GP Tuition: Sample GP Examination Paper – PJC
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Here’s a sample of Essay Paper (Paper 1) shared by our ex – PJC GP tuition pupil who attended our online classes for GP:
1. Why are more and more young people becoming disillusioned by politicians?
2. Do you agree that the most important aim of any educational system is to produce good citizens?
3. To what extent can a close study of the past help us to accurately predict the future?
4. Do you think that Singapore has fully matured as a nation?
5. ‘The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.’ (Aristotle)
Illustrate the truth of this observation with specific reference to three different works of art.
6. “In trying to make a living, man has forgotten how to live.” Discuss.
(Essay Question on the Topic of Moral Dilemmas & Personal Experiences)
7. ‘The idea that science will one day create a perfect world is a dangerous delusion.’ Discuss.
8. ‘It’s a dog-eat-dog world.’ Discuss.
9. Why are people showing an increasing lack of respect for all forms of authority in modern society?
10. Do you agree that the only sensible way of dealing with problems associated with pornography, gambling and drugs is to regulate them rather than ban them?
11.”History is merely a set of lies agreed upon.” Discuss.
12. Do we have any responsibilities towards other animals?
Bonus Essay Question on the Topic of Global & Regional Issues
Q13: “The best of times, the worst of times.” Is this true of the world we live in today?
PJC General Paper Tuition – Sample Model GP Essay Answer
Here is a full length sample answer to the following GP essay question:
Q6. “In trying to make a living, man has forgotten how to live.” Discuss.
Life is a journey in itself. It begins by preparing the individual for future endeavours through education and guidance. The individual then enters the working stage. where he will have to learn to make a living, to fend for himself. The journey ends when death occurs. It can be said for many people that in the process of completing this arduous journey, the significance of the purpose for which the journey was originally started has become very much lost. For them, living merely means going through the motion; nothing more, probably much less.
To begin with, we have to address the issue of life, how it was meant to be lived. Life, I believe, provides Man with a wondrous opportunity to discover and get acquainted with himself. It is an opportunity for him to learn, to mould his character, to enhance his spiritual well being and to realise his potential.
Life is also about love: love of oneself, of family members, of friends, of nature. Every person will have his own ideals and dreams to fulfil and will therefore take different routes in life. Thus, everyone is an unique individual in his own right, not least for biological reasons. This is a fact that should be taken advantage of by living life to the fullest, appreciating the richness of life.
Ideals aside however, the practical aspects of life have to be taken into consideration. A person has to earn his bread and butter before he can chase his dreams. This brings us to the crux of the problems, whether a person would, in the process of earning his bread, forget how to live.
The difficulty in making a living is a reason why many have forgotten how to ‘live’. In this immensely competitive society of ours which prides itself on success and ostracises failures, making a living is no easy feat. So monstrous is the task that many find it impossible to direct any effort to other considerations.
Ironically, even the people who have made it in terms of material wealth face the same problem. Obsession with money and earthly possessions can sometimes divert their attention. While material well-being is important, it should never be the yardstick with which to measure life. This is because of the emotional needs, spiritual and mental stabilization that have to be satisfied. Affluence alone is insufficient.
People sometimes forget about how to live due to the sheer monotony of their working life. Eroded by the daily grind of making a living, their lives became mechanical and painfully structured. Disillusionment with life occurs. For them, life is no longer a challenge but a burden that should be relieved as soon as possible.
The fact that many have forgotten how to live mirrors the changes that society has undergone: rising number of suicides, neglect of the aged and handicapped, destruction of nature. People have forgotten that life is not measured by success alone but that life includes facing up failures and accepting them with an attitude that says, “I will try again”. People, so mechanised by the daily routine of making a living, forget that showing love and com passion to the unfortunate, preserving the sanctity of nature, is also part of living. For these people, the essence of life is all but missed.
However, there are people (albeit not as many) who have not forgotten. Consider the backpackers one some times reads about in the newspapers who travelled round the globe. Some of them actually left behind stable jobs or promising careers in their quest for knowledge, ad venture and fulfilment. These people have t the courage to pursue their ideals. Some famous celebrities, on the other hand made use of their fame and status to act as spokes men for the poor, abused or handicapped as well as help ing to raise funds for charities. (We shall not include those who did it for publicity reasons). It is important to note that one does not have to be extraordinary or rich and famous in order to live life meaningfully. Take the case of voluntary social workers for example. They may be factory workers or executives for all we know.
While some did it for the sake of the deeds, others share the same conviction due to their religions beliefs. Religions like Buddhism, Islam and Christianity emphasize spiritual fulfilment and encourage acts of love and compassion. In short, they teach how life can and should be lived.
There are still others who have not forgotten how to live. More often than not, however, they choose to re main passive, complaining about being bogged down by bread and butter issues but not willing to put in the effort to correct it.
It is important that Mankind remembers how to live and not get bogged down by mundane affairs. While some have succeeded to varying degrees, it is discouraging that the larger part of society have no qualms about not remembering the finer things in life. This disturbing trend ought to be curbed for if left unchecked, society will eventually degenerate into one that is robotic, lifeless and need less to say, absolutely repulsive.
PJC GP Tuition teacher’s Comments: Refreshing examples. Keep up with your insightful piece.
Bonus Essay Question on the Topic of Global & Regional Issues
Q13: “The best of times, the worst of times.” Is this true of the world we live in today?
