The Physics Cafe-It is not easy to get an A, it will be even more difficult to fail the exam.

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It takes a lot to fail an exam, even in Junior College (JC). If you score more than 3 marks out of every 10 marks, you will not be able to get the U (fail grade). You can really image how much effort you need to put in to fail a paper. But of course, there are ways to fail the exam. Do not complete the paper. Leave a few page empty, and then you will be starting with zero. Assuming that all spend the reasonable time they need to on their revision, poor time management is the only way to fail.

Most students in Singapore attend tuition classes not to pass the exam, but to stretch time as learning will be more effective if someone can show you how to write your own notes, what are the questions to do to test your concepts, what are the common mistakes you will make if this is your first time seeing that question.

They will to learn how to answer grade A questions (open-ended) set to differentiate the A and the B.  These are higher order questions that test how smart the students are instead of how hardworking they are. This will help to differentiate the top 20% of the candidates.

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Parents often asked why are the students going for tuition even if they are already so smart and doing very well in school?

These students have a certain attitude in life that bring them to where they are today. It is the same attitude that motivates them to attend tuition classes. This is not to replace the school lessons, but to make sure that every minute of their time spend learning is effective compared to if they would to do it on their own.

The tuition lesson is not for them to pass the exam but for them to get the A in a more effective way. Without tuition, they will get the A too, on their own, but perhaps with more efforts and time.

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-Mr Dave Sim (former RJC Physics Lecturer)

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