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Sports 1. What effects has commercialisation had upon sport? (1989) 2. Does sport always contribute to international harmony and understanding? (1993) 3. ‘Sports which contain the risk of serious physical injury or death should be banned.’ How far do you agree with this view? (1996) 4. ‘What is important is not winning, but taking part.’ How realistic is this attitude in the world of sport today? (1997) 5. Is sport too closely linked to money these days? (2001) Social Issues Personal 1. How do you measure success in life? (1982) 2. “The greatest thing in the world is to be self-sufficient.” Do you agree? (1985) 3. “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Should we follow this advice in our lives today? (1989) 4. Choose one modern or historical person you most admire and justify your choice. (1991) 5. If you could choose to be endowed with a great gift or talent, which one would you choose, and why? (1992) 6. ‘A life without challenge and risk is not worth living.’ How far do you agree with this view? (1995) 7. How important is discipline in society? (1995) 8. Is greater life expectancy always desirable? (1996) 9. Consider the value in life of planning. (1996) 10. ‘Human beings have unlimited desires, but limited resources.’ Is it possible to reconcile the two? (1998) 11. Do arguments ever settle anything? (1999) 12. ‘The secret of a happy life is moderation in all things.’ Discuss. (1999) 13. ‘Being in fashion makes a person popular; being different makes a person special.’ Discuss. (1999) 14. A life of total luxury – dream or nightmare? (2000) 15. Is it always important to succeed? (2000) 16. Is friendly rivalry ever possible? (2002) 17. ‘The only worthwhile form of discipline is self-discipline.’ Discuss. (2003) Ethics/ Morality 18. What are “good manners”? Are they important? (1985) 19. Should all forms of gambling be abolished? (1989) 20. Franklin D. Roosevelt said that the world should be founded upon four freedoms: freedom of speech; freedom of worship; freedom from want and freedom from fear. Which, in your opinion, is the most important freedom? (1990) 21. ‘Far too little attention is paid to the needs of the handicapped.’ Discuss. (1990) 22. ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ Do you agree? (1991) 23. Can telling lies ever be justified? (1992) 24. ‘The truth should always be told, whatever the cost.’ Should it? (1993) 25. ‘The strong do what they will; the weak do what they must.’ Discuss. (1994) 26. Should promises always be kept? (1995) 27. Is personal morality the concern of the State? (1996) 28. ‘One’s first duty is to one’s nation; only afterwards to oneself and one’s family.’ Discuss. (1996) 29. ‘Where business and industry are concerned, the profit motive must always be the main priority.’ Is this attitude acceptable? (1998) 30. ‘The first duty of a doctor has always been to preserve life.’ How far can this principle still be maintained? (1998) 31. ‘Idealism brings disillusionment; realism brings results.’ Discuss. (2000) 32. Can the trade in weapons ever be justified? (2002)
not of the individual? (2000) 40. Discuss the various methods of advertising and their effectiveness. What changes would you like to see in today’s society? (1992) 44. How can we as individuals become more healthy? (1988) 37. ‘In the modern world. (1994) 38. Do animals have rights and.” To what extent to you agree? (1996) 9. What are the merits of the cinema as a means of amusement and education? (1990) 5. (2000) 49. should they be protected? (1995) 56. Discuss the possible causes and suggest some remedies.’ How far do you agree? (2002) Social trends 41. ‘I am a Millionaire. ‘If people become ill it is largely their own fault.’ To what extent has the pursuit of wealth become the modern goal? (2000) 47. ‘The media can largely be blamed for the world-wide increase in violence. television. Discuss the ways in which attitudes to health have changed in your society and the effects which have resulted. Are you for or against zoos? (1986) 54. newspapers. image is everything. if so. Is there a case for keeping animals in zoos? (2002) The Mass Media 1. What diseases are most prevalent in your part of the world and how can they be combated? (1987) 36. Should tobacco-smoking be discouraged or even banned? (1986) 35. ‘A preoccupation with physical fitness is the curse of modern life.Health 33. Do you agree that city life is becoming increasingly unattractive? (2002) 51. Should advertising be restricted in any way? (2001) 11.’ Do you agree? (1991) 6. To what extent are the young in Singapore favoured at the expense of the elderly?(2004) 52. Which is the more important. Should the Press be completely free? (1991) 7. (1986) 4. Can the transplanting of animal organs into human beings ever be justified? (1999) 57.’ Do you agree? (1999) 39. Is it true that the old must now learn from the young? (2000) 48. to cure disease or to prevent it? (1985) 34. with examples. Advertising encourages a desire for products which people do not actually need. (1991) 43. To what extent should the private lives of public figures be the subject of media coverage? (1995) 8. ‘Television will eventually be the death of sport. not in zoos or circuses. (1984) 3. “Statistics can be both helpful and misleading. Write a critical account of the newspapers and popular magazines produced in your country. How far do you agree that health is the responsibility of the State. That is my religion.’ Is this a blessing or a curse? (1992) 45. Loneliness is becoming an increasing social problem. (2004) 2 .’ Discuss. ‘The place for animals is in the wild. Can the media ever be relied upon to convey the truth? (2003) 12. Compare the effectiveness of any two of the following as a means of news coverage: the radio. (1983) 2.” Discuss. In what ways is the life style in your country changing today? (1987) 42. Do you think that life today offers us too many choices? (2001) 50. ‘Modern methods of transport have transformed our world into a village. Discuss. (1997) 10. Should human beings look forward to the next century more with optimism than pessimism? (1997) 46.’ Do you agree? (1993) 55. Discuss the importance of religion in society today. (2004) Animal rights 53.
’ These words were written many years ago. Do you agree that a woman’s most important role is that of wife and mother? (1984) 4.’ Would you agree with this view? (1994) 14. (1981) 3. What are the advantages and/or disadvantages of a university education for a business man or woman? (1989) 8.Education 1. They have no reverence for parents or old age. Do you think girls should be given the same education as boys? (1981) 2.’ Is such a statement always valid? (1998) 13. Discuss the benefits and disadvantages which technological development is likely to have upon education in the near future. How necessary is it for the non-scientist to have some knowledge of mathematics? (1987) 6. (1998) 8. ‘Conformity should be the main aim of all schools. if any. Is a sound knowledge of science and technology essential for a well-educated person in today’s world? (1999) 14. (1993) 4. What effects is this trend likely to have on your society? (1980) 2. Discuss the view that children always suffer when both parents work. Do you think there is any need for change in the educational system in your country? (1990) 9. (1997) 11.’ Do you agree? (1994) 10. Should marriage be a life-long commitment? (1995) 6. would you like to see in your country’s education system? (1980) 2. Should one aim of education be the development of talent in such fields as music. To what extent is a stable family vital for a successful society? (1997) 7. (1992) 13. (1999) 3 . Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being educated abroad. Women and Family in Society 1. What changes. Discuss. Describe the part that grandparents play in the family life of your country. ‘The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. Do schools try to teach too much? (1985) 5. How can modern technology be used to aid learning in schools? (1988) 7.’ What are your views? (1999) 9. art. Young people are slaves to fashion. Discuss the reasons for crime among young people and the ways in which they can be encouraged to behave differently. In general. What scientific knowledge should an educated person have? (1983) 3. (1997) 5. Is a world without racial conflict an impossible dream? (1993) 3.’ How far is this true? (2002) Crime and Punishment 1. Is the idea of having one partner for life still a realistic one? (2001) Teen Issues 10. Examine some forms of prejudice in the world and consider the ways in which they might be tackled. They talk as if they alone know everything. (1988) 5. They are impatient of all restraint. What rights and responsibilities should teenagers have? (1989) 11. Describe the system for maintaining law and order in your country. drama? (1984) 4. Can you suggest any improvements? (1982) 2. Consider the criticism levelled at young people that their only values are self-centred ones. ‘Education does not develop individuality but conformity. (1997) 12. Discuss the qualities you would look for in an ideal parent. What do you consider to be effective means of keeping law and order in today’s society? (1988) 3. Should the police have unlimited powers when dealing with crime? (2002) Prejudice & Discrimination 1. Are they true today? (1990) 12. Consider the arguments for and against the use of the death penalty in a modern society. traditional family ties are weakening. ‘The world of the future will be a woman’s world. ‘The teenage years are the best years of one’s life. ‘The main function of education should be to enable people to gain employment. (1997) The Role of Men.
