This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
• General topics that appear to be mainstays: (i) the value of culture and the arts; (ii) the detrimental effects of science and technology; (iii) the role of the state and politicians; (iv) environmental issues such as global warming, carbon footprint and waste; (v) world issues such as poverty, international relations, developed vs developing worlds; (vi) the importance or value of abstract concepts and phenomena (religion, dreams, design) • Specific topics that recur every 2-3 years: (a) history, tradition and the past; (b) advertising; (c) magazines, films and television programmes; (d) books, museums and cultural mediums; (e) mathematics and statistics; (f) sports and sporting events; (g) modern / city life; (h) business and economics; (i) responsibility for one’s health.
It is worthwhile to practise questions from past year papers; they persistently recur. Who would have thought that mathematics would make a reappearance in 2010? Just as remarkably, ‘politicians’ featured in both the 2009 and 2010 papers, as did ‘technology’. Religion consecutively appeared in 2008 and 2009. Singapore-specific questions appear to have been introduced in 2003 and have made a constant appearance ever since with social, cultural and economic foci. The paper has become increasingly issue-specific and issue-focused. Where the November 2000 paper requires deliberation on ‘the pursuit of wealth’ or ‘pets’, the 2010 paper begs awareness or even grasp of current affairs. Taking the ‘crimes against humanity’ question as an example, the student must know about the International Crime Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and its prosecution of Radovan Karadžić in 2008 (when the paper was set). Students who kept up with their reading in 2010 would also be able to cite the sentencing of Khmer Rouge prison chief Duch (Kaing Guek Eav) for crimes against humanity. A substantial number of students misinterpreted the question as one about ‘crime’ in general. A well-read student would have immediately understood ‘crimes against humanity’ to refer to war crimes (such as genocide) or other large-scale violations, rather than petty theft, outrage of modesty or even serial killing. Content knowledge and evidence really matter. In the absence of genius, try, try, try. Cambridge examiners have communicated to the local teaching community that sheer relevance and rigour of content would be duly rewarded.
Marc Kenji Lim
Cambridge Questions Organized According to Topic
Abstract Issues 1. 2. 3. 4. Gossip is never harmless. Do you agree? (1993) The truth should always be told, whatever the cost. Should it? (1993) Should promises always be kept? (1995) Should human beings look forward to the next century more with optimism than pessimism? (1997) Do arguments ever settle anything? (1999) ‘Being in fashion makes a person popular; being different makes a person special.’ Discuss. (1999) ‘In the modern world, image is everything.’ Discuss. (2000) ‘Idealism brings disillusionment; realism brings results.’ Discuss. (2000) Discuss the appeal, and dangers, of attempting to predict the future. (2001) ‘History can never be anything more than an intelligent guess at what the past was like. The reality is inevitably lost forever.’ Do you agree? (2001) Does a study of history make you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the human race? (2001) Statistics measure everything but prove nothing.’ Discuss. (2003) Do the past and present offer any guidance for the future? (2004) ‘There is no such thing as luck. People determine their own lives.’ Do you agree? (2005) Do myths and legends still have a role to play in Singapore? (2006) Can a belief in the supernatural be sustained in our modern world? (2007) How important is a sense of history in shaping the future of Singapore’s society? (2007) How important are dreams? (2008)
7. 8. 9. 10.
