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Yes, memory work is important:

Student has to know certain terms such as


Japanese Occupation, Greater Co-East Asia Prosperity Sphere. Student has to remember sequence of historical events.

Memory work is not everything. Focus on Critical Thinking Skills Inferencing skills The ability to explain the factors that brought about certain historical events Tested in Source-Based Question (SBQ) and Structured Essay Question (SEQ)

In the fishing ponds there are sharks, fish, crabs, squids, star fish etc. You role is to catch the correct seafood item. If I asked you to catch crab and you give me a fish, are you correct? Of course not. You may ask But how do I know that I am catching the correct fish?

Well, first you will have to read the issue and remember what it ask you for. Then when you read the sources and answer the questions make sure that it is aligned to the issue.

Now the key to scoring an A1 for Source Based is to underline the question. But do not underline all the words. Just the issue that they are asking you to fish for.
For example, in this question What kind of fish will you catch for me? What word will you underline ? Fish right? And when you go to the fishing pond (which are the Background Information and Sources A to F) just look for the fish and not the other sea food.

Read the caption. It is always put there for a reason and you will need to use it in your answer if there is one. Look at the mark-scheme to try and gauge how much you are expected to write. Answer directly. Don't waste your time writing things you don't need.

Make sure you compare and contrast between the sources. Make sure you're using the right source for that question!

Step 1:
Step 2:

Step 3:
Step 4:

Step 5:
Step 6:

Flip the pages to the Sources. Look at the Question Issue which can be found just above the Background Information. The Question Issue serves as the Compass, giving direction and focus for you. All the sources will be answering the Question Issue Read through ALL sources and identify if it is positive or negative, supporting or against, the question issue.

Once you have identified every single source, flip back to the questions. Cartoons used as a Source could be used to support the authors point of view or against, or to criticize. You will now need to identify which technique of answering to employ for the different questions.

Different types of questions will require different type of techniques. Techniques of answering a question depends on the identity of the question itself. Learn to identify the questions and recognise the relevant techniques to apply.

This is the identity of the most basic type of SBQ question.

Eg, What can you tell from this source?

You will be required to answer in this format;

Inference Support with evidence


Source Based Questions

How similar are the two phones? Explain your answer.


iPhone 5

Samsung Galaxy S4

Criteria Similarity Colour

Iphone 5 White

Samsung Galaxy White


Difference Brand

How similar (both similarities and differences) start with similarities first How different(both similarities and differences) start with difference first


should always have:

1. One difference and one similarity

(comparing content; both supported by evidence in the source);

Both sources differ in saying that _________________________ . Source A says, ______________ but in Source B says __________. The evidence from source A is ______ and evidence from source B is ______ However, both sources are similar in saying that _______________ . The evidence from source A is _____ and the evidence from source B is ________.

Source C

A description of Singapore during the beginning of the Japanese Occupation

Singapore was bursting with goods. She had supplies sufficient to last her and the hinterland for three years. Moreover, she was still holding the supplies intended for Hong Kong, Indo-China and the Malay Archipelago. All these changed when the Japanese took over Singapore. Her supplies were immediately seized by the Japanese as part of the spoils of war. None was ever given to the civilians. Source D A historian describing the period of the Japanese Occupation in Singapore

There was a large population living in the city and very little local food production. The Japanese seized all stocks of rice, sugar, salt, flour and milk. They gave a small portion of these supplies to the Food Control Department to be distributed to the people and kept the rest for military use. Study Sources C and D How similar are Sources C and D? Explain your answer. [6]

Both sources agree that the Japanese took away all the goods in Singapore. The evidence in Source C is that all the supplies that Singapore had were immediately seized by the Japanese Also, the evidence in Source D is that the Japanese seized all stocks of rice, sugar and milk. However, both sources are different on whether there was food given to the people. Source C says that food was not given but Source D says that food was given. The evidence in source C is none of the supplies was ever given to the civilians while the evidence in Source D is the Japanese gave a small portion of these supplies to the Food Control Department to be distributed to the people

LORMS L1 L2 L3 Lifts or copies from source Based on provenance, source type Similarity or Differences 3m - Not supported 4m - Supported Similarity AND Differences 5m - Not supported 6m - Supported 1 2 3-4



This is known as the comparison question.

Eg, How similar are Sources A & B?
How different are Sources A & B?

There are 4 things which you can compare.

1. Content 2. Purpose

3. Tone
4. Provenance

Generally, Content is the easiest to compare. However, be careful not to commit this common error.
Sources A & B are similar/different in terms of its


You will not get marks for such statements because you are not specific enough. Good Eg, Sources A & B are similar because they both
mention that the Japanese Rule was cruel to the Chinese.

Your answer should be in this format.

Paragraph 1 Statement. Evidence. (Give 2) Explain. Link back to Question Issue.

After talking about the Content, mention one more point. Choose between Purpose, Provenance and Tone.

Avoid Tone because it is the most difficult.

Do the same format.

Paragraph 2 [For 5 marks Questions- there has to be at least 2 inferences) Basis of Comparison. Evidence. (Give 1 or 2) Explain. Link back to Question Issue.

Study Sources C and D. How different are Sources C and D? Explain your answer. [5m] Source C: A cartoon about the use of water torture on a man by the Kempeitai.

Source D: A historians account of what life was like for the POWs during the Japanese Occupation.

Working parties of prisoners were formed and made to do long hours of manual work. For example, they were asked to clean up the city, bury dead bodies, restore water and electricity supplies. Large numbers of POWs were also sent to Thailand, where they were made to construct the Death Railway. These POWs had to work under extremely severe conditions. The men were given simple tools to fell huge trees and cut through rocks. They were made to work long hours and were not given enough food to eat.

Taken from Understanding Out Past. Singapore: from colony to Nation By Curriculum Planning and Development Division

Sources C and D are different on the type of punishment by Japanese during the Japanese Occupation. [Common criteria] Source C shows a man was brutally treated by Kempeitai (Japanese military police). Source C shows the POW being tied up by the Japanese and he was helpless when given the water torture. [Evidence] However, Source D talks about POWs being sent to Thailand as forced labour to construct the railroad linking Thailand to Burma. Source D says "Some were sent to Thailand where they were made to construct the death railway." [Evidence]

Both Sources C and D are similar about the cruelty of Japanese during the Japanese occupation. [Common criteria] Source C shows the Japanese Kempeitai was smiling when he was using water torture on the man [Evidence] and Source D says "They were made to work long hours and were not given enough food to eat." [Evidence]

2 parts to a question:
Part a (4 marks): List 4 factors Part b (6 marks): List + elaborate + Link 2 factors

Common Test: 2 sets of questions.

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