### Anderson JC GP Prelims paper 1 2017

1. Should small countries be allowed to take the lead in global affairs?
2. To what extent can the Arts effect positive social change today?
3. ‘Experiences are more valuable than material possessions.’ Do you agree?
4. ‘People in the workplace should embrace, rather than fear, technological advancements.’ Discuss.
5. ‘The news today deals with what is popular, rather than what is important.’ How far do you agree with this statement?
6. Evaluate the claim that a more connected world has resulted in greater divisions.
7. ‘Public figures today are overly concerned about what people think of them.’ What is your view?
8. Consider the view that there is no value in slowing down in today’s competitive world.
9. Discuss the appeal and value of creativity in your society.
10. Considering the increasing threat of terrorism, are governments justified in limiting people’s rights?
11. To what extent is animal testing acceptable in scientific research?
12. ‘Economic development is favoured at the expense of the welfare of people.’ How true is this of your society?

### Temasek JC GP Prelim Paper 1 2017

Temasek Junior College 8807 H1 General Paper Paper 1 2017

1. Can government surveillance eradicate the threat of terrorism?
2. Examine the claim that globalization creates equal opportunities for all.
3. ‘The government is not doing enough to support local sportsmen in your society.’ What is your view?
4. To what extent is a universal language desirable?
5. Should people in your society be fearful of the future?
6. ‘Graciousness is lost as society progresses.’ Is this an accurate reflection of your society?
7. How far do you agree that technology gives us greater control in life?
8. Consider the view that what is posted online is all talk and no action.
9. ‘Failure should never be acceptable.’ Discuss.
10. Do you agree that only parents should be allowed to discipline their children?
11. Is volunteerism always good?
12. ‘The world today values appearance over substance.’ Is this a fair comment?

### Tampines GP Prelim Paper 1 2017

Tampines Junior College 8807 H1 General Paper Paper 1 2017

1. How realistic is it for your society to embrace diversity?
2. Protecting the environment should be given greater priority than eradicating poverty. How far do you agree?
3. ‘Appearance can be deceiving.’ To what extent is this true of the media today?
4. Discuss the view that smart devices have not made us smarter.
5. Education is the key to solving all social problems. Discuss.
6. Should firms have the responsibility to improve the quality of life of the communities they operate in?
7. Assess the view that literature is of little use to society.
8. Wealth is no guarantee of a better life. How far do you agree?
9. History is of little significance to a modern society. Discuss.
10. ‘Failure is always an option.’ Discuss.
11. A free and unrestricted media is essential for society to progress. How far do you agree?
12. How far is the arts a reflection of your society’s level of development?

### Random Questions from 2017 Prelims #2

Today I’ll share a question that came out of CJC Prelim 2017 Paper 1 for H2 Mathematics 9758. I think some of my student would have seen this question before and we discussed it in class before. Very technical question. This is question 11, I’ll share only the first part which is on the application of ratio theorem or mid point theorem. The second part is on application: Ray Tracing which I’ll discuss in class.

A median of a triangle is a line segment joining a vertex to the midpoint of the opposite side. For the triangle show below, O, A and B are vertices, where O is the origin. $\vec{OA} = a$ and $\vec{OB} = b$. The midpoints of OB, OA and AB are M, N and T respectively.

It is given that X is the point of intersection between the medians of triangle OAB from vertices A and B.

(i) Show that $\vec{OX} = \frac{1}{3} (a +b)$

(ii) Prove that X also lies on OT, the median of triangle OAB from vertex O.

### Random Questions from 2017 Prelims #1

Last year, I shared a handful of random interesting questions from the 2016 Prelims. Students feedback that they were quite helpful and gave them good exposure. I thought I share some that I’ve seen this year. I know, its a bit early for Prelims. But ACJC just had their paper 1. 🙂

This is from ACJC 2017 Prelims Paper 1 Question 7. And it is on complex numbers.

7
(a) Given that $2z + 1 = |w|$ and $2w-z = 4+8i$, solve for $w$ and $z$.

(b) Find the exact values of $x$ and $y$, where $x, y \in \mathbb{R}$ such that $2e^{-(\frac{3+x+iy}{i})} = 1 -i$

I’ll put the solutions up if I’m free.

But for students stuck, consider checking this link here for (a) and this link here for (b). These links hopefully enlightens students.