Consider the importance of drama in your country today. ‘All art is propaganda in some form.” Discuss.’ Do you agree? Refer to specific examples from painting. What is the place of music in modern life? (1989) 25. What are the most popular types of film in your country and why? (1982) 16. (1984) 4. (1995) 4 . traditional values always remain the best? (1998) The Arts (in general) 12. (1993) 11. (1980) 13. whether music. What makes a great film? (1986) 22. (1991) 9. Is there sufficient provision for the leisure activities of teenagers in your country? (1990) 6. in spite of all the changes in society. ‘It is impossible to prove that one art form is superior to another. What in your view is distinctive about the culture of your country? Give examples to illustrate your answer. Is this desirable? (1992) 8. Which of the artistic talents would you most like to possess and why? (1987) 24. How important is ceremony in your country? (1987) 7. Apart from the need to earn a living. Describe some of the interesting things that tourists are rarely shown when they visit your area. or modern music. Is it foolish to believe in superstitions? (1989) 8. ‘‘Work is the only route to happiness. (1983) 20. Do we need to be educated in how to use this time sensibly? (1991) 7. drama or literature. ‘The most worthwhile jobs are those with the least financial gain. Eventually computers will allow people to work from home. Consider the influence of pop stars and their music. would leisure then become as tedious as work? (1989) 4. Should a work of art always have to give you something to think about? Discuss in relation to either novels or paintings. music or literature to support your answer. On what should rates of pay for work be based? (1985) 3. painting. Discuss the appeal of either modern novels. television and radio plays or any combination of these. How far should architecture be both beautiful and practical? Discuss with reference to particular examples in your country. If life were one long holiday. You may refer to live theatre. What do you understand by “fashion” and why does fashion change? (1983) 19.” Do you agree? (1981) 15. Do you agree? (1986) 23. As technology advances. How far do we agree that. Is it right that a ‘pop’ singer should earn more money than a nurse? (1990) 5. (1994) 27. Which are the most important days in the calendar for the community to which you belong? Explain their significance.’ Do you agree? (2001) Culture 1. (1982) 18. Why paint when you can use a camera? (1981) 14. is to entertain? (1985) 21. what arguments would you advance for the encouragement of local arts and crafts? (1980) 2. Assess the ways in which the geographical features of your country have shaped its development and its people. Can a country preserve its culture nowadays when subject continually to outside influences? (1986) 6. What considerations have to be taken into account when choosing a career? (1983) 2. (1982) 3. (1982) 17. or modern drama. (1990) 26. Discuss the part music plays in public and private life.’ Discuss. Do you agree that the primary purpose of the Arts. Should efforts be made to preserve traditional forms of dress? (1985) 5. Music is purely for relaxation. (1992) 9. “Music is a kind of international language.Work & Leisure 1. (1993) 10. our leisure time is increasing.
’ Consider the value of music or art or literature in the light of this comment. Are there advantages in living in a multi-racial society? (1981) 3. M. (1988) 3. (d) thunder and lightning? (1981) 2. Every country has its special kind of natural beauty. ‘Public money should not be wasted on supporting the Arts. What contributions might be brought to a country’s culture by immigrants? (1980) 2. ‘Reading novels is a waste of time.’ Discuss.’ Using examples. ‘If people are poor it is largely their own fault. ‘Nuclear weapons have ceased to serve any purpose and should be abolished. ‘The decisive use of force is the only practical means to resolve territorial conflicts. What makes a best-selling novel? (1983) 3. How far should the teaching of history aim to foster pride in one’s country and its past? (1986) 4. (1997) 29. Assess the arguments for and against the control of population. (c) mountains. ‘A film has one purpose – to entertain.’ Discuss. Do you agree? (1992) 6. Write a critical review of a book. ‘A work of art can never be valued just in financial terms.28. (1995) 6. ‘Mathematics is the most perfect language of all. what would be missing? Discuss with reference to specific examples. In what circumstances is the invasion of one country by another justified? (1982) 2. (b) forests. (1994) Poverty 1. Are the poor an inevitable feature in any society?(2004) Nationalism 1. (2000) 32. (1999) 31. (1992) Population 1. (2001) 33. Has war ever been justifiable? (1988) 4.’ Discuss. but ultimately of little practical use. Can terrorism ever be justified? (1987) 3. (1991) 6. ‘The prospect of a Third World War is now unthinkable. What would you most miss about your country if you were obliged to live abroad permanently? (1988) 5. it is vital to prepare for war. Discuss the causes and consequences of the refugee problems in the modern world.’ The poet Wilfred Owen described this saying as ‘the old lie’. ‘It is a sweet and honourable thing to die for one’s country.’ How far would you agree? (1994) 2. What do you consider to be worth reading? (1988) 5. (1993) 5. (1998) 30.’ Discuss. What types of fiction do you enjoy reading and why? (1984) 4. (2002) Language 1.’ By reference to specific examples. How far do you think English is a good universal language? (1988) 2.” (G. ‘To ensure peace.’ To what extent is such a viewpoint justifiable? (1998) 7. Trevelyan). play or film which you have read or seen. they should support themselves. Does pride in one’s country still have a place in the modern world today? (1999) War and Terrorism 1. ‘Enjoyable. What significance do any two of the following have in the folk tales that you know (a) rivers.” Discuss. (1991) 3. How far would a universal language be valuable and practical? (1995) Literature 1. What do you see as that of your own country? (1980) 2.’ Do you agree? (2002) 5 .” Discuss. In a world without books or music. “Education… has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading. consider how far this is a fair assessment. consider this view. ‘Films which have the greatest appeal are usually those which have the least value.
