Thursday, October 6, 2016

End of Year Examination and Preliminary Results

We have many results from Secondary One to Three and Year Four IP level to be uploaded soon. Quite a few of our students top the class and cohort.

Welcome to our first batch of JC students!

Ysabel Zo scored From Raffles Institution scored B for Chemistry Promotional Paper. All the JC One students have passed their chemistry promotional examinations, even for those previously took combined science.

Jolie Aw From Victoria Junior College scored A for her preliminary examinations. A great improvement from E from CT1 this year!

Yandy Yee from Victoria Junior College scored B for her preliminary examinations after she failed her promotional examination last year.

Daniel Toh from Hwa Chong Institution scored 88% and is highest in his cohort for Year Three Chemistry common test. He is then exempted from Final Year Examination for Chemistry.

St Nicholas's Girls School 

Tania Koh Shu Yi,

Megan Teo Shi Ling

Madelaine Lim Yi Hui and

Elaine Tan

all scored A1 for Chemistry Paper.

Cedar Girls' Secondary School

Georgia Sim scored A1 for Biology Paper and A2 for Chemistry Paper.

Clarice Tay scored A2 for Biology Paper.

Other Schools

Ryan Teh from Victoria School scored A2 for Physics Paper.

Dylan Tan Yan Hao from Kuo Chuan Presbyterian scored A2 for Physics Paper.

Choo Tze Ying from Nan Chiau High School scored A2 for Physics Paper.

Tan Yin Tong from CHIJ Secondary (Toa Payoh) scored A1 for Chemistry Paper and A2 for both Biology and Chemistry Paper.

Genevieve Koh from Singapore Girls' School Scored A2 for Physics Paper.

Alexander Ho from Anglo-Chinese Independent scored A1 for Physics Paper and A2 for Chemistry Paper.

Davina Lee Qian Yu From Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School scored A1 for combined science (Physics/Chemistry)

Ong Shi Qing From Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School scored A1 for combined science (Physics/Chemistry)

Chua Han Yi from Monfort Secondary School scored A1 for combined science (Physics/Chemistry).

Please SMS Ms Chen at 97886170 if you are interested in being tutored in Science. Ms Chen will try to group students according to school and syllabus for effective learning.  Sms to find out if your child is suitable to join any of her classes.  All registrations and enquiries are to communicated by SMS first, please do not call. There is also no walk-in at the centre. As Ms Chen is extremely busy, do wait for some time for her to reply.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Past Students' Results

Year 2015

Raffles’ Girls School

1.    Brenda Tan Yi Xin,

2.    Ng Qian Jie Cheryl and

3.    Ng Zo Hui, Ysabel
scored overall GPA 3.6 for Biology and 4.0 for Chemistry PPA.

4.    Natasha Tai Qian Hui scored GPA4.0 for her Year 4 Biology and Chemistry PPA. She scored an amazing overall score of 90% for both subjects.

5. Joshua Ang Choon Lyon of Hwa Chong Institution scored A1 for both his year four Physics and Chemistry End of Year Examination

O Level Results

5.    Gwendolyn Koh En Qi of Singapore Chinese Girls' School scored A2 for her Chemistry and Biology Examination.

6.    Rachel Lim Zi Ning of Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School scored A2 for her Biology and Chemistry Examination.

Chung Cheng High School (Main)

7.    Ng Rui Min scored A2 for Chemistry Examination.

8.    Patarin Prarichphibul scored A2 for Physics Examination.

St Joseph’s Institution

9.    Marcus Tang Xin Kye of scored A1 for all Chemistry, Biology and Physics Examination.
10. Chia Yi Jun Benedict scored A2 for his Physics Examination.

11. David Goh Zheng Wei scored A2 for his Physics Examination.

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)

12. Jeyakumar Jegan scored A1 for Chemistry and A2 for Physics Examination.

13. Ryan Khong Wei Yang scored A2 for Physics Examination.

14. Sean Elliott Lim Si Wei scored A1 for Physics (IB) Year 4 End of Year paper

St Nicholas' Girls School
15. Nicole Lai Shen Ning scored A1 for her Chemistry and Physics Examination.