Just FYI, you cannot $\text{ln}$ complex numbers as they are not real…

### Population problems eventually solve themselves-government meddling only makes things worse. Discuss

This is a past year question that has been adapted from HCI. Pretty interesting topic… Let’s see how to unpack this question together… This question assumes that population problems (demographic issues are part of the natural process on earth, which would eventually balances itself over a long period of time). Government interference would merely make it worse, since their interventions are often “artificial” and would make matters already worse than what they should be. Moreover, governments are not able to always predict future trends and outcomes, hence it is advisable for them to leave everything to nature than by chance.

As illustrated by the Demographic Transition Model (DTM), population problems can indeed solve themselves without the need for government intervention. In stage 2 of the DTM, it is asserted that developing countries experience a decline in birth rates due to the introduction of contraceptives, induced abortions and a change in socioeconomic perceptions. As countries gradually industrialize from their original agrarian societies, rationalism overrides traditionalism, thus leading to a fall in birth rates as both men and women alike desire a higher standard of living. This involves having fewer children as they are expensive to raise, according to Caldwell’s Theory of Intergenerational Wealth Flows. This hence reduces overpopulation naturally without the need for governments to step in. The model also contends that high mortality rates eventually decline as well, due to the influx of medical technologies and increase in hygiene and nutrition standards. Thus, population problems gradually solve themselves in the long run due to the advent of industrialization and inevitable changes in societal perceptions and standard of living.

Nevertheless, even though the above mentioned model claims that populations stabilize naturally in the long run, this is in part due to measures and policies implemented by governments that are in line with national interests. In this case of China, overpopulation and a stress on national resources were narrowly averted due to the government’s legislation of the “one child policy” in 1979. The reduced strain on resources thus allowed the Chinese government to focus on stimulating economic growth and developing infrastructure to attract foreign direct investment. Another country with a similar goal in mind was Singapore with its “Stop at Two” policy from 1965 to 1984, which helped to solve population problems such as overcrowding and a lack of resources.

Government intervention also solves population problems such as population decline, which will be left unsolved if left to the masses. With a preference for smaller families and a general unwillingness to start a family in today’s modern society, negative or zero population growth often ensues. These have detrimental impact on affected countries, such as a fall in tax revenues, a smaller workforce and a high dependence of an aging population on the working population. As these socioeconomic perspectives are entrenched in the minds of young urban professionals, these population problems are incapable of eventually solving themselves. In this case, government intervention is beneficial. In developed countries like Italy and Spain, where fertility rates stand at a meagre 1.25, new generations are unable to replace past generations thus leading to population decline. The implementation of pro-natal policies could possibly help to increase the incentive for couples to procreate and boost total population numbers. Implemented measures include longer maternity and paternity leave in Switzerland, as well as cash incentives in Singapore. Another method of boosting population growth is through the relaxation of immigration policies, which allows for an influx of permanent residents.

Here are some reasons in tackling the demographic imbalance… What do u all think? But I would to raise some points… Many a time, the population policies done by the government are “hard to reverse” especially if they have been too successful.. An example would be Singapore’s Stop at Two policy. Even China has recently reversed its One child policy in hopes of dealing with the fast growing aging population and the male imbalance ratio.

But of course there are implications that come with these population policies… These would be for a discussion for another day.

P.s The above points have been contributed by an ex student from HCI. It has only been vetted and edited by the tutor.

### The value of humility in modern society

Came across this question in class which stumps a lot of my students in answering this… It seems so contradictory right… to be humble in our modern day?

Ok let’s see what are some characteristics of our modern society first. We are driven by our pursuit of material goals, increasingly status conscious and technologically driven. So where does the value of humility fit in?

1) Humility allows us to lower ourselves and to examine our shortcomings. This virtue is especially important when it comes to dealing with business and in reflection to improve ourselves. In this modern world where it is very competitive, it is advisable for us to always examine our business but it should not hit the point of analysis paralysis.

2) We should dare to show and flaunt our wealth, status or even ability to others in order to stand out in this competitive world, otherwise how would people even recognize and take notice of us? If we do desire social status or even respect in society, the easiest and fastest way is to of course demonstrate our signs of success and flaunt wealth. Many have turned to that on social media seen from posts from #richkidsofinstagram etc. Besides such frivolous way of gaining respect, a more important reason would be for marketing needs. Marketing needs could refer to “selling” ourselves to companies in order to get that coveted job or to sell products and services to encourage consumers to purchase. One would need to “scream” in order to stand out for others to even take notice of us. Humility definitely has no value and place.

