SAJC General Paper Tuition

GP Tuition: Sample GP Examination Paper – SAJC

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Here’s a sample of GP Essay Paper (Paper 1) shared by our ex – SAJC student who attended our GP tutorials:


1. ‘Great works of literature do not make good films.’ Discuss.

2. “A refuge for the irrational and the insecure.” Comment on this assessment of religion.

3. Is it true to say that ignorance is the biggest problem in the world today?

4. Given what we already know, is further research into outer space justifiable?

5. In the age of the Internet, why bother with censorship laws?

6. To what extent is Singapore confidently prepared and properly equipped to face the challenges that lie ahead?

7. “All talk, no action.” Is this a fair assessment of the current state of international cooperation?

8. To what extent is the increasing dominance of English as a medium of global communication a desirable trend?

9. Do you agree that violence never solves anything?

10. “Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.” Discuss the relevance of this assertion in today’s world.

11. “We will have a better future if, instead of resorting to biotechnology, we leave nature to take its course.” Discuss

12. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of industrial development.
(This essay question is on the topic of Political & Economic Issues)


Bonus Question: On the GP Topic of Political & Economic Issues
(Q13): “In today’s world, consumer is king”. Discuss.


SAJC General Paper Tuition – Sample Model GP Essay Answer

Here is a full length sample answer to the following GP essay question:
. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of industrial development.


Industrial development refers to the use of mechanisation and mass production to increase the production of various goods like clothes, vehicles and other technological items. It had its beginnings in the mid 19th century, when the first factories sprang up in Europe and North America, which enabled the vast majority of the area’s population to substantially increase their income by being employed in such factories. Back then, nobody knew what effects that industrial development would have upon the world. But now, as the 21st century beckons, we now know of the effects, and both the distinct advantages and disadvantages.


One of the effects of industrial development is its impact on the lifestyles of people, through the greater in come from the increased job opportunities and higher job salary. This increased wealth is enjoyed by all who par take in the industrial development, and is a great advantage to all concerned, as the lifestyle for most of the population will be more comfortable. Some of the benefits of industrial development brought upon by greater wealth include increased travel opportunities, both for tourism or business purposes. Better, more varied food like deep sea fishes and deer are able to be provided in greater quantities as technology has enabled man to easily capture these animals efficiently. Wealthier people can afford to purchase motor vehicles as a symbol of status or convenience. But most importantly, this increased wealth has enabled the majority of the world’s population to enjoy the benefits that education confers upon us. In England, free education is provided for local students, an advantage made possible due to the money the nation earned from industrial development.


However, with the advantage of having more money, there will be problems or disadvantages which will be experienced. Currently people are experiencing diseases of affluence such as heart disease, brought upon by the consumption of foods with high cholesterol values, and lung cancer, a fatal side effect due to excessive smoking. Even the advantage conferred by better travel opportunities can be nullified by choosing to go to a sex tour in Thailand, as some Australians are doing recently, according to news reports. Even rich people have been under increasing attacks by thieves and robbers, as their safety is compromised by their wealth. One great disadvantage of industrial development is that there is often unequal distribution of wealth amongst the people. This problem is often aggravated by inflation, which ensures that “the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer”, which results in much resentment and conflict between the classes.


Another positive effect that industrial development has upon the lives of people is through the introduction of new technology which has aided the lives of men in many ways. Industries use profit-maximizing methods of pro duction, whereby men operate machines in mass-production lines, like Henry Ford did back in the early years of this century, and these forms of mechanization have saved enormous amounts of time, and yet increased outputs by astronomical levels. Thus, the time saved could be utilised in various forms of leisure and relaxation methods, a consequence of the five-day working week. In addition to this, the introduction of new technology which was researched during industrial development has been advantageous to Man in numerous ways. Motor vehicles. have enabled men to traverse greater distances and carry a greater amount of goods. Vaccinations have been mass produced and sent to every country in the world, lowering death rates. Computers have allowed men to store, analyse and manipulate information in an unfathomable number of ways. Thus, technology the product of industrial development can be seen as a great advantage for man.


However, even with such new technology available, there are several disadvantages that have come about due to industrial development. Even though research has come up with items like cars and computers to help mankind, it has also discovered agents of war like machine guns, tanks and the dreaded atomic bomb. There have also been re cent, more “modern” problems that have arisen due to industrial development. Things like rush hours and traffic jams may be trivial to some but these things make life more hectic instead of relaxing. At the same time, life may become more monotonous, as mass production workers may become like the machines they operate and lose their creativity and individuality. But, the greatest draw back with the introduction of technology is that tradition in the workplace is badly affected. There has been a serious loss in the pride of creating an object, as all the operations are purely mechanical; there is little scope for imagination. This has been followed by a simultaneous loss in traditional craftsmanship. The beauty and delicacy of hand-made works are vanishing quickly. ASEAN has recognized this trend, and steps have been taken against it with the introduction of laws to preserve the remaining craftsman’s work.


Lastly, we come to the point on how the natural environment has been affected by industrial development and whether it has developed the surroundings advantageously or disadvantageously. The biggest plus point which industrial development has had on nature is the establishment of cities. These major urban centres are extremely convenient for all, with modern amenities like sewerage, water and power, which have been brought about by industrial development. It could be stated that there are no more isolated areas in the world today, as even previously rural areas are now experiencing the advantageous benefits of industrial development, like street lighting and piped-in gas.


