General Paper (GP) Tuition2021-12-12T16:57:44+08:00

#1 GP Tuition Specialist

97% ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades

Engaging online lessons with a former international journalist

10 years teaching experience

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Our Track Record

“Classes with Mr Liau always bring fresh insights that have never crossed my mind during my self-study or even during GP lessons in school.” ~ Jiwon, Victoria Junior College. Jiwon improved from S to A, and eventually topped his cohort for GP in JC2.

Track record

  • 97% of our students scored ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades in 2021

  • 90% of our students score ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades every year

  • Average improvement of three grades (i.e. D to A)

  • We produce top scorers every year

How we achieve it

  • Structured learning experience with ample hands-on practices

  • Interactive and engaging discussions for maximum intellectual stimulation

  • Individualised guidance and feedback

  • Detailed notes and supplementary materials for revision

  • All lessons personally conducted by Mr Liau

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Teaching Philosophy

We excite, intrigue and inspire our students to love General Paper

“General Paper was a tedious and boring subject for me in JC1, I had no idea what I was doing and basically scraping through JC1 exams. Until I attended Mr Liau’s GP lessons which were very engaging despite having lessons online. The issues we covered were very intriguing and the discussions we had were always mind-boggling and fun. Through his lessons then I realised my interest for GP.” ~ Stevson, Temasek Meridian Junior College, 

“I always like hearing what you think about issues during lessons because they can really get interesting and it’s a fresh perspective for me for most times. I actually do enjoy GP because I get to understand our current world better, so thank you for all the things that you share with us during lessons. Your enthusiasm about the world and the issues pushed me to think more about what’s happening, rather than just take things in as it is.” ~ Charmaine, Nanyang Junior College

Mr Liau’s unique background

  • Deep professional experience as a journalist for The Guardian and international op-ed writer for six years

  • Extensive ten years teaching experience

  • Rich insights as the Hwa Chong HS/JC debate coach for four years (teams won ten championships)

  • Unique ability to captivate and intrigue as an award-winning intervarsity and JC debater (won four national championships)

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Practical Skills

We teach practical skills that enable students to ace their examinations

“One thing that stuck with me was how engaging and simplified the lessons were. I never really liked GP and I was never really the person to be able to write an essay properly as I could never gather my thoughts in a concise manner. The teacher somehow solved that for me. He managed to break down overwhelming essay questions into simpler parts so that all the answers become more structured and accurate. The brainstorming methods as well as all the already researched examples made me really happy as I was too lazy to search things up on my own.” ~ Ko Ko, Saint Andrew’s Junior College

“I feel that Mr Liau’s lessons are quite helpful as he goes into detail about the content and skills needed for GP. I think that its great that he provides us with notes that are easy to understand because I tend to be rather disorganised with my GP notes.” ~ Beatrice, Raffles Institution

How we make a difference

  • We break down complex ideas into simple concepts

  • We take a systematic approach to learning that equips students with essential examination skills and answering techniques

  • We prioritise hands-on experiential learning over didactic one-way lectures

  • We provide extensive notes for revision and exam preparation

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Successful Online Lessons

We make every online lesson a fun and intellectually stimulating experience

“Mr Liau’s lessons are extremely insightful and fun. Mr Liau is extremely friendly and ensures that every student participates. Classes are still extremely beneficial and interactive despite it being on Zoom. Fret not as the lessons will surely broaden your perspective on the world. He is one of a kind I do not regret joining his classes.” ~ Wei Xuan, Nanyang Junior College

“I think the discussions in the lessons are deep and they help me understand real world issues much better. Despite it being online, it is actually engaging and fun :)” ~ Chi Hua, Raffles Institution

“The lessons were very informative and interactive despite it being online.” ~ Tze Kai, Anderson Serangoon Junior College

“The lessons were fun and it was very interesting to have discussions during lessons.” ~ Mun Sheen, Temasek Junior College

How we make every online lesson a success

  • We partner students in the learning process, engaging them through discussions and hands-on exercises

  • We encourage questions and always give students time to share their own views, helping them develop their confidence as critical thinkers

  • We support each student individually and provide personalised feedback

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Feedback and Guidance

We provide individualised guidance and feedback

“Thank you for your guidance while I was in your GP tutoring sessions. I always like hearing what you think about issues during lessons because they can really get interesting and it’s a fresh perspective for me for most times. I actually do enjoy GP because I get to understand our current world better, so thank you for all the things that you share with us during lessons. Your enthusiasm about the world and the issues pushed me to think more about what’s happening, rather than just take things in as it is.” ~ Charmaine, Nanyang Junior College

