GP Tuition: Sample GP Examination Paper – MJC
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Here’s a sample of Essay Paper (Paper 1) shared by our ex – MJC GP tuition pupil who attended our online classes for GP:
1. Competition is good. Discuss.
2. ‘The quality of the written word is being destroyed by social media.’ Comment.
3. ‘Foreign aid does not solve long-term problems.’ Do you agree?
4. Both parents should take equal responsibility for raising their children. Do you agree?
5. What may a government justly demand of its citizens?
6. “Advertising exerts too great an influence on our daily lives.” Do you agree with this statement?
7. The press shall not be regulated. Do you agree?
8. The longer we live, the more problems we create.’ Comment.
9. We need to control our climate change, lest it controls us. Discuss.
10. ‘People today are getting lazy. What is your opinion of the people in your country?
11. Religion is no longer an important part of the lives of young people today.’ Consider this view in your country.
12.”The future belongs to the East.” How far would you agree?
Bonus Essay Question for tuition students from Meridian JC GP group re the Topic of Global, Politics & Economic Issues
Q13: Choose one modern or historical person you most admire and justify your choice.
MJC General Paper Tuition – Sample Model GP Essay Answer
Here is a full length sample answer to the following GP essay question:
Q5. What may a government justly demand of its citizens?
The question is essentially one of the intersection between a state’s rights and its citizens rights. History is fraught with differing mixtures of the two, with some extreme variations. However, I feel that the principles of liberty and democracy ought to underpin any discussion on the allocation of rights. between the state and the citizen, with minimal unjustified state intervention. For my purposes. I shall define ‘government to be the representation of the state, a ‘citizen’ the represented subject and ‘justly’ to be with valid reason. The scope of rights. about to be discussed spans all three areas of social, economic and political discussion.
The first obvious just demand a government can have should be that of taxation. Taxation finances the state’s administration, defence spending and various public welfare or economic policies. A government cannot run without taxation. However, there are refinements to this right; taxation cannot be justified without equal or near equal returns to the people in terms of benefits. Each tax dollar has to return a dollar of to the taxpayer. For example, in the United States, this justification process is carried out by the Parliamentary Congress. Each single bill to the Treasury drafted by the President must first have the sanction of the elected representatives of Congress before it can become law. This process is correct, as the people indirectly justify or condemn each spending of their tax money. However, this is not to say that such parliamentary processes are error-proof. Large sums of taxpayer money often go towards political largesse, or buying of votes. Also, although parliaments can generally allow or prevent the passage of such bills, most often the intricate implementation and usage of taxpayer money itself is not totally subject to scrutiny, and is often handled ‘behind-the-scenes’ and thankfully out of the glare of the public media. The principle of taxation can be thoroughly examined on paper to make taxation a just governmental demand, yet the process is muddled at best and corrupted in worst cases. However, generally, taxation still remains one of the most important functions of governments, to provide public goods and services such as transport infrastructure and to bolster merit goods, such as education, for the welfare of society. Seen in this light, taxation is a just demand.
The second most eminent just governmental demand is that of conscription. Conscription provides a military defence, whether credible or not, that cannot be a dispensable feature of modern, or even ancient, states. Military defence is one of the fundamental survival mechanisms of a country, especially given today’s new context of sponsored, large-scale, international terrorism. Military might can also make a country’s foreign policy much more, or less, credible. For example, in the recent Gulf War, international observers have readily observed a huge disparity between the might of the armed forces of the United States, and the rest of the world, especially with countries in the European Union. Needles to say, the United States’ military presence in Iraq and eventual (easy) overpowering of the Iraqi resistance was what actually clinched its foreign policy goal of regime change in Iraq. What is more important is that the United States, which spends as much on defence as the rest of the world combined, persistently had a louder voice – that of the threat and eventual use of of action that eventually overrode smaller voices like that of France’s the United Nation’s (which usually has a strong moral advantage). Conscription is an evil because it contributes to the global arms race, and may be dispensable if a professional national army (such as the United States’) can be cultivated from amongst the people. Yet the principle of military defence and, to some extent, military might cannot be safely overlooked by a nation. A nation that lacks a credible defence, conscription-based or professional, digs its own grave.
