the nature of the subject, there is several other possible pointers too, so feel free to discuss freely below!

Back to: 2015 A’levels H1 General Paper (8807) suggested solutions

To what extent should the arts in your society focus on local rather than foreign talent?

JC General Paper

To what extent should the arts in your society focus on local rather than foreign talent?

This question is indeed interesting considering how Singapore has stated her explicit aims of being a global arts hub on one hand, and the recent online Youtube controversy on the other hand about Stephanie Koh proclaiming that she is not proud of being a Singaporean due to the lack of an arts scene here. She claims the lack of this art scene makes the environment very stifling.  This “complain” of Stephanie Koh is just one of the many laments that we hear from the local art talents here. So how exactly should we bridge the gap between the nation’s aim versus the grudges of local talents? Should we focus on the local art talent or the foreign talent in order to elevate and revitalize our arts scene first?

Foreign talents definitely!

  1. Focusing on foreign talents who have the necessary expertise and connections will create a platform for future local arts talents to leverage on and develop their own artistic potentials. Many global cities have already established their own niche area in the arts scene and it will be extremely difficult for Singapore to break through and crave out a name in this sector without some foreign expertise and help. International collaboration will go a long way in ensuring that Singapore makes waves in the art scene- small but impactful waves should be the main objective of Singapore in order to attract some attention which can go a long way for local art talents.
  1. Having world-renowned foreign talents in the local arts scene will serve as a “pull” factor in getting tourists into Singapore and help to boost our economic performance, considering that Singapore is heavily dependent on the service industry. The arts industry is a huge untapped potential area for Singapore to develop and attain tourist dollar.  Singapore has implemented the Foreign Artistic Talent scheme to encourage international arts professional to become PR here in order to improve the arts and culture landscape.
  1. Singaporeans are likely to trust foreign productions that have been successful overseas than a local production that they have not even heard much about. Singaporeans in general are very skeptical and conservative and may not like to try anything new, and would rather get “their money worth” on a foreign production. The whole aim is not on whether Singapore is focusing on local or foreign production, rather using these foreign productions to get Singaporeans even interested in the arts scene, so that local arts will have more recognition in time to come.

E.g. Productions like “Lion King and “Shakespeare in the Park” have high recognition overseas which translate to high interest by the locals- goes a long way in getting Singaporeans to start enjoying arts production.

Locals definitely!

  1. Locals are talented and should be given a voice and platform to express their works, otherwise it will lead to a brain drain eventually. Local talents will be able to add a domestic angle to productions and cater better to the local audience due to their understanding of local social issues.  Prominent people who have left include Stephanie Koh.
  1. Governments should spend more money in grooming our local talents and providing them the platform to tap into the local market before venturing overseas. It is a sector that Singapore can be proud of and even develop their nationalistic pride surrounding it. For instance, we have the Young Artist Award to encourage the development of young artistic talents. SOTA has also been created to better cater and keep our young local talent pool.

Students should note that by the nature of the subject, there is several other possible pointers too, so feel free to discuss freely below!

Back to: 2015 A’levels H1 General Paper (8807) suggested solutions

“Books serve little purpose in education as technological developments become more sophisticated.” How far do you agree?

JC General Paper

“Books serve little purpose in education as technological developments become more sophisticated.” How far do you agree?


Sophisticated- to be more complex, challenging, makes learning easier and faster, almost instanteously

Technological developments- wiring the world closer together, overload of new information, may lead to information paralysis

Little purpose- losing relevance, especially in view of the 21st Century world

This question requires students to compare if books still have any relevance in this IT savvy world, especially when they can always resort to using e-books as a substitute. Also, students are required to compare and discuss against other methods which educators use in education, preferably IT related methods, and see if books still have a place to fill. This question also assumes that the 21st century world is highly complex and dynamic, so much so that only technological gadgets can keep abreast with these developments. Books would have been outdated given how fast information changes in this world and not suited for learning. This is especially so when schools worldwide are implementing IT in their teachings. In Singapore, we have “Future schools” where lessons are taught using technological gadgets in order to make lessons more interactive.