3) Humility could be expected from leaders as they are placed in a position to serve others and to demonstrate empathy. An arrogrant leader would be a definite turn off to most people as we definitely would not want our leaders to come from a moral high ground or to even impose their power, status and influence on us. Examples of such leaders would be Mother Theresa, Ghandi just to name a few. But we should take note that humility could also backfire, especially if one presents oneself to be too meek, it could be a sign of weakness and a lack of confidence. This could bring others to exploit the situation.

To what extent is humility really relevant in our modern society? It would be dependent on the context of the societies that we are in and what is the purpose we are utilising it for 🙂

### Youth Unemployment (Argh!!!)

This post is a continuation of the previous blog post where we would examine the situation of youth unemployment in developed nations. But first let us understand a little bit of context of how youth unemployment comes about… Well, many have said that it is due to the structural changes of the economy, ie basically a mismatch of the skills of the workers and the economy. How did these structural changes even come about? It could be due to technological developments that displace many from their jobs due to automation, and of course the need for more specialized skills in this technologically-driven economy.

Let’s talk a look at the youth unemployment rate in Asia for a start: the highest would be Hong kong at around 15%, followed by Taiwan at 11%, South Korea at near 10%… where do you think Singapore fare? Well a quick search indicates about 6% as of 2016-2017. Singapore has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the world by international standards, be it for youth or general unemployment rates even if they have been creeping up recently due to structural changes here. Life for these youths appear to be so challenging and bleak that there is a new term to describe their situation in Korea -” Hell Korea”. For those who are interested, you could take a look at this video interview where young Koreans talk about their future and whether they desire to stay there in the long run:

What is the purpose of this post? It is to highlight that the world’s economic structure has been changing fast, and it is a reminder for all young people to change and adapt in accordance to it. Your academic qualifications are no longer enough to bring you to the place and the company that you desire to work in: Young Graduated & Unemployed.

Employers expect you to have some related experience to the job. Well, I guess this has been what we have been waiting for, the day where grades no longer define us… unfortunately, it is the family background, connections and opportunities that would define and divide us increasingly…

### Let’s talk about sense of belonging…

Recently I have been hooked on this youtube video:

What caught me in my tracks was the lyrics of the song, other than the composition of the song. The lyrics go like this, “Who could bring me to fly high in the sky? … Maybe I don’t belong here and have to leave; enough with the suffering just kill me heartlessly; it is the centre of dreams yet it is out of reach; it’s the holy land to reach your dreams yet it is so bewildering; many were killed in the cruelty of reality here and disappeared; so many of them were fooled into the traps here yet all that remain are lifeless corpse.”

I could totally identify with the lyrics being a young adult myself who have many friends who are currently at the crossroads of life, struggling to find a job that could balance their dreams and the responsibility of feeding their families… on top of having to deal with the crushing expectations that society has of us, and not to mention that the job market isn’t exactly favourable right now. This has gotten me thinking about the lives of the younger Singaporeans, about our generation and whether we feel a sense of belonging and that we would have a stake of the city’s dreams and prosperity.

I do not know about you, but what do you make out of your future? Do you feel and could identify with the protagonist in the music video about how city life could be a place where many are seduced to come, and leave feeling disillusioned? City could be a place where dreams are crushed instead of fulfilling them?

### Let’s talk about the environment

A rather boringgggg yet simple topic to handle for the A levels. Most of the environment questions are asking about whether economic growth conflicts with environmental preservation… Let’s talk a look at how this issue could be approached…

No both growth and preservation could be handled together: citizens are getting more eco-conscious and could force their governments to be likewise using their votes; growth could always be attained with preservation especially if the country is interested in eco-tourism and sustainable development; some governments would only take a look at preservation of the environment after they have attained some form of growth (ie. spending money on renewable energies once they could afford them).

No growth and preservation of the environment always conflict with one another: this is especially the case for developing countries where they need to harness the environment in terms of resources to pursue growth; the burning of fossil fuels and industrialization would necessarily lead to more pollution; the culture of consumerism where individuals consume mindlessly would put factories into an overdrive to produce, to pollute and to deal with the environmental problems later on.

These are just some discussion pointers, we would need to consider the context when writing our essays! How developing countries versus developed countries would look at the issue would differ greatly!