GP Tuition: Sample GP Examination Paper – SRJC
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Here’s a sample of Essay Paper (Paper 1) shared by our ex – SRJC GP tuition pupil who attended our online lessons:
1. ‘Anger never helps anyone or solves anything.’ Discuss.
2. ‘There are certain things that the media have a responsibility not to report.’ Discuss.
3. ‘The idea that the world will one day become a global village is utter nonsense.’ Comment.
4. Should any limits be set on artistic expression?
5. Does it really matter if life exists on other planets?
6. ‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. (John F. Kennedy)
To what extent do people in your country heed this advice?
7. Do you agree that the world would be a better place if people were ruled more by logic and less by emotion?
8. “The use of computers in education has done more harm than good.” Do you agree?
9. Have we become poorer despite becoming more affluent?
10. “The best things in life are free.” Discuss.
11. Do you agree that Singaporeans are victims of trends?
12. Commerce is the enemy of culture,” Discuss.
Bonus Essay Question for the Serangoon Junior College GP tutoring group re the Topic of Global & Regional Issues
Q13: “Global peace is and always will be an impossible dream.” Discuss.
SRJC General Paper Tuition – Sample Model GP Essay Answer
Here is a full length sample answer to the following GP essay question:
Q9. Have we become poorer despite becoming more affluent?
Affluence is a state many people in many countries are increasingly getting used to. It is a state where one can afford to buy as much as one needs, and sometimes even more. Materially, an affluent person is very well off. His basic needs are met, and his often excessive wants are catered to. The number of affluent people in the developed world has increased in recent years, so that they now make up a significant proportion of the population as compared to the small and elite group of affluent several decades ago. As the trend towards general affluence picks up speed, it becomes more evident that there may be a trade-off between material well-being and spiritual, emotional, physical and psychological well being. These non-material factors are very much part of a person and the society he lives in. Thus a trade-off between affluence and personal well-being would mean a sacrifice of society’s well-being, and in the larger picture, the global community’s well being. Thus our increasing affluence may actually be making us poorer.
As a person begins to become affluent, he realises that he can now satisfy many of his material wants easily. Many of these include having a nice car, owning a big house, being able to send his children to the best schools and basically living a very comfortable life. Most of the time fulfilling these desires does not compromise personal or social well-being at all. In fact, well-being is enhanced, as the person is happy, and pleased with what he has been able to achieve. Having reached this state, a person may respond in several ways. One way would be to appreciate what he has, and be contented with maintaining his quality of life. Most people however, respond by wanting even more, and working even harder to achieve it. The desire to always do better is a healthy one. However, when one lets this desire over-ride one’s responsibilities to family, society and self, it can ultimately destroy what one has worked for.
It is a common perception, especially in developed countries, that being responsible to one’s self means i earning enough money to be materially satisfied and happy. Increasingly, however, people are realizing that material well-being is not enough. To be ‘rich’ in all senses of the word, one should be fulfilled not just materially, but spiritually, emotionally, physically and psychologically as well. Unfortunately, these areas. have been eroded by our endless desire to become even more affluent than we already are.
Living in an affluent society places high pressure on people. They want to be as rich as, or even richer than, their counterparts. An affluent society also creates high costs of living. This causes high stress to those who struggle to keep up. Children also lose out on their parents’ attention, as both parents are usually focused on their jobs. This has serious repercussions for society in the long run, as children who grow up without the presence and support of their parents tend to be unstable and unable to handle many of life’s problems. The present generation of children we are raising in today’s affluent society is our future generation of leaders and workers. If we neglect our children for affluence now, we will definitely be much poorer in the future. That is not the only repercussion, however. A lack of parental guidance and love has led to the decrease in morality and increase depression, violence and suicide that are becoming all too common in young people today. We may have gained much materially. but to do so we have sacrificed passing down values we learned from our forefathers, values that, combined with our affluence, could have made the world a better place. Care, respect, love and resilience are values many young people today are without.