16. Tein Si Ai scored A2 for her Chemistry and Biology Examination.

17. Britney Chia Shi Qi scored A1 for Biology Examination.

18. Melissa Wan Hui Xin scored A2 for Biology Examination.

19. Chloe Low Cher Wen scored A1 for Biology and A2 for Chemistry Examination.

20. Rachel Phua Rui Qi scored A2 for Biology and Chemistry Examination.

21. Estelle Tan Jia Ying scored A1 for Biology and Chemistry Examination.

Catholic High School

22. Brandon Lim Jun Wei Scored A2 for his Biology and Chemistry Examination.

23. Marcus Oh Jen Fang scored A2 for his Physics Examination.

Maris Stella High School

24. Benjamin Ho Jun Hao scored A1 for Chemistry Examination.

25. Brendan Kwok scored A1 for his Combined Science (Phy/Chem) Examination.

Other Schools

26. Benjamin Ho Jun Hao of Maris Stella High School scored A1 for Chemistry Examination.

27. Abigail Yeow Ying Ying of Cedar Girls’ Secondary School scored A1 for her Physics Examination.

28. Tan Yu En of Anderson Secondary School scored A1 for his Physics Examination.

29. Wong Jun Ying Zen of Fuchun Secondary School scored A1 for his Combined Science (Phy/Chem) Examination.

30. Primus Tay Wei Pin of Pei Hwa Secondary scored A1 for Combined Science (Phy/Chem) Examination.

31. Jasmine Tok Jia Min of Compassvale Secondary School scored A2 for Combined Science (Phy/Chem) Examination.

32. Crystal Chong Xue Qi of Nan Chiau High School scored A1 for Combined Science (Phy/Chem) Examination.

33. Alicia Yeo Xiu Hui of St Joseph’s Convent School scored A1 for Combined Science (Phy/

Year 2014

1.    St Joseph’s Institution International - Genevieve Tan scored A* in Biology and A in Chemistry for 2014 IGCSE examinations.

2.    Anglo-Chinese International- Brandon Tan scored A in Physics for 2014 IGCSE examinations.

Raffles Girls’ School

3.    Nicole Tan Wei Xin  scored GPA 4.0 for her Year 4 Biology and GPA 3.6 for Chemistry PPA. Nicole had been with Miss Chen since start of Year Three. 

4.    Tricia Lim Xin Yi Scored GPA 4.0 for her Year 4 Chemistry PPA. She joined in January 2014 as she wanted to achieve a better grade from her previous grade in Year Three. Girls

CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls' (Secondary) School

5. Nicole Carisia Chia Si Ning scored A1 for Physics and Biology and an A2 for Chemistry.

6. Zhang Fengfang scored A1 for Physics.

7.       Fay Ng Mui Khim scored A1 for Physics.

8.       Trixie Ng Pei En scored A1 for Physics.

9.       Yandy Yee Qian Nong scored A2 for Physics.

10.       Gwyneth Kong Xuan Ru scored A1 for  Biology and an A2 for Chemistry .

11.       Victoria Lee Tze Yern scored A2 for both Physics and Chemistry.

12.       Stephanie Ho Jia Xuan scored  A1 for  Biology and an A2 for Chemistry

13.     Carissa Chen Wen Hui Scored A2 for Biology.

St Joseph Institution

14.   Xavier Loke Wei Chung scored A1 and A2 for Physics and Chemistry respectively.

15.   Ken Tan Ka Yao scored A2 for  both Physics and Chemistry.

16.   Yang Yuan Fah scored A2 for Physics.

17. Thomas Chan Wen Jun scored A2 for Chemistry.

18. Alvin Michael scored A2 for Chemistry

Cedar Girls Secondary School

19.   Jolie Aw Yue Pin scored A1 for both Physics and Chemistry.

20.   Ravindranath Chrishma scored A1 for Physics.

21.   Andrea Wong Wei Qi scored A2 for both Physics and Chemistry.

22.   Fiona Lee Yi-Fen scored scored A2 for Biology and A1 for Chemistry .

Zhonghua Secondary School

23.   Yeo Chien Hwee Shanaz scored A1 and A2 respectively for Chemistry and Physics.

24.   Lim Rui scored A2 for both Physics and Chemistry.

25.   Yap Xue En scored A2 for Physics.

Other Schools

26.   Sean Loh Tze Wen from School of Science and Technology scored A2s for Physics and Chemistry.

27.   Wu Jung Jui from Maris Stella High School scored A2 for  both Physics and Chemistry.

28.   Koh Kai Jie from Maris Stella High School scored A1 for Science (Chemistry and Biology).

29.   Lau Li Xuan from CHIJ Toa Payoh scored A1 for Science (Physics and Chemistry).

30.   Terence Wong Teng Wei from Holy Innocents High School scored A1 for Science (Physics and Chemistry).

31.   Toh Hong Ming from Compassvale Secondary School scored A1 for Science (Physics and Chemistry).

32.   Hu Cheng En from Serangoon Secondary School scored A2 for Science (Chemistry and Biology).

33.   Danial Lee from St Patrick’s School scored A2 for Science (Physics and Chemistry).

34. Meenatche Kambadhasan from Ahmad Ibrahim secondary school scored A2 for Science (Biology and Chemistry).

Year 2009-2013

1.    Lam Yuan Chang from Zhonghua Secondary School scored A1 for O Level Physics in 2013. Her Preliminary One Physics grade was C6 before she tutored by Ms Leong in June 2013.

2.    Celine Goh Shi Ying from CHIJ St. Nicholas Girls’ School scored A2 for O Level Chemistry in 2013. She scored A1 for her Chemistry Preliminary Examination. Her Chemistry grade was C5 before she was tutored by Ms Chen in February 2013.

3.    Huang Yunyi  from Cedar Girls’ Secondary School scored A1 for both O Level Biology and Chemistry in 2013.  Her Preliminary Examination grade was A2 for both Biology and Chemistry. Her Chemistry grade was C5 before she was tutored by Ms Chen in January 2013.

4.    Wu Hsin Hsuan from Cedar Girls’ Secondary School scored A2 for O Level Biology and A1 for Science (Physics, Chemistry) in 2013.

5.    Low Cher Lin Charis from Presbyterian High School scored A2 for O Level Physics in 2013.  

6.    Garyl Ng Xuan from St Gabriel’s Secondary School scored A2 for O Level Physics in 2013.

7.    Brandon Koh Wai Loong from Catholic High School scored A2 for both O Level Physics and Chemistry in 2013. His last grade before joining Ms Chen and Ms Leong's class was around B4.

8.    Aldric Chong Kai Yuan from St. Joseph’s Institution scored A2 for O Level Physics in 2013.

9.    Tan Shi Wei Joseph from Pei Hwa Secondary School scored A1 in O Level Science (Physics, Chemistry) in 2013.

10. Wong Kai Ching Jasmine from Sembawang Secondary School scored A1 in Science (Physics, Chemistry) in 2013. She scored 82% for her Science Preliminary Examination and was the highest in class.

11. Trina Yap Ting from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School scored A2 for both O level Biology and Chemistry in 2012.

Her Mid-Year Examination results were D7 in Biology and B3 in Chemistry in secondary three in 2011. After being tutored by Ms Chen, she scored A2 for both secondary three Biology and Chemistry End-of-Year Examinations (2011).

12. Gao Xuan from Anderson Secondary School scored A1 for O level Chemistry.
Prior to tuition with Ms Chen in secondary four, her grade was constantly around C5.

13. Len Rong Jun from St Andrew's Secondary School scored A2 for both O level Chemistry and Physics in 2012. Prior to tuition with Ms Chen and Ms Leong, he scored C5 and B4 for his secondary three Chemistry and Physics End-of-Year Examinations (2011) respectively.

14. Joy Teo Xue Min from Methodist Girls' School scored A2 for O level Biology in 2012. Joy was only tutored by Ms Chen for two months, after her Preliminary result for Biology was released. With only two months of tutoring and hard work, her grade improved from C5 to A2.

15. S Thineesh from Presbyterian High School scored A2 for O level Physics in 2012. Prior to tuition with Ms Leong, he scored D7 for his secondary three Physics End-of-Year Examinations (2011).