The world we live in today is one full of paradoxes, Many have hailed this century as the best of times. It certainly seems with unprecedented advancements in technology, as well as progress in most countries, whether economically, socially or ΠΟΙ politically. Ironically, we also seem to live in the a worst of times. Such heightened progress has not with new made our world perfect, and we continue to live in a world fraught with difficulties that have plagued Man since the beginning of of time, along difficulties that seem to crop up with increased progress. It is my belief that, though the world we live in sin many ways better than before, it cannot be said to be the best of times because our advancement in many areas has not come without a price. Despite this, it would be unfair to denounce the world we live in as the worst of times, as the progress we have achieved seems to contradict this.
Economically, we seem to live in the best of times. With economies turning capitalist the over, the generation of wealth in many countries has been rapid. The efficiency of the capitalist system in generating wealth today has resulted in higher standards of living and material welfare in many countries. However, the capitalist system is often indifferent to the needs of the poor, and while Increased developed countries become richer, less developed developed countries are struggling to develop. Higher competition global markets today has made development difficult for these countries, compared i to the ease of development before, where markets. were easily penetrable. The income divide between the rich and the poor is thus rapidly widening, causing the world today to be perhaps the best of times for the rich and the worst for the poor. However, even developed countries are not spared from the inherent instability of today’s capitalist economies. With globalization and the increased interdependency of markets, an economic slump in one country would invariably affect the economies of others. the hers. An example of this is the Asian crisis of the late 1990s, which saw the domino effect of falling currencies throughout Asia. While we seem to have made economic progress compared to before, it is also glaringly apparent that our economies today are infinitely less stable than those before. The world we live in today, economically, may be seen as better. than before in some aspects, and worse in others.
In the medical world, unprecedented advancement in medical technology seems to have made our world the best of times. Advanced medical technology has resulted in the elimination of many diseases, such as the eradication of smallpox by the World Health Organization in 1979. The world we live in may thus seem the best in terms of the health and safety of the world population. However, this is not really true. Man still lives at the mercy of the microbe, as new diseases, more potent than their predecessors, seem to crop up endlessly, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and the latest being Covid-19 . We are plagued by diseases which are even more difficult to cure than before. While advancements in DNA technology promise the elimination of hereditary diseases and even potential cures for previously incurable diseases, further progress remains to be seen.
Medical advancement in reproductive technology also seems to have made our world the best, giving hope to infertile couples. However, such medical technology may not really be the ‘best’, as it brings with it ethical concerns. The discarding of embryos in in-vitro fertilization and abortion brought about by more advanced, safer unused abortion techniques leave us wondering whether life is still held sacred in our world increased today, and if humanity is still valued. The future of our medical world venturing into cloning and genetic engineering seems even more frightening. What is even more disturbing is the apathy and lack of concern about these important ethical implications. What seems to be progress could well be, in the words of a scientist in the movie Jurassic Park, ‘the rape of the natural world’. It seems that out world may be the best in terms of medical advancement, but the worst in terms of ethics.
Socially, the world we live in has been lauded as an enlightened age, with reduced racial and gender discrimination. The abolition of the apartheid system, less racial segregation and the increased liberation of women have made our world seem to be the best in terms of social progress. However, one would do well to note that discrimination does persist, even in this enlightened age. In many less enlightened countries such as India, and even in developed countries such as Japan, caste systems do hinder upward social mobility, and women are still seen as the weaker sex. However, the marked decrease in such discrimination has made our world, though not the best, definitely better than before.
The world we live in today seems to be, unfortunately, one of increasing moral decadence. Crime rates and terrorism are on the rise, and crimes committed have been most heinous and unprecedented in cruelty. Examples of this are the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York and the brutal murder of toddler James Bulger by children not much older than himself. While we seem to be better off socially, we are worse off morally today as our moral pillars are slowly crumbling. presumably due to the influence of the mass media and advanced technology that has made crime all the easier to commit today. Another example of this is the collapse of Barings Bank, brought about by Nick Leeson, with the simple use of computerized recording of funds. It is disturbing to think how easily crime is committed in our world today, and though may not be the worst of times as crime is generally under control, it is definitely worse than before.
The world we live in today is also the best in terms of technological advancement. Advanced weaponry should have increased global security in its use as a deterrent to aggressors, even for small countries. such as Pakistan. The threat of war would also seem to be diminished with the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction. However, if the advanced weapons today fall into the wrong hands, the implications. would be disastrous. Political megalomaniacs have no qualms about using such technology to destroy and kill millions for their own purposes. One would thus wonder if the world today is actually better than before with such technology, or if we would be better off without it. While technology seems to have made. the world better today, s not without its drawbacks. The security of funds and databases today are. threatened by automation, and technological disasters such as nuclear accidents have made our world less safe than before. The use of technology in agriculture seems to have made farmers’ jobs easier, but it has been indirectly responsible for an oversupply of agricultural products on the market, causing falling food prices to reduce farmers’ incomes. The ubiquity of technology in our world today has thus made it a better time than before in terms of ease of communication and convenience, but worse in many ways as well.
It can thus be concluded that the world we live in today is better than before, but still lacking in many areas, and progress in some areas has brought about problems in others. In terms of social progress, economic and technological developments, we are better off, but in terms of morals, ethics, and many other areas, we may not be. It is thus unfair to call the world we live in today the best or worst of times, or even both. While criticism is needful, it is unfair to denounce the world we live in as the worst of times. At the same time, while there has been infinite progress, there is still room for improvement in our world today, and it cannot be called the best of times. A fairer description of the world we live in today would be that it is better than before, but room for improvement certainly does exist.
Comment by PJC GP Tuition Specialist: Good focus overall. Well done! with a well-presented and clear argument. Excellent script with a sustained argument.
More GP Essay answers in our GP tuition revision guide, for our Pioneer JC GP tuition students. The focus will be to design a creditable GP essay response, with mature observations and sufficient insights. This will surely ensure your score for GP Paper 1 is an ‘A’ grade.
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