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GP Tuition: Sample GP Examination Paper – YIJC

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Here’s a sample of Essay Paper (Paper 1) shared by our ex – YIJC GP tuition pupil who attended our online classes for GP:

 

1.As long as a government is honest, efficient and effective, democracy doesn’t matter.’ What is your view?


2. Discuss two fields of scientific research which you feel hold most promise for mankind and explain why.

3. “Live for the moment.” Discuss the wisdom of this philosophy.


4. Discuss the importance of one of the following in today’s world:
a) a sense of conviction
b) a sense of curiosity
c) a sense of adventure.


5. Monuments and memorials merely a waste of a country’s budget. Do you agree?


6. Do you agree that, nearly seventy years later, the United Nations is no closer to achieving any of its aims?


7. “The World Wide Web has ensnared and enslaved more people than it has enlightened and emancipated.” Discuss.


8. “Language is more than a tool of communication.” Discuss.


9. “Racial issues are too sensitive and dangerous to discuss.” Consider this view with reference to your own country.


10. Do you agree that apathy is the main cause of the world’s problems?


11. What achievements of Singapore make you beam with pride and what aspects make you blush with embarrassment?

 

12.The only child in a family is a lucky child.” Do you agree?

 

Bonus Essay Question on the Topic of Mass Media & Language
Q13: Why study another language when English is so widely used today?

 


YIJC General Paper Tuition – Sample Model GP Essay Answer

Here is a full length sample answer to the following GP essay question:
Q8
. “Language is more than a tool of communication.” Discuss.

 

At first glance, the lingua franca of society is used merely to make a person’s intentions known and to enable him to understand others. Language is used daily as a medium of exchange. However, it has other functions and implications. Language upholds a tradition, records history and evolution, provides an identity, and acts as a medium of humanisation.

 

It is a widely known fact that languages evolve with time and usage. As such, language is a form of testament to the changing times and environment. It has the capacity to be a tool that records changes and allows us to travel back in time. This is achieved through literature, an important component of language. For example, before written scripts, the Aryans have, through language, orally passed down historical epics like the Mahabharata from generation to generation. The evolution of written literature further enhances language’s capability to record history. Today, a person only needs to read a Shakespearean text to learn more about life in the Elizabethan era or to track the evolution of the English language since that era. This clearly shows that language, more than just being a tool of communication, is also a tool that documents history and social evolution.

 

Language is also a form of identity. Societies that share a common language often find it easier to correlate as language gives them a sense of belonging. Tradition and culture is also upheld by language, giving those sharing a common language a common identity. For example, the French have long placed an emphasis on their language. They recognise that language is part of their culture and are therefore very proud of Due to this, organisations like the Alliance François have set up operations worldwide to promote the French language. This clearly demonstrates how language, apart from being a medium of exchange, is also an important tool in developing national pride and keeping a society rooted to its tradition and culture. In the African continent, animosity between citizens of French speaking nations, like Nigeria and Corte De Voire, with those from English speaking nations such as Zimbabwe and Zaire, again stresses the important capability of language to provide a sense of identity, above being a tool of communication.

 

Another unique facility of language is its ability to provide and maintain diplomacy. Due to the sense of belonging a language commands, the ability to speak the native language of of a foreigner to a foreigner almost always places the speaker in a more positive light. The speaker would win respect from the foreigner and this provides greater avenue for diplomacy. On an individual level, a person speaking the foreigner’s native language, to a foreigner, may have higher and more favourable chance at negotiating a deal with him. For this reason, businessmen almost always try to learn and speak the native language of the countries in which they are investing. On a social level, countries, upon deciding to send a diplomat abroad, should also try to ensure that their representative is able to speak the native language of the country they are going to be based in. Lingual events such as ‘World Schools. Debates’ also bring citizens of different countries. together, exposing them to different cultures. Hence, it is clear that language, besides being used for communication, can also be used for diplomatic reasons.

 

Language is also a medium of humanisation. By: allowing people to express themselves, it provides. them with an outlet to vent out their frustrations and feelings. Literature is impossible without language. Literature has an important humanising function and helps relieve stress. Reading poetry and stories helps people realise the wonders of life in addition to the de-stressing function. The huge success of the ‘Chicken soup for the soul’ series of inspirational stories proves that language, in the form of literature, is able to keep mankind humane.

 

Language is no doubt an important tool of communication. Without language, communication is halted. However, the capabilities of language are not confined to just communication. Language can be used to document history and keep track of the changes society has gone and will go through. Language also builds patriotism and enhances social identity, helping to root a society’s tradition and culture. As a means of communication, language can also help bridge differences and maintain peace through diplomacy. It ensures that the human race does not lose its humanity. As such, language is clearly more than a communication; it is a tool of living. 