16. Benjamin, Yeo Zhi Hui from Catholic High scored A2 for O level Chemistry in 2012. Prior to tuition with Ms Chen, he scored B4 for his secondary four Chemistry Mid-Year Examinations (2012).

17. Wong Tin Kit from Maris Stella High School scored A1 for O level Science (Physics/Chemistry).

18. Lau Xi Ling from Mayflower Secondary School scored A1 for O level Science (Physics/Chemistry) in 2012.
We strongly advised her to drop her pure Physics and Chemistry and make the switch to Science (Physics/Chemistry) after assessing her potential. With the support of her parents, she trusted our judgment and took our advice despite strong persuasion from the school to keep her pure subjects.

19. Of all the students that we advised to drop their pure science for a combined science subject, Xi Ling was the only one who chose to take our advice this year. None of the students who chose to proceed with their pure science subject despite our advice scored a distinction for that pure science subject at the 2012 O levels.

20. Glendon Chong from West Spring Secondary School scored A2 for O level Science (Physics/Chemistry) in 2012.

21. Lim Hui Qi Samantha from Tanjong Katong Girls' School scored A1 for O level Science (Biology/Chemistry) in 2012. Prior to tuition with Ms Chen, she was having many problems with the subject and struggling to pass. With guidance and her hard work, she managed to score an A1 for her Prelims.

22. Marcus Lim Jun Peng of Orchid Park Sec, previously D7 in both subjects, scored A1 for Combined Science (Physics/Chemistry) and A2 for O Level Biology in 2011.

23. Rachel Lim Rui Xia of Crescent Girls' School scored A2 for O Level Chemistry in 2011.

24. Rachel Ng Jing Yi of St Anthony's Canossian, scored A2 for both O Level Chemistry and Biology in 2011. Previously, she kept scoring between B3 and B4. She even topped the class with her Chemistry marks!

25.  Lau Jing Jia of Ang Mo Kio Sec, scored A1 for Combined Science (Physics/Biology) and A2 for O Level Chemistry in 2011. Previously, she only managed to pass her Sec Two Science End-of-Year Examination with a C6. Since we started to coach her in Secondary Three, she had been scoring distinctions for all her science tests and examinations in school.

26. Lee Hui Wen Jorlene of Tanjong Katong Girls' School  scored A1 for Combined Science (Chemistry/Biology) in 2011.

27. Ngiam Chee Wang of Anderson Sec, scored A1 for O Level Biology in 2011. Previously he never passed a single biology test or examination. I only started to coach him in late June. Since then, he had been passing his biology tests and within four months, he managed to score an A1.

28. Ang Su Fen Stephanie of Ang Mo Kio Sec scored A1 for Combined Science (Chemistry/Physics) in 2011.

29. Ms Chen taught Zhou Jin Song from Secondary Two to Four in Hwa Zhong Institution (IP stream). His results improved and maintained at A1 for his overall End-of-Year results for Chemistry in Secondary Three (2010) and Four (2011).

30. Joycelyn Heng and Poulose Anjelica Rachel both graduated from CHIJ Toa Payoh in 2010 with A1 in Combined Science (Chemistry/Biology).

31. Tan Kah Ean graduated from Peirce Secondary School in 2010 with A1 in Science (Chemistry/Physics). She even topped the level with her Science (Chemistry) marks for her prelims!
32. Emmualine Then graduated from CHIJ Katong in 2010 with A2 in Science (Chemistry/Biology).

33. Trevor Ong Zi Yang graduated from St Patricks in 2009 with A1 in O Level Biology and B3 in O Level Chemistry.



Friday, January 22, 2016

Class Schedule

These are some of our Science Class Schedule for School Term 2016:


Sec 4  Maris Stella Physics 6--730pm
Sec 4 Combined Chemistry and physics 4-6pm
Sec 4 O level Chemistry 6-730pm
Sec 4 O Level Physics 730-9pm
Year 3 IP St Nicholas' Girls Chemistry and Biology 730-930pm


Year 4 IP St Nicholas' Girls Chemistry 330-530pm
Year 4 IP St Nicholas' Girls Biology 530-630pm
Sec 3 St Nicholas' Girls Chemistry and Biology 730-930pm
Sec 2 IP St Nicholas' Girls Chemistry and Biology 630-730pm