“Mr Liau has always been extremely dedicated in teaching me. He constructs his lesson in a clear and comprehensive manner, making them easy to follow. He taught us writing, comprehension and paraphrasing techniques which are very useful. Besides, he always takes the effort to give us detailed feedback on our work to help us do better. Moreover, he is always very patient and encouraging such that I can always consult him about areas I am unsure of. Under his guidance, I became more confident in GP and improved greatly over the months leading to the exam.” ~ Hao Chen, Private Candidate

Mr Liau’s academic credentials

  • Certified in Online Teaching and Education by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Post-Graduate)

  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons), History, NTU

  • Hwa Chong Institution alumnus

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Recommended By Students

Top Five Questions

Is my A-Level General Paper grade important?2021-11-12T13:16:00+08:00

Absolutely. Although GP is a H1 subject, it is often used by university admissions officers as an indicator of a student’s ability to cope with academic rigour and engage in interdisciplinary thinking—two of the most important requirements for success in higher education. Priority is thus always given to students who do well in GP.

In addition, a student’s GP grade is used in the computation of their Rank Points (RP). Students who score well in other subjects but poorly in GP risk being denied admission to the university of their choice because they have lower RP.

You may have heard of stories of students who either had to opt for a less competitive course or retake the A-Level examination as a private candidate.

A student’s GP grade does matter immensely.

Unfortunately, it is not easy to score an A. Only around 20% of students in Singapore do so every year. Students who are unable to perform consistently should not be surprised if they fail to score an A for the A-Level General Paper examination.

Here at GP Tuition, we strive to ensure that none of our students encounter such a situation.

In 2021, we achieved exceptional results with 97% of our students obtaining either an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ grade.

This was made possible through our structured and systematic approach to learning, the intellectual stimulation provided through interactive and engaging classes, and the close guidance and support we offer each student at the individual level.

Is the A-Level General Paper subject important?2021-11-12T13:16:00+08:00

General Paper is, by far, the most important subject for any JC student. Our lessons equip students with the ability to understand our world and navigate it intelligently. We train students to develop the thinking skills required in higher education and in their future careers.

Over the years, we have seen our students win top scholarships, enter top universities, and excel in fields like law and medicine.

Our students have also expressed an appreciation for how our lessons have helped them broaden their perspectives, develop a passion for learning about the world, and become more critical thinkers.

In short, General Paper is more than just an A-Level subject that students need to score well in. It provides crucial preparation for the future.

We help students achieve these goals by focusing on more than just short-term grades. Through interactive and thought-provoking discussions, we seek to develop our students’ ability to become better thinkers, not just top scorers.

Is GP tuition necessary?2021-11-12T13:15:46+08:00

While our GP lessons do give our students a competitive edge, not every student requires tuition.

For those who do, there are three main advantages.

First, students will be exposed to a wealth of knowledge through our lessons and learn how to tackle the GP paper in a structured and systematic manner. It is not possible to acquire the same knowledge independently with so many other subjects to study for. Our lessons help students save time that they can then spend focusing on other subjects.

Second, students will receive professional guidance and feedback from a former journalist and international op-ed writer. This is a rare opportunity.

Finally, students will receive one-to-one support to ensure that they are able to perform consistently and score well for the A Level examination.

Given the highly competitive nature of the A-Level GP examination, it is difficult to guarantee good results without professional support and guidance.

Are all classes taught by Mr Liau?2021-11-23T12:37:40+08:00

Yes, all classes are taught by Mr Liau.

We do not follow the practice of large commercial tuition centres where students are taught by a different teacher than advertised.

Here at My Mustard Seed, we guarantee that all classes will be taught by Mr Liau.

Students can reach out to him directly if they have any questions or require feedback on their assignments.

Mr Liau is a former journalist for The Guardian and an international op-ed writer. He has ten years teaching experience and is certified in Online Teaching and Education by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Post-Graduate). He graduated from NTU with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), majoring in History. He is also a Hwa Chong Institution alumnus and award-winning intervarsity and JC debater.

Why choose us for GP tuition?2021-11-12T14:44:10+08:00

GP poses a unique challenge to educators. To excel, students must both be equipped with practical skills as well as with the ability to think and reason for themselves. Yet, these goals lie in tension with one another.

The formulaic approach pursued by some tuition centres works well in achieving the former goal but not in developing critical thinking skills. Such approaches are, moreover, extremely boring and arguably even harmful to the student’s intellectual development and personal growth.

Our GP classes seek to achieve a healthy balance between the two goals by relying on a structured curriculum, supplemented by thought-provoking discussions about important current affairs issues.

We believe that the best testament to our success lies in our students grades as well as the unvarnished feedback that they have given us in their testimonials.

In 2021, 97% of our students scored ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades for GP.

Every year, over the past five years, our 90% of our students scored ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades using this approach.

We have also succeeded in helping weaker students excel, with an average improvement of three grades (i.e. D to A).

