2016 O-Level History Elective Exam - Model Answers for SEQ

Let us now look at how we can apply some of the skills learnt during tuition class to answer a couple of questions in the recently concluded 2016 O-Level examinations. While we would like to emphasise that there is NO ONE MODEL answer for humanities-related questions, there are RIGHT ways to answer said questions to ensure you achieve the maximum number of marks. Question 3a Explain why the Soviet Union formed the Warsaw Pact in 1955. (8 marks) Answer For the first paragraph, candidates should focus on the purpose of the Warsaw Pact. Explanation must relate to how Cold War developed to the stage whereby it made a military alliance between the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe necessary. Cand

Transition from “O” Level English to “A” Level General Paper

Most prospective Junior College students have the misconception that the General Paper (GP) is just another advanced level English paper, having heard so much about how easy it is to fail or how difficult it is to score a distinction in the subject. Let us debunk some of the myths here. GP definitely requires a good command of English language to read, understand, respond and write lucid prose with substance. If one does not possess the necessary language skills, how could one convince others with one’s arguments? Yet, GP is much more than an English language paper. One will be making a journey across the world and around Singapore – studying developing trends and case studies of themes of i

History H2: Sample Essay Writing Skills

H2 History at GCE ‘A’ Level is no longer an exercise in factual recall. Essay writing at this level requires candidates to demonstrate an understanding of historical concepts, construct question-focused arguments in relation to their thesis, and substantiate them with relevant and purposeful evidence. For Paper 2, given the range of Southeast Asian countries under study, candidates also need to deploy at least three different countries for the purpose of their essays. How do these requirements manifest themselves in an essay? Consider the following question: To what extent was the rise of authoritarian governments in Southeast Asia due to the weaknesses of plural political structures? To do

Answering SEQ in History

Joseph Stalin (1878-1953) For more information and an excellent video on Stalin, do visit http://www.history.com/topics/joseph-stalin *Image credit to https://i.ytimg.com/vi/e8cgN-aVv9s/maxresdefault.jpg All Pure History and History Elective students are required to answer Structured Essay Questions, or SEQ, as part of the GCE O-Level examination questions. Students need to answer two SEQs, which make up a total of 20 marks. How can students answer these questions to hit the highest Level (L3) and score the maximum number of marks? An example of an 8-mark question is as follows: Qn: This question is about ____________________________________. (a) Explain why ________________.

Geography: The Ins and Outs of GI

*Image credited to www.davegranlund.com A fairly new component of the Pure and Elective Geography syllabus, GI or Geographical Investigation entails students to showcase their understanding of relevant fieldwork techniques, from identifying the question at hand as well as knowing about primary and secondary data collection methods. One part of the data collection methods involves crafting questionnaires. What are the areas students need to look at when crafting them? 1. Start with general questions that are easy to answer, for example, asking the age of the respondent. 2. Utilise closed questions which have a fixed set of answers for respondents to choose from. 3. Use open questions to ask f

Social Studies: Reliability and Utility

*Image taken from www.cagle.com Many students struggle often with Social Studies subject because it requires them to think and answer critically. One of the most important skills in Social Studies is discerning what is Reliability and Utility. How do you tackle such questions and get the highest level of marks in your tests and examinations? The first myth students have is that so long as they always talk about the source they will get the highest level of marks. The second myth is that background information cannot be used as a source for cross-referencing to check reliability or utility. The truth is that students SHOULD ALWAYS check reliability through cross-referencing. This is a simple

How To Do Well in O-Level Humanities

This is another article that we have contributed to Popclub Magazine for the March/April 2016 issue. Now that the 2016 O-Level examinations are over, another batch of students will be taking the place of their seniors, and worrying about the upcoming year in 2017. In view of the latest syllabus change (which is a major overhaul) of Social Studies, this article will be a useful first guide to all worried students out there, especially those who did not do well in their Sec 3 prelims. ******** A solid result for Pure/Combined Humanities subjects is critical for O-Level students. The stakes are even higher for Science students who usually have only one Humanities subject which has to be factor

Bridging the Gap: The Jump from “O” to “A” Levels Humanities

The following is an article which we have contributed to the latest Nov/Dec16 issue of PopClub. A brand new challenge awaits students who are now done with their GCE O-Level examinations, and those who have finished their IP Year 4. As they advance to pre-university education, they have to navigate the arduous task of choosing a subject combination. It is important to note that it is compulsory even for Pure Science students to select a contrasting subject, in this case, a Humanities subject as part of their subject combination. Where most students would have taken Combined Humanities at the O-Levels, the choices of these contrasting Humanities subjects in JC include China Studies in English

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