These are the two main functions of a government, besides its various socio-economic goals, that are absolutely necessary to a nation’s existence and, on those grounds, may be justly demanded of from its citizens. However, beyond the absolute necessities of nationhood, civil liberties should prevail to the extent that a government cannot justly demand of its citizens many basic human rights.
The first of these rights is a package of liberties: the freedom of speech, press, association and rights to property and wealth. The first three liberties form the basis of any free society, and are important because they act as a check upon governmental power itself. The freedom of criticism of the government and of possible resistance or opposition to the government devolves power to the citizens of the state. This prevents absurd autocracies or opaque governments from forming, with large pools of unchecked power in their hands. If channelled properly, a government may, and most likely will, be able to benefit and improve from criticism and opposition. Sadly, in the real world, these forms of freedom are also often the first demands of oppressive governments, such as that of the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who deports international journalists and persecutes domestic critics of his ill government.
The rights to property and wealth are an essential principle to the economic growth and well-being of at nation. Wealth stimulates the profit-seeking instincts of humans, which in turn spurs creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship or just plain hard work. Wealth and profit-seeking may also allow the invisible hand of capitalism to increase society’s welfare greatly through the individual, yet concerted, efforts of a nation’s population. The right to property ensures confidence in a nation’s economy, that one’s hard earned property will not simply be requisitioned by the government, which in turn generates social and economic instability. For example, in Communist Russia under Lenin, between the period 1918 to 1921, the country’s war communism’ programme exercised just such an extreme measure of grain seizure, or officially-called ‘requisitioning’ from the peasantry. The result was not a good-hearted and communistic giving up of the grain from the peasantry, but an open revolt that included the slaughtering and burning of millions of livestock and stores of grain that eventually contributed to the country’s economic collapse in the same period. The people’s property has to be respected. For these reasons, governments cannot justly demand from its citizens this package of socio-political and economic freedom.
Finally, and quite contentiously, a government may not justly demand from its citizens an adherence to the law. There are many defences to this contentious statement. Firstly, a government’s laws. are not always correct. Correct can be a subjective opinion, but sometimes laws are extreme in their wrong, such as those enacted by corrupt or unjust politicians. For example, if we assume for a moment that monarchy was once the de facto government of a state, and the subjects of the monarch his or her citizens, there once existed a law in various parts of Europe during the Middle Ages where one’s newly wed wife is to be given to one’s presiding lord or nobleman on the first night of the marriage, a practice captured in the film “Braveheart”. Surely adherence to such a law cannot be justly demanded of a country’s citizens, no matter what religious or feudal justification is given for such extreme laws.
The second defence for the state is technical. Technically, laws serve to protect the interests of society much more than the interests of an individual citizen. If the fundamental drive of being human is self-interest, sometimes when an individual’s self interest conflicts with that of society’s interests, there exists no holy law to dictate the individual’s submission to the state. Punishments, by a country’s law, are meted out to prevent just such a divergence from the country’s interests. Yet more often than not, the divergence of interests is a failure of the state more than of an individual. To illustrate my point, the recent corporate accounting scandals in America and Europe occurred because the system of allowing managers of companies too much unchecked power over their auditing divisions. To paraphrase the words of Alan Greenspan, the chairman of the United States Federal Reserve Board, the greed in man has not changed, but the system has allowed this greed to become unchecked. Man’s fundamental nature is to sin and err, and given the tempting decisions that faced. these scandalized managers, the pious and upright may resist the temptation of fraud, but that does not make them better or more right than it makes the sinners more wrong, or worse, to be sub-human to the level of deserving punishment. Adherence to a law is an unnatural function of mankind; governments cannot justly demand it but can only look at why the system has allowed an undesirably anti-social act to occur. Punishments are but short term quick fixes to oppress a problem, yet adherence to law is a long-term unnaturality that cannot be simply, or justly, demanded from a country’s citizens.
