Geography

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Geography

Postby Zann » Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:57 am

My sec 1 child try hard but merely just passed the Geography test paper recently. Any tips/skill/advise from anyone in tackling sec Geo would be much appreciated. Do sec students usually score well in Geo ?

Zann
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Postby schellen » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:18 am

[Moderator's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

Sec 1 usually need time to handle Geog and score or score well cos it is not only new topic, the way to score is very different from the usual rote learning-memorise and regurgitate style.

1. Get concepts right.
2. Don't memorise everything. Certain things like examples, names, formulae, definitions okay.
3. After being taught skills, must own self apply and practise. Proficiency in theory alone will not ensure good grades.
4. Read widely, and not just reader's digest and storybooks. Must keep up to date with current affairs, especially with human geography topics. Some questions are very open-ended. Teachers will award marks if the answer is acceptable/logical even if it is not in their list of expected answers.
5. A lot of concepts are difficult to understand via printed words only. Make full use of graphs, charts, pictures, photos, mindmaps, comparing graphic organisers, etc.
6. Learn to identify what the question is asking. Pick out key terms to avoid misunderstanding the question. Teachers in school SHOULD teach this skill. If not, your child has the right to DEMAND that the teacher teach these skills (of course, please ask nicely).
7. Take notes! If your child understands concepts via graphics, draw mini diagrams in texts next to written explanations, etc.
8. Do past year papers. It will give your child an idea of how questions are phrased and should be answered.
9. As always with other subjects, pay attention in class and ask when in doubt.
10. MOE loves to change the syllabus for Humanities subjects every now and then. Changes may not be an entire overhaul, may be minor changes only, BUT STILL, keep updated of the changes. Teachers will know of the changes but sometimes students don't pay attention or are confused. Sometimes, way of questioning and grading is changed, while other times, certain topics are axed while new case studies are brought in (usually on Singapore). So keeping abreast of changes will ensure that your child doesn't waste time preparing for the wrong things.

Sorry, a lot but I think that's the gist of it. :wink:

schellen
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Postby schellen » Thu Feb 26, 2009 10:32 am

I forgot the most important thing of all!

VVVVIP: Must have good command of English or strive to improve English to a good standard. A lot of students don't understand the words used and this hinders them in scoring. If the questions were translated for them, they "suddenly" understand very well. Students may also be able to give very good answers orally but when they write them down, the teachers will :? due to the poor standard of English used.

Examples of words that "confound" students with weaker English:
infrastructure
analyse
contrast
pros and cons (I kid you not)
vegetation (they think it's vegetable)
temperate (not temperature)
urban
rural
political
social
economical
demographics
etc.

schellen
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Postby Zann » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:17 am

Thanks Schellen. That sounds 'not easy'. :roll:

Students who are taking MSP or foreign lang till 'O' level can eventually use it to replace it Humanities subject like Geo when comes to consolidating 'O' level aggregate. Correct me if I wong. Or, are they allow to drop Geo and focus on 3rd lang for 'O' level?

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Postby heutistmeintag » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:23 am

schellen wrote:5. A lot of concepts are difficult to understand via printed words only. Make full use of graphs, charts, pictures, photos, mindmaps, comparing graphic organisers, etc.


I think schellen had already given very good tips and I just want to stress on 1 point.

There are a lot of info to understand and remember. Mindmapping is a powerful technique (also taught in MindChamps) which could be used to link the information. You can get the freeware called FreeMind (FOC) on the internet and once the mindmaps (softcopies) are created, they can be used in future revisions. I find it an efficient and effective tool.

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Postby schellen » Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:53 am

heutistmeintag wrote:I think schellen had already given very good tips and I just want to stress on 1 point.

There are a lot of info to understand and remember. Mindmapping is a powerful technique (also taught in MindChamps) which could be used to link the information. You can get the freeware called FreeMind (FOC) on the internet and once the mindmaps (softcopies) are created, they can be used in future revisions. I find it an efficient and effective tool.


Thank you! :goodpost:

Good teachers for Geog will start and end the topic with a mindmap on the board with contributions from class. Cos Geog focuses on relationships and uses the "problem-cause-effect/consequence-solution" way to "impart" knowledge. With a very broad topic like global warming or rivers, students tend to lose focus so a mindmap helps to remind them of the topic and shows them how each component is important and relates to others.

schellen
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Postby Zann » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:40 am

schellen wrote:[Moderator's note: Topic selected for Portal publication.]

8. Do past year papers. It will give your child an idea of how questions are phrased and should be answered.


Any good resources to recommend for practice papers? Thanks.

Zann
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Postby schellen » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:14 pm

Zann wrote:Any good resources to recommend for practice papers? Thanks.


There are many publishers who provide these nowadays so you just have to go to Popular to take a look. Since it's a competitive market, prices should be reasonable too. Choose a book that doesn't come with just qns and answers. Offhand, I can't really remember the publishers but there are a few who will provide notes at the side of the qns to help you focus your answer. In the margin next to the "model" or suggested answers should be pointers on what to avoid, what to look out for to score well, etc.

Some books may have explanations on the skills required for learning and answering but these may cost a bit more, and may not be combined with the past year qns in one book. But if these books show you the keywords and how to find them, so that you don't answer wrongly, and with practice qns, they should be worth it.

Lastly, and VVVIP, you have to check that the book(s) you want are in line with your child's Geog syllabus at school. If your child doesn't know, then find out. Don't buy the wrong book or your child may be misled or waste time revising topics that are no longer viable and/or practising questioning and scoring formats that are "extinct". This is more crucial for upper sec Geog. (By right, "extinct" stuff should not be on the shelves anymore but you may "accidentally" come across one old book or two and think it's a good buy due to the cheaper price. Cheaper cos the book is "useless".)

This page will help you: http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/syllabu ... esthetics/

(You can also find the syllabi for other subjects at that site.)

schellen
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Postby schellen » Thu Mar 05, 2009 12:20 pm

If you want a cheaper way, ask your child to go visit his/her sch library. There should be past year papers stored there which may or not be borrowed out. If cannot borrow, check if photocopying is available and the cost of such a service. Sometimes, your child may have to pay and sometimes, your child may just have to provide the paper.

Schs usually also upload their past year papers to their sch intranet webpage. Since it's intranet (and not internet), access is restricted to either within sch computers (in library and elsewhere) or via your child's student account with the sch (FOC).

Teachers may also give past year papers as revision but don't just rely on these cos usually, such papers are only given when exams are coming and teachers may not even have the time to mark and go through every question.

schellen
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Postby mamii » Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:11 am

gosh being present day students are not easy !!! count myself lucky, we used to have it much easier !!! will get my niece to read all these info she really needs help with her Geog and SS. thanks !

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