12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
such as music and literature. 9. the pleasures of reading can never compete with the pleasures of visual entertainment. sculpture or music. 3.’ Discuss. 11.’ Can written language really be so powerful? (2007) ‘The arts cannot change the world. 10. 5. (2000) ‘A film has one purpose .19. (2008) ‘Fashion is as much a good thing as a bad thing. 22. (2001) ‘A work of art can never be valued just in financial terms. but they can make it more beautiful. 8. (2007) ‘Contemporary music has no artistic value.’ What is your view? (2006) ‘The pen is mightier than the sword. 21. 1. and holds little interest for females as a result.’ Is this a fair comment? (2008) Nowadays. they should support themselves. 12.’ Discuss.’ Using examples. (2002) Does the book still have a future? (2003) Discuss the appeal and value of fantasy stories and films. Culture and the Media 23. 24. (2004) Do the arts. 3 .’ Discuss this view with reference to one of the following: painting. really play a significant part in Singaporean society? (2005) ‘A picture is always more powerful than mere words.to entertain. 4. consider this view. (2008) Are certain types of writing superior to others? (2009) 2. 20. written by males. ‘Public money should not be wasted on the arts.’ Is this a fair comment? (2009) Can mathematics be seen as anything more than a useful tool in everyday life? (2010) How important is it for people in your society to retain a sense of tradition? (2010) Arts.’ To what extent do you agree? (2009) ‘History records male acts. To what extent is design important in your society? (2008) Discuss the view that too much faith is placed in statistics. 6. 7.
rather than what is important? (2006) ‘Advertisements are often entertaining. 19. (2004) How far do magazines or television programmes aimed at young people in Singapore have a positive effect? (2005) To what extent do the newspapers and magazines that you read deal with what is trivial.Marc Kenji Lim 13. 4 . 18.’ Discuss. such as concert halls and theatres. Discuss. 17. 21. (2010) Should advertising be restricted in any way? (2001) Can the media ever be relied upon to convey the truth? (2003) Advertising encourages a desire for products which people do not actually need. 20. Would it matter if all the performing arts venues in your society. 15. 16. were closed down? (2010) The book has no place in modern society.’ Is this your experience? (2007) Assess the impact of foreign films or foreign TV programmes on the culture of your society. but they rarely affect consumer choice. (2009) 14.
(2002) Should medical science always seek to prolong life? (2003) Does the modern world place too much reliance on technology? (2003) ‘How inventions and discoveries are used is not the concern of the scientist. 2. the more religion will decline.’ Discuss. 13.’ To what extent do you agree? (2008) Should every country have the right to carry out unlimited scientific research? (2009) To what extent has technology had an impact on both privacy and security in your country? (2009) To what extent has technology had a negative impact on the skill levels of people? (2010) 3. Science never provides solutions . 9. 5. 11.’ Do you agree? (2004) Is effective farming possible without science? (2005) ‘Medical science has been so successful that people now expect too much of it.’ Discuss.’ Is this a fair comment? (2000) ‘Computers and mobile phones have made us all worse at talking to one another. 6. 12. 14. (2005) Does modern technology always improve the quality of people’s lives? (2006) Should research into expensive medical treatments be allowed when only a few can afford them? (2007) ‘The more science advances.it only poses more questions.Science and Technology 1. 4. 5 . not better!’ What do you think? (2001) Science and religion will always conflict. 10. 8. 7.
Does the presence of a foreign power ever help a country with problems? (2008) 9.‘The world would be a better place if everyone spoke the same language. (2006) 7. not promoted.’ Discuss.’ How far is this true of Singapore? (2005) 5.’ Is this a fair comment? (2002) 16. (2009) 13.Is it possible to protect the environment when many countries require increasing amounts of energy to progress? (2007) 15. (2000) 14.Can the transport of food over vast distances be justified? (2009) 18.In what ways does a country both benefit and suffer from where it is situated? (2001) 3.‘Air travel creates more problems than benefits.Is the elimination of global poverty a realistic aim? (2009) 19.How far do physical features.Should a love of one’s country still be encouraged? (2009) 12.Discuss the extent to which global and national interests can be balanced.To what extent does the migration of people have a positive effect? (2008) 11.Marc Kenji Lim Globalisation.’ Discuss. (2006) 6.Examine the claim that the world is too dependent on oil. (2001) 2.‘The tourist does not see the country the inhabitants know.’ To what extent do you agree? (2008) 17. determine a country’s progress? (2008) 10. International Relations and the Environment 1.Should poorer countries develop their tourist industry when the basic needs of their own people are not being met? (2007) 8.How effective are international efforts to ease the problem of global hunger? (2010) 6 .Can small countries have a significant voice in world affairs? (2004) 4. such as size and location.‘Air travel should be discouraged.Assess the impact of foreign films or foreign TV programmes on the culture of your society.‘National boundaries make little geographical or economic sense nowadays.
