Assess the view that tradition buildings have no future in your society.

Assess the view that tradition buildings have no future in your society.

JC General Paper

Assess the view that traditional buildings have no future in your society

Question Analysis- Definition of Key Terms

Traditional Buildings: Structures that have a historical significance to Singapore. These could be the old colonial buildings; buildings that reflect unique architecture that showcase a nation’s culture and identity or even a historical past.

No Future: Possible demolition of these traditional buildings; the original architecture may be refurbished to suit present time needs.

Assumption: Singapore is a highly pragmatic nation that is constrained by her geographical boundaries, if these traditional buildings do not serve any purpose for the nation, the state would choose to forgo and even demolish them to make way for more pressing economic and social needs.

To do well for this question, students need to take a look at the different types of traditional buildings in Singapore and examine the motivations of the state in keeping and gazetting these buildings. Do these buildings showcase a national history that would aid in the nation building process or would these buildings be preserved primarily for tourism? Also, students can consider why majority of these buildings are preserved at the central district of Singapore. Students would also need to measure against the needs of the state, especially that of economic development and how practicality usually affects the decision of the government whether to keep these buildings or not. Note that this question is not asking you about the benefits/values of these traditional buildings, rather the want or need of the state in keeping them.

Yes traditional buildings do not have a future here:

  • Limited land space here forces the state to prioritize economic and future development of the nation before fulfilling historical and cultural needs. There is a limit to the number of traditional buildings that the state can preserve. As such, given such a limitation, it is only wise to preserve buildings that can serve both a historical and economic purpose. It is no wonder that certain places like the Old National Library and Bukit Brown have been forgone by the state, despite these places holding strong and rich cultural memories and identity for the older generation of Singapore.
  • Singapore takes a very pragmatic view towards the preservation of these buildings, especially with the advancement of science and technology. Preservation of these buildings does not necessarily have to take on a physical angle. The memories of these places could be stored in digital form online and archived in the library or even the museums. It makes more sense to have the space make way for more pressing economic needs to grow the nation. As such, it seems like it fulfills the twin objective of preservation and growth especially with the use of technology.

No traditional buildings have a future here:

  • Traditional buildings serve a nation building purpose and they showcase a nation’s rich cultural heritage. Singapore has always been accused as a nation that does not have much culture and history, and is still in the midst of searching for her identity in her short national history. As such, the presence of these buildings is necessary to keep Singaporeans grounded in her own identity especially in this increasingly globalized and connected world. There needs to be some continuity and familiar places for Singaporeans to identity with and to call this place home. This is to counter the increasing displacement that the older generation feels given the quick progress of the nation where the familiar landscape is changing quickly. Examples of traditional buildings that would have a future increasingly would be Kuan Yin Temple, Fort Canning, the British Barracks etc.
  • Traditional buildings do serve an economic purpose, in line with the state’s pragmatic vision of harnessing growth and attracting tourists to this city state. A lot of our traditional buildings are found in China town, Clarke Quay, Little India and even Raffles Places. These are tourist places to showcase the multi-racial and multi- religious aspect of the nation. The shophouses at Chinatown have always been preserved and gazetted by the state as a site for preservation. The contrast of the new and old architecture buildings helps to beautify the landscape as well.

At the end of the day, it is not about traditional buildings having a future or not in Singapore. Of course, they will have a future. Perhaps the debate should be on which building is going to have a future and the motivations behind them.

Back to the A’levels H1 General Paper 2016 Paper 1 Solutions

Hit Hard by the Preliminaries?

Hit Hard by the Preliminaries?

Studying Tips

As some Preliminary exams have begun, I’ve heard from students that they are severely defeated after the papers. Several subjects were so difficult that they are having second thoughts about taking A’levels. To be frank, I know some schools intentionally set out of the world paper just to scare the students and make their students study even harder. Thus, it is extremely important for students to develop tenacity and the correct exam psychology.

Several ex-students will concur that A’levels truly builds tenacity in them. This is an important trait, not just for A’levels, but also in life. As cliché as this may sound, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Students need to realize they do not need to complete the entire paper to get an A. They need to attempt all questions and learn to let go. For example, questions that require them to show or proof, can be skipped if they really have no clue how to do it. Just do the next part! Come back later. It will be futile to realize that you could’ve done the last question, at the end of the paper. This may sound wrong, but instead of focusing on scoring 140/200 for an A, remember you can lose 60 marks.

Lastly, I mentioned this last year here and to all my students. Your percentile always tell you more than your letter grade. For instance, if I am a student in a College that produces 60% H2 Mathematics distinction in A’levels, then I should look to be 50th percentile for my prelims at the least. And if 50th percentile is a S, then so be it. You’re in a pretty comfortable spot so long as you maintain. Similarly, if you school doesn’t publish H2 Math Distinction rate at all, then you should look to be 90th percentile and you can’t just settle for an A.

Chin up, and continue fighting!

