Chua Su Ann
- Raffles Institution Alumni
- Pursuing Law at SMU
As a previous student enrolled in the General Paper (GP) course with Creative Campus, I benefitted greatly from the short time I was there. Even though I only joined the class mid-way through the year, I was still able to gain a holistic view of GP as a subject, and was aided in thoroughly understanding the objectives to work towards when I was studying for it.
Ms Geraldine Chew was central in ameliorating my standard of writing – she was astute in identifying my areas for improvement, and worked patiently with me to address the problem areas comprehensively. She was also very invested in each individual student as well, taking extra time to stay back after the lessons to help anyone with any questions they might have had, and would even print extra resources for those interested in subjects that were touched on briefly during the lessons. Undoubtedly, Ms Chew was a big driving force behind the subsequent improvement in my GP grades.
I really appreciated the approach that was taken in discussing and exploring the various viewpoints on issues raised, rather than being spoon-fed facts to regurgitate in my essays. The class was never boring, and we would often be engaged in lively discussions. Despite having a long day before the GP lesson, I would never fall asleep as I truly found lessons to be both engaging and challenging; we were constantly encouraged to push the envelope when answering and not just state the obvious.
I also rather appreciate the structure of how we would cover the various examinable components, whereby we would do a different component every week. This created a more dynamic classroom environment where we would get to go through and learn more about the various components without having to rush through the various components – learning was not compromised in the interest of mindlessly squeezing in more practice. This is not to say that we did not have much to do during the lessons however; I truly learnt how to portion my time during the examinations as we were well-trained in finishing our papers in slightly less than the stipulated timing.
Essentially, the following is what i found to be the Key Tenets to Acing GP
1. Personalised Feedback
What was incredibly useful was how, from the get-go, Ms Chew was able to help me effectively by going through my previous examination papers and practices before I started. Being extremely experienced, she was able to instantly pinpoint areas for improvement and I was able to work on these areas from the very first lesson. Subsequently, as my strengths and weaknesses shifted, Ms Chew would also pick up on new areas for me to work on and there was always a learning point to take home.
2. Stimulating Discussions
I really appreciated how we would engage in discussions regarding the topic at hand – by seeking out alternative viewpoints on the topics, I was well-trained in casting my net wider when it came to generating content points to discuss in the essay. The discussions also helped me to formulate better counterpoints and antitheses.
3. Wide Scope of Topics
As someone who rarely reads the newspaper, it was of great help to me that we would always start the lesson with a short section on interesting and educational videos. It was a refreshing way to kick-start the lesson while also receiving snippets of facts and data that I could use in my writing. In addition, we covered a wide range of topics such as society and culture, technology and the rat race and so on. I felt that the range paved the way for more stimulating discussions and truly gave us more space to innovate, rather than simply being made to memorise facts about science and technology.
4. Focused Time-trials
Being tasked to complete marked time-trials really helped to prepare me for the examinations as I did not receive much practice in school, and barely had much time out of lessons to practice on my own. Doing the practices in class helped immensely in honing my speed and sharpness of thinking. I used to waffle more when writing, and often ended up speeding through my points at the end when I realised that I was running out of time, leading to inconsistent essays. Thus, the practices in GP lessons really helped me learn how to monitor and allot my time more efficiently. I also benefitted greatly from how Ms Chew taught us to plan our essays beforehand as I often took too long to plan and decide on the question.