What do you think have been the most important changes in your country during the last 100 years? (1991) 3. What. Is a preoccupation with the past merely an escape from the present? (2000) 6. ‘People.’ Do you agree? (2003) 16. ‘Good government requires the courage to take unpopular decisions. ‘A benevolent dictatorship is the most effective form of government. Can anything worthwhile be gained from continued research into historical events? (1996) 5. To what extent should richer nations help the poorer ones? (2000) 9. ‘The best test of a civilised society is the way in which it treats its weakest members. ‘History can never be anything more than an intelligent guess at what the past was like. ‘Public campaigns are hardly ever effective.as long as the speakers do not abuse it. In what ways does a country both benefit and suffer from where it is situated? (2001) 11. Is “one man one vote” the best way to choose a government? (1987) 7. What lessons can be learnt from the study of past dictatorships? (1980) 2.” Discuss. ‘In today’s world. The reality is inevitably lost forever.’ Discuss. Is History anything more than the study of warfare? (2003) 9. (1996) 7.’ Discuss. (1997) 13. not the government. What priorities would you set for government expenditure and why? (1984.’ Discuss this statement.” Do you support this view? (1984) 2.’ Is a knowledge of history important? (1992) 4. What are the main causes of international tensions today? (1989) 4. have the great empires of the world achieved? (1983) 4.History 1. (1996) 12. Discuss the extent to which global and national interests can be balanced.’ Discuss. should decide how to organize their lives. ‘Those who have no knowledge of the past are condemned to repeat it. (2001) 10. power is determined by economic success. (1986) 6. How can we build up friendship between nations? (1990) 6. (1998) 14.’ Is this true? (1993) 9.’ Is this a fair comment? (2004) 6 . ‘A good leader must always look beyond the needs of his or her country. we have more government and less freedom. if anything. Can small countries have a significant voice in world affairs? (2004) Politics 1. Discuss. Is equality for all a realistic and desirable aim within a society? (1994) 10. What influence can the world’s non-aligned nations exert on the international scene? (1988) 3. To what extent can international aid be really effective? Refer to specific examples to support your case. not by military might. ‘Freedom of speech is a basic right. “As society becomes more complex. Does a study of history make you optimistic or pessimistic about the future of the human race? (2002) 8. “All history books are biased. Do the past and present offer any guidance for the future? (2004) Regionalism & Internationalism 1. Politics is the art of persuasion. How do you think the world’s politicians could best promote more understanding and better relations among different nations? (1985) 2. How far and in what circumstances has the state the right to restrict the freedom of the individual? (1981) 3. What can be done to alleviate suffering in the world? (1989) 5. (1989) 8.’ How far would you agree? (1999) 15. Is it ever right for one country to become involved in the internal affairs of another? (1997) 8. (1996) 11.1993) 5.’ Do you agree? (2001) 7. with examples to support your answer.