No books have lost their relevance in education with technological developments

1.Using IT gadgets to teach will make lessons more engaging and innovative, helping to enhance students’ learning, considering that a large proportion of students are visual learners.  Educators will be able to cater to their students, especially those students with learning disabilities such as ADHD and Dyslexia.

2.Technological developments have rendered educators a platform to provide an experiential learning for students.  Such experiential learning helps to introduce the context of learning to students. For instance, students will be able to understand how chemical reactions occur between 2 chemicals when they play with their Ipads and witness for themselves first hand on how to add and subtract chemicals that they are creating.

3.Sophistication of technology meant that information can easily be acquired, disseminated and even updated at the speed of light which helps to aid learning. This ensures that learning is always up-to-date and relevant in this information age, where information gets outdated as fast as it gets out. Relevance is critical to ensure that students have the cutting edge information to compete with the rest in the global world.

 Books still have relevance in education even with technological developments

1.Though some may argue that books are redundant as they are outdated once they are printed, one should not totally dismiss books as there is still value in the printed information.  Information could be outdated as context changes but there is still value for students to learn from the past context and try to apply it to present context.

Some books are always viewed as a classic. A popular classic investment book includes Benjamin Graham’s The Intelligent Investor that many professional investors still refer to as the “holy grail” of investing even though it has been written ages ago. Learning from books still have relevance even if the internet and trading platforms can educate us on investment theories as certain rules still apply up to today.

2.Books as a form of cheap educational tool is still highly valued in today’s world as not everyone has the ability to afford a technological learning tool even with government’s subsidies. Also, not every student has the preference of using a notebook for learning.

What do you think are some of the roles books can play in education, considering that now we have a widespread of IT apps to help learning? Where do you think E-books fit in all these arguments?  Pls post and lets discuss from here.


Students should note that by the nature of the subject, there is several other possible pointers too, so feel free to discuss freely below!

Back to: 2015 A’levels H1 General Paper (8807) suggested solutions

2015 A’level Suggested Solutions

2015 A’level Suggested Solutions

JC Chemistry, JC General Paper, JC Mathematics, JC Physics

Congratulations on the completion of A’levels for the 2015 batch!

As for those who still, are taking A’levels 2016, we hope you find this site helpful. Read the comments (ignore the trolls who have yet grown up) and learn from our mistakes.

It has been a pleasure for all us to interact with you guys. Do check back after your release of A’levels, as we will love to hear from you! In the meantime, you can always read through some of the posts regarding undergraduate & postgraduate courses in Mathematics (KS), Economics (KS), Physics (Casey) & Chemistry (Eric) as we share some of our past experiences, along with some of our works today.

You’ve come a long way, now party hard. We wish you all the best in your future endeavours.

H1 General Paper

H2 Mathematics (By KS)

H1 Mathematics (By KS)

H2 Chemistry

H1 Chemistry

H2 Physics


Consider the argument that the main purpose of television should be to educate rather than simply to entertain.

JC General Paper

Consider the argument that the main purpose of television should be to educate rather than simply to entertain.

This is a comparison question on the role of television- whether it should be of an educational role or an entertainment role.  So what is exactly an educational or even entertainment role?

Define- Educate: to impart values and knowledge to society. Entertain- to allow audiences to relieve stress, rewind and enjoy after a day of work.

Educational role is more important than entertainment

1)Television is often the main vehicle of transmission of important news that the government would like the public to know.  In critical situations, such as the spread of diseases such as SARS and MERs, the government has to reach out to the wider public to disseminate news in the fastest possible time.  They have to resort to more traditional medium of transmission such as the television as not everyone has access to social media.  The media also plays an important role during war time and national emergency to disseminate news such as places to go to for shelter and food rations.