Available Programmes and Fees
Schedule

Available Programmes

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT (40% OFF)

FREE UPGRADE to the combined package for all students who register with us by the end of January 2022.

For the rest of 2021 and 2022, pay only $280/month for both Ultimate Track + Case Studies MasterClass (U.P. $480/month).

Ultimate Track Class

The Ultimate Track class is the main GP class. We cover all essential skills and concepts for GP in this class. The classes will include hands-on exercises, discussions, guided practices, notes, materials, examples and everything students need to get an A for GP.

Case Studies MasterClass

The Case Studies MasterClass focuses more on current affairs issues and key global events that are especially important for GP. The case study approach is interdisciplinary in nature and provides more room for non-exam-driven discussion and analysis. Notes will be provided as part of CSMC as well. Students who are unable to attend the Case Studies MasterClass for a particular week can watch the recording and read the notes on their own.

Ultimate Track

$280monthly
  • 2 hours per week
  • Core
  • Covers all 55 core GP skills and essential content for Paper 1 and Paper 2
  • Systematic approach with hands-on practices and interactive discussions
  • Separate classes for JC1 and JC2 students

Case Studies MasterClass

$200monthly
  • 1 hour per week
  • Extended
  • Covers additional case studies in depth
  • Engaging discussions to explore important issues in greater depth
  • Suitable for students who only want to focus on content and have limited time

Combined Package

380monthly
  • 3 hours per week
  • Core + Extended
  • Includes both Ultimate Track and Case Studies MasterClass
  • Discounted from the usual price of $480
  • Strongly recommended for weaker students

Schedule for 2021 (Nov-Dec)

Last updated: 11 Nov 2021

If the timings are unsuitable, please let us know as we will be opening more classes this year.

Saturday 10am – 12pm
GP
JC1/JC2 Ultimate Track
3pm – 5pm
GP
JC1/JC2 Ultimate Track
5pm – 6pm
GP
Case Studies MasterClass
Sunday 4pm – 6pm
GP
JC1/JC2 Ultimate Track
6pm – 7pm
GP
Case Studies MasterClass

Schedule for 2022

Last updated: 20 Jan 2022

  • More slots will be made available in February and March.
  • Do contact us if you are unable to make it for any of the available slots. We will take your preferences into consideration when planning new classes.
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday 8 – 10pm
GP
Ultimate Track
Saturday 10am – 12pm
GP
Ultimate Track
3pm – 5pm
GP
Ultimate Track
5pm – 6pm
GP
Case Studies MasterClass
Sunday 10am – 12pm
GP
Ultimate Track
4pm – 6pm
GP
Ultimate Track
6 – 7pm
GP
Case Studies MasterClass

Contact Us

Call / SMS / WhatsApp

91781642

Click to Call — Mr Liau

WhatsApp

Use Contact Form

Enquiry / Registration Form

To register, simply get in touch with us and we will guide you through the registration steps.

About Our Lessons

How are lessons conducted?2021-11-12T15:19:25+08:00

Lessons consist of a combination of short lectures, in-class discussions, and interactive exercises. We place heavy emphasis on student engagement and interaction because the studies have shown that students learn best when they are deeply invested in what they are learning. Students are also much more likely to develop an interest in the subject if they are active participants in their own learning rather than mere absorbers of information.

To facilitate student engagement and interaction, we make an effort that give each student an opportunity to participate in the discussion, whether verbally or in written form.

After classes, students are encouraged to clarify doubts and keep in close contact with Mr Liau.

How do you teach students to write good essays?2021-11-12T15:19:25+08:00

We often see students struggle with essay writing but simply cannot figure out why. In most cases, the answer is quite simple: they have nothing meaningful to say. The first thing we like to tell students is to figure out what they want to say, then say it as simply as possible. Students are discouraged from blindly emulating the flowery prose of their more proficient peers. Instead, they should seek to develop an in-depth understanding of the topic and express their own views clearly and concisely. Our in-class discussions and essay planning exercises play a vital role here. Students will also receive extensive reading materials and comprehensive notes.

This is not to say that our focus is purely on content knowledge. If a student has good ideas but cannot articulate them, those ideas will be for naught. Every week, we encourage students to complete at least two paragraphs (or a full essay if possible). Mr Liau personally marks and provides feedback on all work that is submitted as part of the regular classes. Every month, we also devote some time to covering common writing errors.

 

How do you help students keep abreast of current developments?2021-11-12T15:19:25+08:00

Every lesson, we share deep insights on two or three major developments in the world to help students understand what they are reading in the news. We also discuss how students can use these insights in their essays. Ultimately, the goal of these discussions is to expose students to different viewpoints, provide them with mental tools to analyse the news, and encourage them to take an interest in current affairs.

 

How important is content knowledge?2021-11-12T15:19:25+08:00

Contrary to popular belief, GP is not just an English subject for JC students.

Content matters.