However, it could be stated that there are several people who abhor living in dirty, crowded and claustrophobic city areas teeming with humans. There are also “purists” in rural areas who are not satisfied with the “contamination” which those regions are undergoing by industrial development, as they would rather live a hermits’ lifestyle, untouched by civilization. But, the greatest dis advantage that industrial development has had on the world is pollution. There are factories which discharge huge amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere or rivers and seas, as can be seen in cities like Tokyo and New York. There is a horrifying example in Seneso, a small Italian town where an explosion in a toxic chemical factory released poisonous substances, killing plants and animals and harming humans. Other examples include the blunder of the “Exxon Valdez” in Alaska, which was the world’s biggest oil spill, tropical deforestation causing the “Greenhouse Effect”, and the ozone depletion problem over the Antarctic. But it is not fair to say it is wholly disadvantageous, as industrial development re search has come up with remedies to help solve the problems. Non C.F.C. aerosols, biodegradable products and unleaded petrol are some ways to combat the situation.


Thus, to conclude, we have seen that industrial development has contrasting advantages and disadvantages, but my personal opinion is that the positive points outweigh the negative, as it can be learnt from history that the world has been a much better place with the advantages of industrial development.


Bonus Question: On the GP Topic of Education
(Q13): “In today’s world, consumer is king”. Discuss.


In today’s modern world, the “consumer is king”. He has the power to choose which goods and services he wants and also the price that he is willing to pay for them. Hence, he has “consumer sovereignty”. With a higher income, he is open to a vast array of products to choose from. His purchasing power leads producers to compete for his income. To some, consumerism is a disease which afflicts the mind. It is a malignant virus which grows and multiplies. We constantly need more and more goods to satiate our never-ending desires. However, in my opinion, consumerism is a food which nourishes the mind, body and soul. We are presented with a never-ending menu to satisfy our palate. Therefore, consumerism should be a celebration of life and diversity. 


Diversity is the way of life. Consumers are spoilt for choice considering the sea of goods which flood the market. We are entertained and thrilled by the emergence of new products. Why bother keeping an old watch if you can have a new one? And a better one, too. New products are modified with better features to suit the modern man. The Rolex-Oxygen is waterproof, fireproof and furthermore allows you to scale the highest mountains and dive the deepest seas because it is able to withstand the tremendous pressure exerted on it.


With more goods and services at our disposal, we can create an identity which best represents our personality and lifestyle. Young males can choose to have any kind of hairstyle, clothing, shoes, hand phone or car. Their vanity drives them to pursue the ideal image of “Adonis”, so they can present themselves in the most attractive fashion to the world. However, the problem arises when they become more and more like “Narcissus”. This condition was evinced by the Japanese who slept overnight outside the Louis-Vuitton store in Tokyo, all for the sake of the brand name.


Consumerism is a romantic affair. The product sits on the supermarket shelf like a coquettish maiden flirting with every person who passes by. The consumer is seduced by the alluring packaging and marketing and purchases the product of his desire. The most attractive milk carton, be it “Daisy”. “Marigold”, “HL” or “Maiden’s Milk”, is picked by the consumer.


In a way, consumerism is an evolution by the human species. We work hard to produce the goods which we can enjoy. Gone are the days when we had to accept whatever good was thrust into our hand. Consumerism reflects the development and progress of humans into a highly sophisticated species which is aware of its goods and therefore practices “natural selection”.


However, despite the abundance of merits of consumerism, it is not entirely flawless. Multi national companies such as “K-Mart”, which has almost every imaginable product under one roof, may actually reduce variety. All products are almost homogeneous in “cookie-cutter” form, because they are mass-produced. Moreover, the substantial profits earned by such firms exacerbate the income inequality. In addition, it is known that such firms as Nike and Reebok exploit cheap labour in the developing countries. Workers in Indonesia are paid about $2.50 a day, while the finished product is sold in developed markets at almost a hundred percent profit! Furthermore, in the process of production, externalities are produced. Pollution, accidents, traffic congestion and global warming are unaccounted for. Who should bear the burden of these costs: the consumer or the producer?


It has been argued that consumerism leads to a decline of culture and religion. It makes people become shallow and “empty”. However, consumerism has proven to revive traditional practices and cultures, which would otherwise have been forgotten. Today, Power Yoga is available to consumers in the U.S. and they learn the ancient art of deep breathing and relaxation. (Examiner. another e.g. needed here.)


Considering all the aspects discussed, whether we like it or not, consumerism is here to stay. It should be celebrated because it is the reflection of our modern lifestyle, efforts and achievements. We are motivated by the “invisible hand”, as the economist Adam Smith calls it, to achieve progress and prosperity: So, can I have my gourmet meal now?


Comments by our GP Teacher: A delightful mixture of knowledge and word play. An imaginative response, with arguments presented in an atmospheric and persuasive style. Fun to read. Not quite wide-ranging enough or so Informed with significant detail for the top grade.


More GP Essay answers (Paper 1) in our GP tuition revision guide, especially for Saint Andrew’s Junior College 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 at least 36 out of 50.


How to get to SA Junior College?

Saint Andrew’s Junior College (SAJC) is located at 5 Sorby Adams Drive, Singapore 357691. Just like the nearby NYJC, it is a short walk from the MRT station, namely Potong Pasir MRT (NE10),  an underground station along the North East line (NEL).


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Happy Revision!