2)Besides being an important transmission of news, television has the social obligation to impart values to the society. These values being imparted are often state- endorsed for social stability. But one must note that censorship is strongly evident, due to the fact that most governments control the media and that the government decides for the people what they should consume and what they should not. E.g. Shows and dramas in Singapore are usually focused on family-centric themes of filial piety and heterosexual marriages.  Any themes dealing with homosexuality or politically divisive news are being censored.  A recent film that was being censored by our government includes “To Singapore, with Love”.

If television focuses on entertainment, it may lead to negative impacts on adolescences’ views on sexual attitudes and expectations, which may destabilize the institution of marriage and family.  Lots of entertainment programs such as “sex and the city”, “desperate housewives”  and even “sweet sixteen” that are gaining attention, but what is the value of watching such programs if our moral values and attitudes get eroded?

3)Educational programs help people to broaden their horizons and perspectives about other nations.  They serve as a bridge in helping people understand and catch a glimpse of other people’s lifestyles and values, even if they cannot afford to travel to know more about the world.  Such education programs include National Geographic and even news channel like BBC. Having global citizens who are well tuned to world happenings is definitely a cutting-edged skill that countries need today.

Entertainment is more important than educational purposes

1)Entertainment role should not be underestimated given its ability to allow the masses to unwind and enjoy programs after a hard day of work. It is a cheap form of entertainment that families can bond with one another.

2) Entertainment is essential as it brings in advertising revenues for the media industries and creates job for the local industry. Programs focusing on entertainment rather than education usually have higher viewership which will translate into greater profits.

Here are just some reasons on the role of the television- in terms of entertainment and education. But of course, do note that the television’s role goes far beyond these. Can we fit in other roles of the television in entertainment or even education categories? Where does the role of citizen journalism fit in? Do let me know.


Students should note that by the nature of the subject, there is several other possible pointers too, so feel free to discuss freely below!

Back to: 2015 A’levels H1 General Paper (8807) suggested solutions

“There is no such thing as bad publicity.” To what extent is this true?

JC General Paper
  1. “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” To what extent is this true?

Define: Bad publicity- negative images and news about an individual and/or company making the headlines repeatedly. It could also possibly refer to controversial news.

This phrase is commonly used in by businesses and individuals especially if they want to acquire fame in the shortest possible time in this highly saturated world that permeates them with news. This phrase assumes that even if there is bad publicity, it is good  as your name is being talked about by people, suggesting how you are in vogue and even relevant in this highly competitive market place.

What is the purpose of bad publicity and how can it be good for companies and even individuals?

1) Companies exploit bad publicity to create marketing hype about their companies and the new products that they want to launch. This bad publicity can ride on controversial points such as restricting the kind of consumers for purchasing  their products or even employment procedures that are discriminatory.

E.g. Abercrombie and Fitch hits the headlines for restricting customers who are too “fat and old” for purchasing their clothes as it does not fit into the target group that they want to cater to. This may have the reverse effect of building up the brand image of the company as being “hot, athletic and sexy” and lead to more youths purchasing their products.

2)Celebrities often make use of bad publicity to shoot to fame and to be the “talk of the town”. This is especially pertinent in this highly competitive cut-throat industry that requires people to just be “known” and to carve out a niche for themselves. In such cases, any form of publicity would be good publicity, as long as their names are being talked about. It suggests that at least their names are on the minds of the people, and they stand a chance of being remembered.

E.g. Justin Bieber has made frequent headlines for his bad boy behaviour such as drink-driving, and even hitting out on people on the streets. Despite these, his fame and reputation grows each time when he hits the news for something negative. It appears that he is riding on “bad fame” in order to be known in the music industry.  In fact, Justin Bieber has been trying to rid his clean-cut image ever since he was first introduced to this industry. He has been criticized for being too “young and immature” when he first entered the music scene, leading to many not taking his works seriously.

What is so detrimental about bad publicity?

1) Companies may lose the trust and credibility of the consumers, especially if this particular company has always presented itself to have a clean image. Any breach of this image may result in consumers boycotting the companies and a corresponding fall in the revenue. Once trust is lost, it is often hard to restore it back.