Sec 3 Biology and Chemistry 330-530pm
Sec 4 PLMGSS O Level Chemistry 530-7pm
Sec 2 Science 6-8pm


Sec 4 Cedar Girls Chemistry and Biology 4-6pm
Year 4 RI 3-5pm
Sec 2 Science 5-630pm
Sec 1 Science 630-730pm


Year 4 Raffles Institution Physics 230-5pm
Sec 4 O level Combined Science, Chemistry and Biology 6-8pm
Sec 3 Pure Biology and Chemistry 8-10pm
Sec 3 Pure Physics 630-8pm


Sec 4 St Nicholas' Girls Chemistry 830-10am
Year 3 Raffles Girls Chemistry and Biology 10-1130am
Sec 4 O Level Singapore Chinese Girls Chemistry and Biology 1130am-130pm
Sec 4 O Level Chemistry and Biology 130-330pm
Year 3 IP St Nicholas' Girls Chemistry and Biology 330-5pm
Sec 2 St Nicholas' Girls Physics 330-5pm, Chemistry and Biology 5-630pm
Sec 4 combined Science, Physics and Chemistry 8-10pm
Sec 4 O Level Physics 12-130pm
Sec 3 Pure Physics 130-3pm
Sec 4 O Level Physics 5-630pm
Year 2 IP St Nicholas' Girls Physics 630-8pm


Sec 4 O Level St Nicholas' Girls Chemistry and Biology 830-11am
Sec 4 St Nicholas' Girls Physics 10-1130am
Sec 4 O Level Cedar Girls Chemistry and Biology 11am-1pm
Year 4 Raffles Girls Chemistry and Biology 2-4pm
Year 3 Hwa Chong Institution Chemistry 1-230pm, Physics 230-4pm
Year 2 Nanyang Girls' School Chemistry and Biology 430-630pm
Sec 3 combined science, Physics/Biology and Chemistry 630-830pm

Classes with school names mentioned will follow the syllabus of the school.
Otherwise order of topics will be in accordance with the syllabus of majority of the students in the class.

Do sms Ms Chen at 97886170 if you are interested to enrol your child. Do note that tuition is held at Ang Mo Kio.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Introduction to Ms Chen ( Chem and Bio Tutor)

Many parents have called and asked for more information about Ms Chen.
Here it is:

Ms Chen holds a Bachelor Degree in Life Sciences from NUS. She has 13 years of tutoring experience under her belt, and also had 6 years of teaching experience in a SAP school. Having been on the frontline of the teaching arena for so many years, Ms Chen is familiar with what it takes to develop her students to get better grades. Thus almost all her students had shown vast improvements in their grades and even topped their classes for science, with the exception of lazy students with poor attitude.

Being a NIE-trained teacher, Ms Chen is constantly in touch with the changing syllabus. She also knows how examinations are being set and what the markers are looking for in students’ answers.

One of the biggest advantages that Ms Chen possesses lies in her having trained and taught graduating classes for the O level Science Practical examinations for biology and chemistry. This invaluable experience has given her firsthand knowledge of the common mistakes students make in practical examinations. Ms Chen is also trained in teaching and conducting the O level SPA for Biology and Chemistry. Thus, she is able to help students on both the theoretical and practical fronts of the Biology and Chemistry O level examination preparation.

Ms Chen has taught lower secondary science in school, and is familiar with the process of streaming and the syllabus of modular science. Thus she is able to offer her help and expertise to students and parents who are worried about streaming.

She also has experiences in tutoring students from IP schools such as Hwa Chong institution, Raffles Girls'School, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Nanyang Girls' High School and Raffles institution.

She also has tutored students from international schools such as Chatsworth International school, Anglo-Chinese School (International) and St Joseph's Institution International School doing IGCSE or GCSE syllabus.

Ms Chen will also structure the lessons and classes conducted according to the different learning styles and abilities of students. Students with similar learning pace are encouraged to be grouped together. This is so that classes can be designed to enable students to maximise their learning potential. Alternatively, students from the same class or school are encouraged to be grouped together. Students grouped thusly will be able to learn at the same school pace, which has the advantage of being able to gear the lesson structure to take into account the different requirements of each school as different schools set different types of test and examination papers.