The intersection of a state’s rights and civil rights will also create points of intense debate, and ultimately there can be no right answer except when a country has been allowed to choose its own form of government, and the combination of the state’s rights and the citizen’s rights. Therefore, this essay argues merely a personalized response, of which hopefully can form a part of the intense debate that must occur to answer the given question more sufficiently.
MJC GP Tuition teacher’s Comments: Keep it up with your wonderful piece of discussion!
Essay Question on the Topic of Global, Politics & Economic Issues
Q12: “The future belongs to the East.” How far would you agree?
The recent events that shape and shave the world today seem to have taken a different direction and emphasis, compared to the past. China’s booming economy along with India’s and South East Asia’s advancement in their technology and economy somehow sets the stage for the East to overtake the West in the future, say within fifty years’ time. Investors are flocking to the East and it seems that the West has lost its shine and attractiveness. Some prophesy that, “The future belongs to the East,” thus damning the West into a gradual state of oblivion. I do agree that the East will control more of the future, but I do not believe that the West will be forgotten in the future. The entirety that the statement suggests will not come true; according to my predictions.
In the future, I think that the East will not be capable enough to overtake the West in the latter’s military. might and status as the world’s superpower. The superpower I am referring to is the United States America (USA). of The USA military presence is South everywhere; from Cuba to South Korea. The way they handled the overthrowing Saddam’s in Iraq by an invasion is awesome, we compare it may by the regime, say the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China. Clearly the USA has superior military might and the conglomeration of the Western nations such as Britain and France will overshadow the military. strength of India, China, South East Asia and other Asian countries. Economically China seems to be catching up to the USA, but economic power alone does not bestow superpower status on a nation. Hence, in the future the East will still be inferior to the West in military might, implying that it may not! control much of the future yet.
The ‘ownership of the future also depends on the countries’ economic superiority. Since the entry of China into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), there has been an influx of investors into China to capture the huge untapped market. The recovery of South East Asia from the 1997 financial crisis. heralds a new beginning and the business outlook here is much brighter than in the past. The embarkation of India on its economic reforms and the installation of an economist as the Prime Minister increase the business confidence there. South Korea’s economy is maturing fast, as global brands such as Samsung and Hyundai are making their mark in the world. The huge prospects in the East certainly guarantee that the East would be very successful in the future, as the West continues to be plagued by problems such as structural unemployment and inflation. If this pattern continues, major economic decisions will shift to the East by the next 50 years. The East would control the future just as the Federal Reserve of America changes the global economy with any decisions made. However, many of the jobs in the East are supplied by multinational companies, based in the West. Giants such as Microsoft and Volkswagen are the bosses of millions employed in the East. So even as the economic pace of the Eats accelerates enough to ensure that it can control the future, the countries of the East eventually cannot control the future totally, as the West will still be ’employing’ them. Unless the East breaks free of its dependence on the West, the future is still very much in Western hands.
There is also an upsurge in Eastern beliefs such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Many in the West are turning to the Eastern beliefs and Eastern culture has seeped into the West. Yoga is now widely practiced in the West and Eastern movies such as the Iranian ‘Children of Heaven’ have made the top spot in the box-office. In a way, the Eastern culture is conquering the mindsets of the Westerners and this may as well translate to the East influencing the West. The future may as well belong to the East then, but on the other hand, the fundamentals of Asian and Eastern countries lie in democracy and capitalism, the brainchild of the West. Such fundamentals are too deeply embodied in the East as more countries turn to democracy, the latest being Iraq. These fundamentals allow the West to control and ‘own’ the future, as the future is built upon the fundamentals set by them.
In the scientific and academic field, the West has. long monopolized the position of the world’s leader in scientific breakthroughs. Harvard University, The London School of Economics and Cambridge University represent the West in academic excellence, while the East still does not have sufficient to propel itself to that position, although there is a greater appreciation of Eastern works; for example, Sun Tzu’s Art of War. The East still has a long way to go to catch up with the West. Scientific explorations and breakthroughs also still belong to the West as compared to the East. Much of the new inventions come from USA’s top universities and medical advances in the East are still not up to the West’s standards. Take for example the issue of space explorations. While China recently successfully sent a man into space, the USA did it ages ago. The Westerners are now sending probes to Mars in a search for signs of water, the latest probes are sent by the USA and the European countries. Those fantastic images of Saturn’s moon were delivered by USA’s Voyager 2. Although the East has made leaps in the academic and scientific field, the West has a headstart that would be hard to catch up with in 50 years’ time. The future definitely will be controlled by the West in these fields but, fortunately, the East will also share a larger part of the ‘pie’ in the future.