Is personal morality the concern of the State? (1996) 10.Many developed countries are paying increasing attention to the ends of the disadvantaged.How far should a state have a right to monitor the actions of people within its borders? (2007) 16.How far do you agree that health is the responsibility of the state.Are the poor an inevitable feature of any society? (2004) 4.’ Is this a fair comment? (2004) 14. (2010) 9.‘The person who dies rich dies disgraced.How far can the needs of minorities be met in modern Singapore? (2004) 5.’ Is this a fair comment? (2003) 2.’ How far do you agree? (2002) 20.As long as people in the public eye do their job well.‘No politician’s reputation can survive the judgement of time.‘Only educated people should have the right to vote in elections.‘People.’ Do you agree? (2006) 6.To what extent are the young in Singapore favoured at the expense of the elderly? (2004) 3.’ Do you agree? (2003) 13.‘If people become ill it is largely their own fault.‘The view of the majority is always right.To what extent do young people in your society take an interest in politics? (2006) 15. should decide how to organise their lives. not of the individual? (2000) 7 . How far is this true in Singapore? (2008) 7.How far should religion influence political decisions? (2010) 11. not the government.’ Discuss.’ What is your view? (2009) 12.’ Do you agree? (2007) 17.Social and Socio-Political Issues 1.‘A good leader must always look beyond the needs of his or her country. does it matter what they do in private? 18.‘The family has suffered at the expense of career in Singaporean society.Is there still a place for charity in today’s world? (2006) 8.’ How true is this? (2010) 19.‘Women will never enjoy the same rights as men.
’ Discuss.‘The word failure should never be used in education.’ How far do you agree? (2010) 22.‘Conformity should be the main aim of all schools.’ How far is this true? (2002) 8 .Marc Kenji Lim 21.The key to good health is lifestyle rather than medicine. (2007) 23.
(2010) Crime and Punishment 1.Does sport merit the vast sums of money that are spent on it? (2010) 9 . not enough to their victims.How far can an individual be held responsible for crimes against humanity? (2010) Sport 1.Have multi-national businesses had a positive or negative impact on your society? (2004) 5.Consider the view that most work these days could. be done from home.’ Is this true? (2005) 2. Work and Business 1. we should be slowing it down.To what extent should the State involve itself in the world of business? (2005) 6.Do you agree that city life is becoming increasingly unattractive? (2002) 2.Is sport too closely linked to money these days? (2001) 2.’ Do you agree? (2005) 3.Modern Lifestyles.’ What do you think? (2005) 3. and should.‘Instead of speeding up the pace of life.‘Too much attention is given to criminals.To what extent are small businesses preferable to large ones? (2003) 4.‘Hosting major sporting events creates more problems than benefits.
” How far would you agree with this statement? 5. Is there a role for tradition in society today? ‘If youth knew.” Discuss. 3. 6. 10.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? 2. 9.” Comment. 8. 11. 12. Is a sports career worth pursuing in your country? “Humankind cannot live without stories. 10 . “Business ethics is a contradiction in terms. “The environment must be sacrificed for progress. Should one always be encouraged to take risks? “Adversity is always a great teacher. 7. if age could.” (Henri Estienne) Comment. Have science and technology worsened the plight of the poor? Do we need a world government? 4.Marc Kenji Lim CJC Mid-Year Papers 2006-2010 CJC Mid-Year 2006 1.” Discuss. “The world has become smaller but not closer.” Do you agree? “Celebrities do not deserve the attention and money they get.