Cambridge examiners have made this abundantly clear. They award low grades to students who exhibit a poor understanding of the subject and fail to substantiate their arguments with robust evidence.

Those who cannot address differing viewpoints fare even worse. They receive failing grades because they are “unable to meet the basic requirement of this paper”. (Examiner Report, 2013)

It’s therefore no surprise that students score poorly when their scripts are filled with comments like: “lacks balance”, “weak argument” and “poor evidence”.

No matter how effusive a student’s language may be, he will not get a good grade. Cambridge has made that abundantly clear.

How do you help students build content knowledge?2021-11-12T15:19:25+08:00

Memorising facts and statistics without understanding their context or knowing how to use them is actually worse than useless. It can be harmful because it instils a false sense of confidence. A student may think he is impressing the examiner when in fact he is merely frustrating him.

It is therefore important to build a solid conceptual framework first before students jump into the examples. To accomplish that, we often start with in in-depth discussions of pertinent case studies. Through these discussions, students may ask questions, clarify doubts and attempt to articulate their own understanding of the subject.

In addition to the class discussions, we provide content packages and comprehensive notes that are designed to expose students to popular arguments and examples. Through these content packages, students will also see how the evidence can be marshalled to support their arguments.

 

Why do you focus so much on arguments?2021-11-12T15:19:25+08:00

Arguments are central to all components of the GP paper. Paper 1 requires students to write an argumentative essay within 90 minutes. Paper 2 requires students to answer short questions about an argumentative essay (the passage), summarise the author’s arguments, and respond to them through the application question. Ultimately, GP is all about arguments.

How do you train students to develop strong arguments?2021-11-12T15:19:25+08:00

Let’s be real. If there were truly some secret formula to instant success, schools would have taught it by now and you should have already heard about it.

Instead, the key to our success lies in our use of the age-old Socratic method. Through the painstaking process of asking and answering questions, we push our students to think for themselves and justify their ideas.

The studies support this. Our experience supports this. And our students’ results speak for themselves.

What happens if I am unable to attend the lesson for the week?2021-11-12T15:17:43+08:00

If you are unable to attend the lesson for the week, you can either attend another lesson in the same week or watch the recording. Any work that you submit will still be marked. You can also contact Mr Liau directly if you have any questions about the material that is covered in the recording.

Is it enough for students to memorise facts and examples?2021-11-12T15:19:25+08:00

In 2013, Cambridge examiners explicitly pointed out that GP is not a test of general knowledge. Students who receive poor grades despite their extensive use of examples should note that no amount of facts and statistics can make up for a poorly-developed argument.

The General Paper subject is primarily about the arguments. Cambridge examiners have made that abundantly clear. Students must argue, reason and persuade, not flood the examiner with details and lengthy descriptions.

This is the trickiest part about GP. Memorising model essays will not work. Neither will copying and pasting canned arguments. Because every question is different, every response must be unique. Within those 90 minutes, students must formulate and express their own arguments.

It is therefore important for students to learn how to use examples to support their points. This is why we teach students to focus on convincing the examiner with persuasive arguments, substantiated with strong examples, rather than on impressing readers with their depth of knowledge.

About Online Lessons

Why aren’t you offering physical lessons?2021-11-12T15:19:48+08:00

Our students have expressed an overwhelming preference for online classes for a few reasons:

  • More alert in class because they are less exhausted from travelling
  • Greater convenience and easier to fit into their busy schedules
  • Instant marking and feedback can be provided online during classes
  • Able to ask questions directly via text messaging in class
  • Unique learning experience with Mr Liau

As such, we have remained 100% online since March 2020. We intend to continue with online classes for now.

In fact, our online classes have proven to be equally, if not more, effective. Students who attended online classes did well with 97% of them scoring an A or a B for the A-Level examination.

How are materials provided through online lessons? Will printed materials be provided?2021-11-12T15:19:47+08:00

The materials will be uploaded to our Learning Management System. Students can access the notes and materials at any time, download them and even print them out. However, as there are a lot of notes and materials, we will not be printing them out for students.

During the class, all work is submitted and marked online using Google Docs. Students have generally found this to be a superior approach for their learning compared to using pen and paper, then taking photos of their work and uploading the photos.

Extensive notes are provided both in class and after class.

How effective are online lessons? What happens if the student is unable to focus online?2021-11-12T15:19:36+08:00

We have been conducting online classes since the end of 2019 and have pioneered innovative methods for keeping students engaged. As our classes are conducted live, students are kept on task by the teacher, Mr Liau.

All our students who took the A-Level exams in 2020 were taught online for almost the entire year. They outperformed previous cohorts. 97% of them attained ‘A’ and ‘B’ grades.

We have thus remained 100% online because our students have indicated a preference for our online lessons and because they have continued to achieve stellar results.

 

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