It is important to note that ‘our’ affluence is really confined to the developed world. In the developing world, poverty is the word that is associated with the masses. We must be careful, lest our affluence blind. us to the poverty of the millions of people in less. developed countries. Even in developed countries, poverty-stricken areas exist. The danger here is that the affluent marginalize and forget the poor, who have as great a potential to develop if given the opportunity.
Interestingly, affluence does not mean a high quality of life, and being ‘poor’ does not mean a low quality of life. It is perfectly normal for someone who earns less than the global average to be happier than someone who earns ten times the global average. In that sense, the high earner, or more affluent person, is poorer. Happiness cannot be quantified. It could be as simple as being able to watch the sun rise everyday, or having a happy family, or a loving pet. Ironically, these are the things that affluence makes us ignore. Affluent people look for happiness in expensive possessions, holidays in far away destinations and exclusive parties. At the end of their search, many are poorer not just materially, but exhausted physically, psychologically and mentally as well.
However, affluence is not a bad thing in itself it cannot make us poorer in any sense on its own. It is the attitude and manner in which people treat affluence that affects what happens. An affluent person could choose to use his money to satisfy himself, or help the community. Should he choose to do the latter, he not only makes others richer by increasing their welfare, he makes himself richer by giving. An affluent person could choose to go on an expensive holiday and then spend his time there grumbling about how low in standard everything is, or he could relish the experience.
The impact of an affluent society on its members has far reaching effects. In order to become affluent, many Asian societies discarded their Asian cultures. and traditions, in order to reach western, especially America, standards of living. Now that they are affluent, however, many Asian societies are trying to reclaim their sense of identity. They no longer wish to associate being affluent with being westernized – Asian affluence is now common. Thus their cultures and traditions things which many believed were sacrificed for the sake of modernity and affluence, are making a comeback. While many use to believe that in today’s globalised world we have no choice but to sacrifice traditions and values for the sake of affluence, many now believe that they can coexist. This then proves the theory that becoming affluent means becoming culturally poorer false. As an affluent society, we have the ability to decide as individuals what we want for ourselves, and obtain it.
In conclusion, the process of becoming affluent may have made us poorer. In order to succeed in a competitive world, we may have sacrificed values, traditions and our own emotional, psychological and physical well-being. The drive to be affluent may have caused parents to neglect their children, to the detriment of society, and society to neglect the poor, to the detriment of the world. It may have caused us to lead selfish lives; ignoring the harm our activities could cause others. However our affluence could also be used to help others. In our affluence we can choose to revive what we have lost culture and tradition. We can now afford to spend less time fulfilling material needs and more time enriching ourselves, our families and our society.
SRJC GP Tuition teacher’s Comments: An insightful response!
Bonus Essay Question on the Topic of Global & Regional Issues
Q13:”Global peace is and always will be an impossible dream.” Discuss.
Politicians are always quoting the phrase “This brings us closer to a new age of global peace” every time a conflict of negotiation is “successfully” resolved. Is that actually true? Let us cast our minds back to the end of the Second World War. After the complete destruction of the German and Japanese war machines, Allied leaders began proclaiming “global peace within the decade”. That was 50 years ago. To this day we see no signs of even the beginning of a global peace emerging. If anything, it can be said that an intensification of regional conflicts threatens at times to erupt in a world wide conflagration. Wars in the Congo, the Middle East, Namibia and even today in Rwanda and Bosnia bear witness to the hollowness of the global peace concept. Why is it quite impossible for humanity to ever achieve global peace?
Let us get down to the brass tacks of the situation. In a very blunt way, we have to say man is naturally a warlike creature. Despite the veneer of “civilization” we have so carefully cultivated in the past five thousand years, it is quite obvious we are little different from our cavemen ancestors. Just as it was for our caveman ancestors, talk has never been the most adequate solution for us. It is more convenient to hammer those who contradict us than to spend needless effort in convincing them. Critics may beg to differ but the evidence is there for all to see. So called ‘negotiations’ are usually temporary half-measures to allow both sides to further build up their strength to take up a more ‘forceful’ stance. Our ancestors fought for hunting territory and rights to territorial security. Isn’t that similar to the modern day wars over areas of “economic and strategic importance?” Wasn’t that the reason why the British and the French attempted to seize the Suez Canal from the Egyptian government in the 1960s? It obviously was not for the common interest of the world. Yes, it can truly be said that we are like our ancestors, only the scale of things has widened to a more global picture. It is no wonder that global peace is unattainable.