6. 2. Environmental conservation is more important than economic development today. Discuss.” Do you agree that this principle is overemphasised today? 4.” How far is this true? To what extent should the decision to get married be an individual choice? 8.” Do you agree? 3. 7. Should extreme sports be banned? 10. “Human life and dignity are sacrosanct.” What are your views? “Globalisation privileges the rich more than the poor.” To what extent is this true with regard to Singaporean youth today? 11. not hated? “An effective government requires a free press.CJC Mid-Year 2007 1. Why write? 11 . “The stumbling block for young people is their sense of hopelessness. Do people rely too much on medical science for the ills of life? 9. Men do. How far do you agree that terrorists should be pitied. 5. “ Women do not need equality today. Are museums still important in modern society? 12.
‘History makes a mockery of the very idea of truth. ‘Efforts made to protect our environment today are mere symbolic gestures. ‘Entertainment over information.’ Discuss. ‘A university education is becoming increasingly irrelevant to success.’ Is this a fair assessment of youths today? 8.Marc Kenji Lim CJC Mid-Year 2008 1.’ Discuss.’ To what extent is this true of the mass media in your society? 11.’ How far would you agree with this statement? 5. 9. ‘Rising commodity prices are posing a grave threat to world peace. ‘Uninspired. ‘The individual today is powerless in protecting his right to privacy. ‘The world is shrinking fast.’ Discuss. 12.’ Discuss. To what extent would you agree that Singapore is fast becoming a pleasure-seeking society? 7.’ Discuss. but not necessarily coming together. How far do you agree that having children is just another lifestyle choice? 6. 2. 12 . ‘Music is meant primarily for the individual’s private enjoyment.’ How far do you agree with this view? 3.’ Comment. 4. ‘Terrorists are nothing more than criminals. 10.
’ Do you agree? 9. 8. Discuss the value and appeal of gossip.’ To what extent do you agree? 11. ‘Life is about survival of the fittest.’ Do you agree? Is discrimination against women still a global problem today? ‘Technology is the future of sport.’ Is this the solution to conflicts? ‘In spite of more information. Discuss the value of doubt in modern society. 4. Discuss the importance of water in the world today. 5. ‘Violence to end violence. 10.’ Discuss. 7. 2. 13 . ‘The common man is the true power behind any government. man is not more informed. ‘Reading fiction has no real value except for its entertainment purposes. ‘Singapore needs to be a nation of tree-huggers and bird-kissers. 6.’ Comment. 3.’ Discuss.’ Is this a fair comment? 12.CJC Mid-year 2009 1. ‘Morality hampers the progress of science.
’ Discuss. 9. Is advertising always misleading? 7.’ Discuss. ‘Sport divides more than it unites.’ Discuss. ‘Scientific research should know no bounds. Consider the value of idleness. 6. ‘The best government is the least government.Marc Kenji Lim CJC Mid-Year 2010 1. How desirable is a sense of history in your society? 3. Will the Internet bring freedom to oppressed people? 5. 14 .’ What is your view? 4. ‘More choice is not always better. Is it true that multi-national corporations have too much power in the world today? 2. 8. Is equality a beneficial goal for a society? 10. Is asking questions more important than finding answers? 11.
” Do you agree? 8) “Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. Is it possible to lead a simple life today? CJC PRELIM 2005 1) “Make poverty history.” How successful is your country in maintaining ties with other countries? 3) Discuss the appeal and the dangers of alternative methods of healing. 10) Are parents today becoming redundant? 11) Education now is all about economic survival in the future. 6) Do rituals serve any useful purpose in a modern society? 7) “Reading fiction has nothing to do with real life.” Discuss.12.” Is this a realistic aim? 2) “No country is an island. 4) Why is it important for the Press to be free? 5) Account for the popularity of animated films. To what extent is this true? 15 .” Is this true of the arts? 9) “Integrity is no longer the key to success.
are some injustices in the world that have not been adequately addressed? 7) How important is it to protect intellectual property? 16 .’ Discuss.” How relevant is this advice to youths of your country today? CJC PRELIM 2006 1) Does the education in your country prepare you for global competition? 2) ‘Men and women ought to maintain separate and clearly differentiated roles in today’s society.’ Is this true of contemporary politics? 5) ‘It is better to be a pragmatist than an idealist. 6) What.’ How far do you agree with this statement? 3) Has technology changed the way we do business? 4) ‘Might is right.Marc Kenji Lim 12) “Above all. be true to yourself. in your opinion.