Ms Chen understands how a parent feels and will help parents to push their kids to aim for better grades. Parents who are looking for tutors or students looking tutors to push them are most welcomed. Students are expected and can expect not just to sit passively and listen in class, but to be engaged, answer questions and actively participate in the lesson.

Please contact Ms Chen at 97886170 if you have have enquries.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

How to tell if a tutor is good or for real

1. Request to see evidence of the tutor's qualifications

Please check the tutor's qualifications. Request to see the original degree certificates, university transcripts and/or employment letters.

If he/she claims to be currently teaching in a certain school, his/her name should be found on the school website. Certificates or MOE cards can be faked, so ask for the school's most recent yearbook and request to see his/her picture inside. If he/she claims to be an ex teacher of a school, request for the yearbook of the school he/she was last teaching in, and request to look at his/her picture inside.

There are many tutors who claim to be full-time teachers, when they might in fact be relief teachers or AED teachers. Some parents are willing to pay up to $80-$120 per hour for school teachers. No wonder some tutors claim to be school teachers even when they're not! If you are a parent who is willing to fork out such a large sum of money to hire a full-time school teacher, it makes sense to get the tutor to give you the full confidence that they are indeed what they claim to be.

Most tuition centres will pay $35-40 an hour for a hired tutor. Often, if the tuition centres are desperate for more tutors, they will hire anyone who claims to be able to teach or with the qualifications. Some tuition centres' tutors are A levels graduates, polytechnic graduates or graudates.

In Malcom Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers. In one of its chapters, he explains the 10,000-hour rule. This rule states that people accrued 10,000-hours of practice to be masters in their skills. It took me four years of teaching day and night to be able to realise how to improve students' grade in biology and chemistry.

2. Know how the tutor conducts the class and if there is any discipline. There are many tutors out there for the money, thinking tutition is easy money. So many new tuition centres opened every year. No all tuition centres are bad in conducting lessons.

There are some tutors that will gather students from different levels and try to teach them one by one in a large group. The tutor will only assist them when they have problems. On average for a group of 10 students, one student only get 12 mins of attention on average out of a 2h tution. Till now, I cannot understand how it is possible to teach a science concept well within 10mins. Only a very small group of 3-4 can work out with this form of teaching method.

Some tutors allow the students to sms, talk, after all they had paid and money is what they are after. Check your child's hp. If they sent out many smses or whatapps messages during tuition timing, you know the tutor does not care.

I also heard of tuition whereby tutors just came in and gave a stack of worksheets to do, if they have questions, they ask, otherwise, they can just sit there for 2h while the tutor is busying printing papers forever.

There are some students who will remain in this type of tuition, they do not have to be scolded by the tutor by not paying attention. Tuition is relaxing to them, after all parents thought they are studying hard when they are going for tuition regularly. Check your child's work. See how much or what he had done during tuition.

3. Your child's work  must be marked by the tutor. What is a good tutor if he or she does check on his student's work and point out his mistakes, This is also a good way to check on the tutor to see if he can spot the mistakes the student made,

4. Beware of too much or desperate advertisements. The better the marketing, the more exaggerating the boasting, the more caution you must be. Focus is not on tutoring, but on attracting students into the tuition for the money. Some tutors spam the forums for students.

5. Update parents.

A good tutor will update parents about the progress of the student, like never do homework and not scare of the student getting angry and terminate the tuition which many centres are afraid as they have a rental to pay every month.

6, Improvements in grade. If this is not achieved in a year, can say bye to the tutor. I also told my students to look for other tutors if they cannot improve under me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Should I/my child switch from pure to combined science?

Many students and parents have asked me the question posed in the title of this post. In fact, even without being asked, I have sometimes advised students to drop his/her pure science subjects and switch to combined science instead. I understand that this issue can be an emotionally clouded topic for most people, because there is a misguided perception that having to drop from pure to combined science is always a bad thing. I hope that with my years of experience of being a teacher and tutor, I can help some students and parents gain a clearer perspective on this issue.