It is often quoted “fear is the source of all suffering.” True enough! Global peace shall remain a pipe dream as everyone in this world has a cause to fear another. On a micro scale, human beings often fear those who are bigger, better and stronger than they. They feel a certain sense of inferiority. Obviously to enjoy a more secure life, we tend to plot how to remove the cause of our fear. In a similar way the world is haunted by fear. Nations fear other nations especially those who have superior military capabilities than they. To assuage their fear, a weaker nation would begin to accumulate weapons and build up their armed forces. The stronger nation would take it as a sign of growing hostility and increase their might accordingly and frantic arms escalation would nations view each other with fear and would develop both as long the situation would reach a stage where both sides 1 mistrust. Before would be unable to use direct military force but resort to the so-called “cold war’ methods of political warfare and subterfuge. An excellent example would be the years of bitter hostility between the now defunct Soviet Union a and the so-called defender of democracy, the United States. Their silent but vicious conflict split the world into mutually fearing and distrusting camps. Global peace was a hollow joke then.
Baser instincts sometimes predominate and scuttle the dreams of global peace. Greed is a powerful motivating factor. It is hard to believe but what nations would do to further enrich themselves and solve their economic woes is remarkable. War is just the culmination of it. In an at tempt to bolster their own flagging wealth, nations would look hungrily across their borders to their richer and more prosperous neighbours. Take for example the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991. President Saddam Hussein in vented a ‘reason’ that Kuwait was a product of the British after the Second World War and was actually a part of Iraq. Of course it has been revealed to date that he was actually after the little Emirates’ oil reserves to further increase the wealth of Iraq (and himself of course). For basic greed he was willing to sacrifice lives of Iraqi troops and wage war on Kuwait (and the Allied forces pulled in. to stop him). Remember Saddam Hussein is not unique. Greed is an inherent trait within us and no doubt such an occurrence would repeat itself in the future. This of course would imply once again that global peace is simply impossible.
Ethnic and religious intolerance is another stumbling block to global peace. Racism has always existed even at the dawn of mankind. There always is a group of individuals who would be ostracized from the society due to religious affiliations and sometimes for no other reason than the colour of their skin. Most of the time it would erupt into a seething conflict of pure hate and intolerance. The oppressed would rise up against the oppressors as the oppressor would be determined to stamp out once and for all, the ‘different ones’. The latter was precisely Hitler’s policy during the Second World War when he initiated the Holocaust and six million people died sim ply because they were Jews and ‘inferior to the so-called ‘Aryan race of the Germans.”
In recent times, ethnic wars have erupted all over the globe, more familiarly in Rwanda where the oppressed Tutsi majority revolted against the minority government and left millions dead in the resulting civil war. In the ‘famous’ Bosnian conflict, it can also be seen how ethnic intolerance plunged the former Yugoslavia in a debilitating civil war as Serbian forces attempted to drive out the minority Bosnian Muslims. These are not isolated events. There are many such pressure points in the world created by the same factors, ready to spark the fire of intolerance and hate. With such dark times brewing, global peace is a distant memory best banished into the junkyards of dreams.
Our warring spirit, fear, greed and intolerance are no doubt catalysts to wars and poison to global peace. Yet these are traits that are a part of us since the beginning, Unless we change our emotional and sociological makeup, it seems that present conditions are fated to continue. Whether it is today or tomorrow, man will be the same and war and conflict will go on. Hence global peace and always will be an impossible dream.
Comment by SRJC GP Tuition Specialist: Good focus with a clear and crisp argument. Well done!
More GP Essay answers in our GP tuition revision guide, for our Serangoon 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.
Development of JJC in Future
Serangoon Junior College (SRJC) will merge with Anderson JC (PJC) from 2019 to from Anderson Serangoon Junior College. (ASRJC).