 

 

YIJC GP Tuition teacher’s Comments:  Such varied and refreshing examples . Keep up with your insightful piece!

 


Bonus Essay Question on the Topic of Mass Media & Language
Q13: Why study another language when English is so widely used today?

 

In the modern world, English is indeed the lingua franca. This is largely due to the colonialism that persisted until the middle of this century and America’s strong influence in this century. As a result, one can almost say that the number of English-speaking people who are not native to the language surpasses that of the native speakers. English is the most commonly used language in international events like the United Nations Conference for Women and is also the language used in the Internet, major newspapers and other media. However, the Singapore government still advocates studying another language, and it is not alone. It is reported that many other countries including Australia are beginning to place emphasis on other languages.

 

This phenomenon must be attributed largely to the rise of NIEs (Newly Industrialised Economy), particularly Asian NIEs like China, Taiwan and South Korea. As a result, the economic value of Asian languages especially Chinese rises very quickly. Even as the Asians are busy learning English, it is argued that it would be much easier to discuss business in their native language since this can facilitate the building of rapport and friendship. There fore, it is highly advantageous to learn more languages in the global economy.

 

Apart from that, the world is also fast becoming a global village, but it is also similar to Babylon in the sense that there are many languages spoken. Although the best solution is to have a common language, this is highly impractical. Many people cannot speak English, at least, not well enough to communicate freely. Naturally, the next best thing to do would be to learn another language widely spoken, e.g. Spanish or Malay. Learning another language enables people to communicate more freely, even if it is not for discussing business.

 

Besides that, language is a vital part of culture. It is essential to know the language well if one wants to understand other parts of the culture, especially the arts, like opera or classic literature. This is because no matter how well the translation is done, it is quite impossible to retain some of the flavour and subtle nuances which can be expressed or understood only in that language. Each culture would be different, at least in some aspects, from another; it is difficult to study a culture in another language foreign to it. One example would be the translation of Confucius’s Analects. In Confucianism, the idea of being a “junzi” is very important. However, it is quite impossible to find an English equivalent to that word, the closest being “a gentleman”, but that still does not include the idea of being filial and patriotic, which are values important to being a “junzi”. In fact, very often, one can spot inaccurate translations in bilingual books which can be very galling. If one is monolingual, then it is impossible to know that there are mistakes. Sometimes, in Life! a section of the “The Straits Times”, there would be a bilingual column, featuring some words translated from Chinese as well as the original Chinese work. On reading, I observe that the English translation often lacks some beautiful details in the Chinese version and sometimes is even almost inaccurate. This reinforces my argument that to understand the culture, one must learn the language.

 

Practical reasons aside, another reason for learning another language is the personal satisfaction of being able to converse, read and write in two or more languages. This certainly boosts the self-esteem. This also trains the mind and ability to articulate. Certainly when one travels, it is much more interesting to be able to speak to the natives personally rather than to go through a translator, and it is also more convenient. Besides, it would improve the reception one gets in the country, probably by impressing the hosts.

 

However, with the ascendancy of other languages apart from English, one question arises: Should we try to know at least one language very well or know a little of many languages? The answer is controversial, but perhaps, it is better to be able to use one langauge efficiently, and confidently, than to have to struggle to express oneself in some language one is not familiar with. Learning a few languages also gives rise to mixtures of languages. One very good example would be Singlish, spoken popularly in Singapore, consisting of English, Chinese, dialects, Malays and even Tamil. Other examples include Creole (French and English) spoken in Mauritius and Spanglish (English and Spanish) spoken in Latin America. Language purists have railed against these as contamination of English.

 

However, taking all factors into consideration, it is still advantageous to learn another language apart from English. Certainly, all the languages spoken today make the world a more colourful place. Anyway, even if English is the most widely used language today, other languages are far from being obliterated by it and hopefully, they never will be.

 

 

Comment by YIJC GP Tuition Specialist: Awesome effort!

 


More GP Essay answers (Paper 1) in our GP tuition revision guide, especially for Yishun Innova 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 at least 36 out of 50.

 


How to get to YIJC ?

Yishun Innova Junior College is located at 3 Yishun Ring Road Singapore 768675. The nearest MRT is Yishun (NS13) station along the North South line (NSL). You can walk or take many of the buses from the adjacent bus stop.

Students with little time left to attend our group YIJC GP tuition classes, are welcome to take up our GP revision course.

Happy Revision!

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