100 days more…

100 days more…

JC Chemistry, JC General Paper, JC Mathematics, JC Physics, Studying Tips

So the Midyear results are all out and Prelims are known to be in 4-5 weeks’ time. Many students are frantically searching for help and attempting to salvage their results. We are sorry to say that we aren’t able to take any more private students due to time constraints, and only the group classes are available. Our classes are all held in Newton Apple Jurong East.

List of Great and Helpful GP Articles

List of Great and Helpful GP Articles

JC General Paper, Studying Tips

Here is a compilation of great GP articles

  1. Interpreting GP essay Questions
  2. How to write a good essay Introduction?
  3. How to craft a good essay body paragraph?
  4. How to write a good essay conclusion?
  5. How to write an essay that will get you an A?
  6. How to tackle GP Summary (1)
  7. How to tackle GP Summary (2)
  8. Top 10 Pitfalls for Essay Writing
  9. Type of Science and Technology Questions
  10. Analytical Question on Philosophy
  11. Problem of over-generalisation in General Paper
  12. Fun Facts about Women
  13. Science vs. Arts – Which is better?
  14. Value of Arts

Welcome J1 to your new academic life :)

JC General Paper, JC Mathematics

We at The Culture have been receiving calls recently since the start of the J1 orientation program about our tuition program. This post is a shoutout to those students who are interested in the services that we provide. Currently, all tutors of The Culture are working only with Newton Apple Learning Hub @ Jurong East Gateway Road (right opp JE MRT), and we are pleased to announce some promotion of the centre for early sign ups!

Here are the details: Newton Apple is charging $280/subject, with a max class size of 8. Sign up early to avoid disappointment! Our classes are nearly 3/4 full!

Sign up by 28th Feb to enjoy 50% waiver of admin fee and material fee for sem 1 (worth up to $85)

Sign up by 31st March to enjoy 25% waiver of admin fee and material fee for sem 1 (worth up to $42.25)


10% off monthly with 2 subjects or more registered for.

About H2 Math classes

JC Mathematics

Some Singapore parents and students have called, telling me they want to know more about the class structures.

Most of my private classes range from one student to four students, preferably held at their residences. These classes can be ad-hoc, long term of short term.

For group classes in tuition centres, the class size is not more that 8.

My notes and worksheet are prepared by myself. I don’t like to be long-winded with notes so they are really concise. Questions mostly seek to teach and mentor students.

In general, I utilise the class timing to impart my knowledge and understanding to students. I don’t like to see my students do work in front of me unless necessary.

Most of the times, I can finish a topic in a 2H lesson. There was a student who was doing really badly, took tuition daily just two weeks prior to A-levels and I saw her to an A. So it is possible; but I do not generally like such methods of teaching as I wasn’t teaching but just telling her what to do in A-levels.

A sigh of relief

JC Mathematics

A J1 (Junior College Year 1) recently told me she was very impressed by what I did for her Mid years.

Lets rewind a bit. Many J1s actually was worried about Mid years and wanted to have extra lessons. But I was tight down with many J2s as many of them were doing last minute sprint in June. So I only manage to stick to the regular four lessons monthly. I assured them that following my method will work and the extra tuition lessons were not necessary.

So this J1 told me (just two days ago), “my classmate went for crash courses and 12 lessons in June with ___ then only get D, while I still get A with just 4 lesson.”

To be honest, I even canceled lessons during the Mid Year Exam week as I see no need (well, I was overseas too). So many students were quite thankful it worked out.

I feel that all these boils down to methodology and how the student gets ready for exam. The tutor’s job should be to get the student ready, by direct and simple means, not massive thick notes as this is no difference from the school.

Do I need H2 Math tuition?

JC Mathematics

Many parents call me and ask if their A-level kids need H2 Math tuition. Through the years, I’ve seen mainly three types of students:

  • A: Students that are diligent but do not do well, and seek tuition to improvise
  • B: Students that are not diligent and do not do well, and seek tuition for miracles.
  • C: Students that are diligent and do well, seeking tuition to have exposure.

Type C students are usually those that are guaranteed A but due to the competitive nature in their school, they want to stay ahead and well exposed. If you’re in the category of student, seek tuition only if you are also managing all subjects well. Else, don’t waste money on H2 math tuition. I do see some of such students once a month for consultations only.

Type B students think that I am a miracle pill. If you fall in this category, please start tuition early!!! I have a handful that start just this month (4 months to A-level), and I told them there is this much I can do. So we can only try our best. And it is upsetting that they want to have 2-3 times of lessons weekly but I do not have any more free timings for them. So not only they are stressed, I’m also very stressed. If they start early, I know a lot of students like this who just maintain a C or D through the year and during A-levels, they will get their A.

Type A students are in need of guidance. Most of such students when I look at the work they do, I’m impressed but their grades do not correlate. Such students usually took the wrong method to studying Math. And had they started earlier, I would have corrected it from start.