Receive Effective Academic Advantage For History and Geography

Mdm Yu’s History and Geography tuition otherwise known as Combined Humanities Tuition sessions are well-known for their effectiveness.  They are all-in-one sessions designed to save time, maximise learning and cost for parents and students. Her untiring and  extensive reading and research into topics in the syllabus and well-prepared teaching materials will ensure that there is depth and width of the content covered.

In a nutshell, History tuition sessions consist of the following:

  • Deep delving into relevant content: Helping students delve into historical events to gain valuable insights into consequences of human motivations and actions. We look at timeline, milestones, turning points, watershed events, main causes, supporting causes, and the different aspects – economic, social and political impact of events.
  • Reinforce content through information-gap activities, construct mindmaps and graphic organisers as well as model answers on selected questions as part of our scaffolding.
  • For the two essay questions, Mdm Yu will role-model answering techniques from unpacking the questions, coming up with the points, and organising and writing the answers.
  • For the source-based questions, Mdm Yu will guide students on how to read and interpret sources, annotate accurately and relevantly to come up with the answers.
  • We give useful examples and provide interesting anecdotes that spice up the lessons, adding a human dimension by bringing up individual and eye-witness accounts to enhance the sessions.

Mdm Yu appreciates that Geography can be technical with all the topics and sub-topics and types of questions tested. As a result Geography can be a challenge for beginning and relatively new learners. The concepts in Geography are many ranging from those related to space and place to the different types of causes and consequences in both human and physical geography. The numerous case studies form an essential part of the written answers for many Geography questions.

In a nutshell, Geography tuition sessions comprise the following:

  • Additional notes and practice questions are provided to highlight important issues and points of each topic. All efforts are directed to provide maps, diagrams and graphic organisers, photos some of which are in colour to engage students and help them remember better. We always relate as much as possible to current occurrences to improve and reinforce important concepts and points in both human and physical Geography.
  • Imparting techniques for all type of questions such as questions on geographical investigation, data-based questions, structured and LORMs questions.
  • Provision of practice questions to build answering techniques and reinforce better understanding of content.
  • Extensive scaffolding is carried out to help students acquire in-depth understanding of the content, remember what they have been taught and apply their acquired knowledge appropriately to answer the different types of questions.



History Tutor on Understanding the Elective History Exam Format

O  & N level ELective History is extremely popular in school as students realise that there are common areas between History and Social Studies and  namely in the source-based questions.

Below the Elective History tutor gives an explanation of the format of the exam paper which will help students and parents have a clearer picture of the type of questions and marks allocated.

Topics Covered:

Part 1: The World in Crisis

Impact of World War I

  • Treaty of Versailles
  • Weakness of the League of Nation

Stalin’s Soviet Union*

  • His rise
  • His dictatorship

Hitler’s Germany*

  • His Rise
  • His Dictatorship

World War II in Europe

  • Causes for outbreak
  • Entry of USA

Defeat of Germany/End of World War II

  • Causes

World War II in the Asia Pacific

  • Japan’s rise
  • Cause of WWII in Asia Pacific

Japan’s Defeat in World War II

  • Causes

*Both are source-based case studies – i.e they are topic options for SBQ as well SEQ. The rest are only topic options for SEQs.

Part 2: Bipolarity & the Cold War

Cold War in Europe

  • Reasons

The Korean War*

  • Causes
  • Development
  • Outcome/Impact

The Cuban Missile Crisis*

  • Causes
  • Development
  • Outcome/Impact

The End of Cold War

  • Detente
    Collapse of Communism in Soviet Union
    End of Communism in Eastern Europe

Both are source-based case studies – i.e they are topic options for SBQ as well SEQ. The rest are only topic options for SEQs.

Note that there are therefore only 4 topics that are options for Source-based Case Studies but they are also topic options for SEQs. The rest in part 1 and 2 are only options for SEQs.

Exam Format
Duration: 1 hr 40 mins

Section A: Source-base Case Study (30 marks)

  • 5 SBQ

Section B: 2 Structured-Essay Questions (20 Marks)

  • Two questions set. Each Question has two sub-parts.
  • Choose one




Historical controversies -part 1 by History Tutor

History is full of man’s stupidity and mistakes, full of sufferings and grief although not entirely for History has its uplifting moments, episodes of courage, of heroic actions. History enlightens and demoralises. It is a two-edge sword like so many other two-edg swords. But I am not here to add to the lists of quotations about History.  I am here as a History tutor to share my thoughts on some of the controversies of modern history.

Foremost of all is the dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan by Truman. I named him specifically because he made the decision not only to use the bomb with its devastating power but to use it twice – Little Boy on Hiroshima (August 6, 1945) and Fat Man on Nagasaki (9 August 1945). One would have suffice. Why didn’t he give the Japanese a chance to surrender after the first one.  Little Boy killed 100,000 people immediately!  Tens of thousands more died from wounds, burns and effects of the radiation many years later. Then of course there is the question of how did he not see that the Emperor was ready to surrender? Are there other motives involved in the brutal unleashing of the atomic bombs on Japan. Racism? Some argue that it was to demonstrate the fearsome power of American military superiority to the Russians.

With regards to the argument that the Japanese government especially the army had refused to surrender and were determined to fight on, the reality was furthest from the truth. The wish would still be burning in the chests of the far-right elements of the military but it was clear that the army could no longer fight anymore. Even Eisenhower, together with many Americans at that time was, convinced that Japan was close to surrender and that the use of the atomic bomb was unnecessary. Since 1945, many more questioned Truman’s decision. Such revisionists arguments are persuasive for Japan could not have avoided surrender much longer. The submarine blockade and the firebombing attacks had completely reduced her ability to make war and had caused great suffering. The Unites States Strategic Bombing Survery after the war stated flatly that Japan could not have continued the struggle beyond the end of 1945, even without the use of the bomb (one bomb)!

For my next part in the series on History Controversies, I will touch on the loss of Eastern Europe at Yalta. Yes who could forget the loss of Eastern Europe at Yalta. Roosevelt holding meetings with Stalin, deliberately excluding Churchill.  Imagine how the stupid decision by one dying man sent millions of Eastern Europe to the depths of depair and the heroic but ill-fated uprisings in Hungary and Czechoslovakia and the silent sufferings and losses of the invisible masses.

History is interesting and holds us spellbound – but what is fascinating to us and many others before us, is terrifying to those caught in that period.

If you enjoy this article, please remember to share this with your friends online. If you need help in Literature & Humanities, do contact Mdm Yu who is a trained MOE teacher who can help you by contacting her at 9876 1777.