In conclusion, the East is stabilizing, compared to its turbulent past. This advancement will elevate the East higher but definitely not in the next 50 years. The West has come a long way since the colonial years and it takes more to beat it in the ‘ownership’ of the future. The future is uncertain as many say, but it does not belong to the East completely. What happens after the next 50 years, again, will depend on the past, but that is over our capabilities to foresee now.
Bonus Essay Question on the Topic of Global, Politics & Economic Issues
Q13: Choose one modern or historical person you most admire and justify your choice.
All the great masters in the history of art share one or more of the following traits independence, boldness, unconventional vision and an astonishing depth of thought and creativity. Paul Cezanne is no exception. Acknowledged as the founding father of the modern art movement, his contribution to the development of art is extraordinary).
As an artist, much of my own work has been influenced by the work of Cezanne and he inspires my work ethics as well as my development. I admire Cezanne for his commitment to his art. His innate desire to push be yond the limits of the impressionistic school of thought in which he was trained laid down the corner stones for Cubism and modern 20th century art. Even though the opposition to Cezanne’s works was violent, his continued commitment to his art was no less fierce. Cezanne had to pay the price of rejection from main-stream art galleries and had very little success with his paintings until the end of his career. Yet the determination to develop, study and learn gave him the strength and inspiration to work. Cezanne was also uncompromising about the ideals pertaining to his art. He refused to paint in the conventional style even though it meant not meeting the demands of the art market and selling no paintings. I too agree that an artist should paint for himself first, and for the public second.
As an art student hoping to major in fine arts against the wishes of my family, I also admire and identify with Cezanne’s independence and boldness. Cezanne’s father, a highly successful businessman, objected strongly to furthering Cezanne’s talents at the local drawing academy and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, Blatantly ignoring the aspirations of his father, Cezanne, dedicated to his art, went to the academy. He was to live the rest of his life in poverty without the love or monetary support of his family and eventually escaped to the bohemian artistic circles of Paris. This demonstration of strength and courage by the then nineteen-year-old Cezanne is indeed admirable.
Cezanne’s exceptionally brilliant skill as a painter also makes him someone I admire. His works are carefully planned and each fastidious brushstroke and colour is deliberately placed to create the overall impression of harmony. Unlike the impressionist painters of his time who were concerned with only immediate and transient effects and worked very quickly, Cezanne often took years to complete a painting. His meticulousness was such that he would only deem a painting complete when “every part (of the composition) found its definite relationship. and it would be impossible to add a stroke without changing the whole thing.” This attention that Cezanne paid to detail, and the responsibility that he took upon himself to create only work of the highest quality make him truly admirable. This attitude towards life and work is, in my opinion, a good creed to adopt.
Cezanne’s triumph was acknowledged barely ten years before his death at a solo exhibition at Aix, France – his hometown. Yet the overnight status of celebrity did not make him complacent or proud. He persisted in habitual and obsessive work routines in spite of his deteriorating health. He did not admonish the many critics who had rejected his works and in all humility, he attributed his success to the grace and providence of God. He was quoted as saying, “all my landscapes are but a homage to the beauty that should reflect God.” This is yet another reason why Cezanne has impressed me. His humble response to his own passion and great talent made him a fine teacher to the new generation of great artists – Picasso, Matisse and Braque.
I admire Cezanne because of his influence on my work and for his stoicism. His works and ethics have played an important part in my own growth as an artist.
Comment by MJC GP Tuition Specialist: Good focus overall.
More GP Essay answers in our GP tuition revision guide, for our Meridian JC GP tuition students. The focus will be to design a creditable GP essay response, with sufficient insights and mature observations. This will surely ensure your score for GP Paper 1 is an ‘A’ grade.
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