E.g. Breadtalk’s soya milk saga has tainted their public image regarding the integrity of the company and the nature of how they get their products. Many consumers have taken the issue online and even threatened to boycott the company for future purchases due to such unethical mislabelling of their soya milk bottles. Consumers were outraged that they have been deceived into paying money for “overpriced” soya milk.

2)  Companies may have to spend millions of dollars trying to rebuild this “public relations glitch” especially when they have been swarmed with negative news in such a short period of time. This is especially so for companies that have been facing speculations and law suits about their business practices and mistakes that they have created.

Recent examples include Noble group which has been a target of short-sellers due to their lack of transparency in their accounting practices. This accusation comes at a high price of them needing to hire a top accounting firm- PWC to clear the air. Millions of dollars have been spent to buy-back their shares in order to prop up their share prices, which have plummeted 70% ever since the scandal broke out.  Also, Volkswagen has been embroiled in a recent scandal and controversy about them cheating on the fuel emission tests. They may potentially face a fine up to billions of dollars and recent company results have shown a fall in sales of their sales. Though it is too early to conclude that the fall in sales is due to this negative news, it is highly possible that Volkswagen will face increase competition to win back the trust of their customers.

3) Politicians and even athletes who are embroiled in scandals often tarnish the organization or the party that they represent. Very often, it will result in a loss of “face”, status and even monetary benefits in a desperate bid to preserve the integrity of the organization or the party.

E.G. Tiger woods lost millions in endorsement deals and people do not view him in the same light after news of his affairs broke out.  Michael Palmer’s affair was also handled in a very “PR” manner in order to ensure that the PAP’s image was not tarnished.

Fame is indeed a double-edged sword, and it really depends on how forgiving the public is towards such negative news.  So why is it that the public is so forgiving towards some individuals and companies, while so heartless towards others? What are some of the reasons? Let’s discuss.

Students should note that by the nature of the subject, there is several other possible pointers too, so feel free to discuss freely below!

Back to: 2015 A’levels H1 General Paper (8807) suggested solutions

2015 A levels H1 General Paper (8807) Paper 1 Suggested Solutions

2015 A levels H1 General Paper (8807) Paper 1 Suggested Solutions

JC General Paper

As predicted correctly, this year’s paper has a fair mix of topics that we have proudly identified for students!

We have kindly highlighted the questions whose topic we have correctly predicted.

  1. “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” To what extent is this true? (Media)

  2. How far is it possible for one country to forgive another for its past actions? (War and terrorism)

  3. How effectively is public health promoted and managed in your society?

  4. “No cause is ever worth dying for.” Discuss.

  5. Consider the argument that the main purpose of television should be to educate rather than simply to entertain. (Media) 

  6. In your society, how well are the demands of the economy and the environment balanced? (Environment) 

  7. “Parents have no right to impose their own values and beliefs on their children.” Discuss.

  8. “Books serve little purpose in education as technological developments become more sophisticated.” How far do you agree? (Traditional media vs. S&T)

  9. To what extent should the arts in your society focus on local rather than foreign talent? (Arts)

  10. Should there be any controls over the production of energy when the need for it is so great? (S&T)

  11. When a government’s finances for social welfare are limited, should they be directed towards the young or the old?

  12. “Human actions should be based on scientific fact, not religious faith.” How far do you agree with this statement?

Are you interested to know if you have answered the questions correctly? Click on the questions for a short suggested outline for each of the question by Ms Chen!

2015 A Level General Paper Essay Predictions

2015 A Level General Paper Essay Predictions

JC General Paper

Dear students, as we all know, you have currently less than 2 weeks to D-day (ok, just kidding, your GP paper). As most of you are stressing out over what to study, how to study for this remaining week, I hope this post will shed some light on what are the possible essay topics that are highly likely to come out for this examination.

Here’s the top 5 essay topics predicted to come out:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Environment – whose responsibility is it to conserve the environment?
  • Media- specifically focusing on censorship and regulation
  • Science and Technology
  • War and Terrorism

So, while prepping for this last lap, please remember to at least master one of the above topics, to ensure that you have a safe bet on the day of the examinations itself!