12) In your opinion. is the goal of avoiding ecological disaster hopeless? CJC PRELIM 2007 1) ‘The greater aim of education is action.’ How far do you agree with this view? 2) ‘Cities are losing their distinctive cultural flavour.’ How accurate is this description of your society? 4) To what extent is the simple life desirable and achievable today? 17 .’ Discuss. not knowledge.’ Is this necessarily bad? 3) ‘Today’s youths are conditioned to be apathetic.’ Do you agree? 11) ‘Music today is just packaged noise.8) How do we keep our youth rooted to Singapore? 9) How far do you agree that the war on terrorism can never be won? 10) ‘Creativity cannot be nurtured.
’ (Kenneth Blanchard) Discuss. 7) ‘The key to successful leadership today is influence. 18 . 8) Should every society treat its members better than non-members? 9) Is vegetarianism just a fad? 10) Account for the growing importance of Non-Governmental Organizations today. not the servant of human need. 11) Is there really a need for artistic expression to be regulated? 12) ‘Singaporeans have forgotten how to wait.’ Comment. 6) Examine the value of colour in everyday life.’ How far is this a cause for concern? CJC PRELIM 2008 1.” Discuss.” Is this necessarily true? 2.Marc Kenji Lim 5) ‘Modern science and technology is the servant of profit. “Affluence is as much a curse as a blessing. not authority. “A good leader must be a good follower.
” Discuss.3. Is censorship becoming increasingly necessary in today’s world? 8. “Heal the world. “Housing and jobs over freedom and liberty. “The only way to deal with a criminal is to remove him from society. Do you agree that the problems of poverty can only get worse in the current climate? 10.” Do you agree? 6. “The mark of a civilised society is how they treat their elderly. Can your generation appreciate the fine arts? 19 . Does education necessarily liberate one? 5.” How far do you agree? 9.” (Michael Jackson) Can this be done? CJC PRELIM 2009 1. 7.” Is this good advice for good governance? 4. Should sports stars be paid obscene amounts of money? 11. “The main benefits of science have been material comforts and longer life. Is there a real need to cultivate a love for the arts in your society? 12.
” (MM Lee. 12. It is about trying to do right. “Are we a nation yet? I would not say we are. Would you agree that foreign aid to poor countries is a necessary evil? 3. “Politics is not about money. Discuss the value of dissent in your society.Marc Kenji Lim 2.” What do you think? 11.” Is this an accurate depiction of the fight against environmental damage? 8. Do you agree? 4.” To what extent do the media empower the people? 10. “A weapon of the masses. Progress is more important than tradition. “What is my life if I am no longer useful to others?” (Goethe) Do you agree that this is the primary value of a human being? 6. “The essence of happiness lies in the pursuit rather than in its fulfillment. 9. Discuss the view that too much faith is placed in science. 2009) Do you agree that Singapore is truly a nation? 7.” Do you agree with this view of marriage today? CJC PRELIM 2010 20 .” Discuss 5. “More conversation is not going to lead to more conservation. “A marriage is a divorce in waiting.
“The world will be a better place without religion. “Technology has created a culture of convenience.” Is this a fair assessment of Singaporeans? 2.1. “Those who allow themselves to be governed like sheep will eventually be ruled by wolves. “Every generation of youth is characterised by the need to rebel. 7. “Only the best and brightest should have the right to have children.” Is this more a blessing than a curse? 12. How far have examinations undermined the essential aims of education today? 21 . what is the value of political dissent? 8. small minds. 3.” Evaluate this claim.” How far does this statement reflect your generation? 6. ”Success breeds success.” Discuss. “Small country. “Men are as much the victims of traditional gender roles as women.” What are your views? “The mass media is nothing but a profit-making machine. 4.” What are your views? 9.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? 11. How far is society responsible for the crimes of its people? 5. “Art should not offend.” Comment. 10.” In the light of this statement.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.