Examine the advantages and disadvantages resulting from the use of satellite technology. What scope is there for industrial development in your country? (1986) 5. (1984) 5. of the various ways in which society deals with waste materials. (1983) 4. (1980) 2. Should any limits be placed upon scientific developments? (1996) 16. ‘Science can never provide a final answer to things. (1994) 8. Consider how the transport system in your country might be improved.’ Discuss. Evaluate the problems. To what extent are small businesses preferable to large ones? (2003) 9. the importance of religion declines. How far can we satisfy the world-wide demand for food and still protect the environment? (1997) 11. Consider whether noise is a problem in modern society.’ Discuss. Have multi-national businesses had a positive or negative impact on your society? (2004) Environment 1. (1987) 8. Describe the part played by either the banking system or multi-national companies in the economic life of your country.” Discuss. (1993) 7. What benefits are likely to result from an increasing use of computers? (1980) 2. Consider the importance of grass. (1982) 3. they merely respond to them.’ Is this a fair comment? (2000) 7 . Why should a world wide afforestation programme be considered? (1986) 6. Is space exploration worthwhile? (1990) 7. (1982) 3. (1995) 15.Economics 1. In your opinion what are the most interesting current developments in science? (1993) 10.’ Discuss. The problems of survival for mankind have never been so great as they are today. (1998) 12. Should we be concerned about the “greenhouse effect”? (1992) 10. it is only a way of studying them. ‘Consider the advantages and disadvantages of the tourist industry for your country.” Do you agree? (1992) 9. ‘Computer games have great appeal but little value. in a scientific age. (1999) 14. Discuss with examples the relationship between pure and applied science.’ Is this a fair comment? (1995) 14.the supernatural? (1996) 17. and benefits. Discuss the causes and consequences of erosion.’ To what extent is this an accurate claim? (1994) 12. (1983) 4. Is a world dominated by science a dream or a nightmare for future generations? (1998) 18. How far is recycling the answer to the problem of waste? (2004) Science & Technology 1. Describe the effects of inflation in your country. Discuss the benefits of and the problems caused by the artificial damming of rivers.or afraid of. ‘Science never provides any solutions – it only poses more questions. How important is foreign trade to your country? (1987) 6. ‘For parents to choose the sex of their unborn child is neither natural nor desirable. (1980) 2. To what extent is continued research into nuclear power justifiable? (1995) 13. How might advances in technology affect society and the individual in the near future? (1984) 5. ‘The sea is a bottomless rubbish pit. Consider the importance of trees. (1982) 4. How far should scientists be held responsible for the uses made of their discoveries? (1990) 6. What do you understand to be the main differences between “developed” and “under-developed” countries? (1981) 3. Economists do not control events. (1994) 11. (1991) 9. are people still interested in. ‘The only future for the car is its elimination. “Scientists are the explorers of today.” Discuss. Why. ‘As science advances. What scientific or technological advances have most affected modern life in your country? (1990) 8. Do you agree? (1986) 7. (1998) 13.
touch.’ Discuss. ‘Air travel creates more problems than benefits. How far can the needs of minorities be met in modern Singapore? (2003) 2. (2004) 13.’ What do you think? (2000) 8. How does the climate of your country affect the design and construction of its buildings? (1987) 4. (1988) 5.’ Is change always beneficial? (1994) 7.’ Is this a fair comment? (2002) 10. Does the modern world place too much reliance on technology? (2003) 24.’ Discuss. (2001) 9. (2003) 12. (2001) 21. Is air travel as safe as it should be? (1989) 6. Discuss the appeal. ‘Science and religion will always conflict. Consider ways in which household furniture and equipment could be better designed.’ Do you agree? (2004) 8 . Discuss the appeal and value of fantasy stories and films. Discuss the relative importance to men and animals of the five senses of sight.’ Do you agree? (2004) S’pore Questions 1. not better!’ What do you think? (2001) 20. Should medical science always seek to prolong life? (2003) 23. taste and smell. ‘Computers and mobile phones have made us all worse at talking to one another. of attempting to predict the future. (1982) 2. (2002) 22. ‘The family has suffered at the expense of career in Singaporean society.19. ‘Pets need us more than we need them. hearing. ‘Statistics measure everything but prove nothing. Was life for young people in Singapore better in the past than it is today? (2003) 3. Discuss the importance of colour in the world of nature. ‘Far too much attention is given to beauty products and treatments. ‘To live is to change. ‘How inventions and discoveries are used is not the concern of the scientist. Does the book still have a future? (2003) 11.’ Is this a fair comment? (2003) Others 1. Examine the implications of cloning for the human race. (1983) 3. and the dangers.
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