In my opinion, there is no point in taking pure sciences if you are only going to score a B4 or worse.
  • Firstly, it increases your overall aggregate points of your O levels, which immediately puts you at a disadvantage when competing for a place at the institute/course of your choice.
  • Secondly, many JCs do not allow the student to take H2 level of a science subject if he or she scores a B4 or worse in that subject at the O levels. Therefore, if you want to do a pure science because you want to pursue it as a H2 science at A levels, but you are not able to score B3 or better at the O levels for this subject, then for all intents and purposes, you would have slogged through that pure science subject in vain.
It is true that few JCs also do not allow students to take H2 level of a science subject if the student only did that subject as combined science at O levels.Please check with the JCs you are interested,usually information can be found on their websites. However, as between scoring a distinction for combined science versus scoring a B4 or worse for a pure science, my opinion is that the first option is much more preferable, because every L1R5 point matters in the O levels. Just 1 point could be the difference between being qualified or disqualified to enter the JC/polytechnic course that you want.

The O level examination results are based on a bell curve, which means how you fare depends how badly or how well others can do in the same cohort. To be able to get distinctions is more difficult today than in the past because our education system is now much more competitive with the increased number of overseas scholars taking the same national exams as the local students. In assessing their ability to achieve a distinction in the O levels, students should bear in mind that it is not only how well they can do, but how much better they can do compared to other people taking the same exam.

Some students think that going to a polytechnic is a poorer choice than going to a JC. I would have agreed with this concern two decades ago. However, polytechnics have evolved over the years and now offer good courses and opportunities. Furthermore, overseas scholars from secondary schools are unable to apply for polytechnics, which means that local students have a better chance of getting good grades in polytechnic.

Do note that this blog post expresses my personal opinion of the best course of action for a student to take in particular circumstances. My opinions are based on my own experience as a tutor and schoolteacher of many years, and are in no way expressly supported or shared by any other institutions. I cannot guarantee the decisions made by any educational institutions, whether such decisions pertain to the admission of students to any institutions/courses or otherwise. 
In the end, it depends entirely on the student's objectives and assessment of what he/she wants and is likely to achieve.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Introduction to Ms Leong (Physics tutor)

I am currently a full time Physics tutor with approximately 10 years of tutoring experience, and have tutored students from a range of schools, including schools such as St Nicholas Girls' Secondary School, and IP schools such as Raffles Girls' Secondary School. I graduated from NUS with an Honours degree in Law, and practiced as a lawyer for a few years before deciding to go full-time into my real area of interest, which is helping secondary school students to ‘get’ Physics.

If you’re not doing well in your upper secondary Physics right now despite having read through your textbook, done your school homework and perhaps even chugged your way through some assessment books, it’s mainly because of one thing- you don’t understand the key concepts of the subject. I can understand this because I used to be a borderline-pass Physics student myself a long time ago, back in my early secondary 3 days in Raffles Girls’ Secondary. But once I understood the key concepts to the subject, Physics was no longer alien gibberish to me, and I went on to score As in O level and A level Physics, with a Merit in A level Physics S Paper (the equivalent of today’s JC H3 level).

The wonderful thing about secondary school level Physics is that once you ‘get’ it, you realize that logic and some measure of sensible math skills are all you need to handle the subject. Of course, there are a few key points that you have to commit to memory and you would also have to put in the necessary grunt work to retain and sharpen the skills you learn, but this applies to everything you do and not just Physics.

Every student can be guided to understand the key concepts of secondary school Physics. My job is to enable all my students to grasp the key concepts in the fastest and most direct way possible. In my years of teaching, I have yet to meet a student who could not understand and immediately apply the key concepts I teach in each class. The major difference between my students who do well and those who do not lies in their retention of the skills taught to them, because having a good tutor is unfortunately not a magic pill that gives you photographic memory.

If you are a secondary school student struggling with Physics, and you are willing to put in at least 10 to 15 minutes a day to hone your Physics skills, I know that once you learn Physics using the concepts I teach, your struggle with Physics will end.


**Ms Leong’s fees for one-on-one tuition range between $60/h to $70/h. Classes normally last 1.5hr, although weaker students may require 2hrs per class. There are currently no group tuition classes available, but a group class may be started if at least 2 students from the same level are able to co-ordinate to form a class. Ms Leong’s fee for group tuition is $35-40/h/pax.