While talking to Peng Sing on MSN, I suddenly had the idea of dissecting all the subjects I take and break them down into simplistic ideas just for the sake of facilitating muggers and also poking fun at the nature of our syllabus. This is going to be short and sweet because I am still having a break from slacking.
Chemistry is really just about a couple of rules that govern everything, just like Physics. But in the case of Chemistry the application of these rules are highly specific and limited to a couple of stuff. More importantly, there’s always exceptions and anomalies to these rules and there’s other fundamental rules governing all the exceptions. So Chemistry is basically a concoction of different factors and when certain factors becomes relatively important in specific cases, a particular trait manifest. It’s real logical and when the mathematics comes in, there’s no dispute.
Mathematics at this level is about a couple of stuff: Alertness, pattern recognition, nimble fingers and mastery of the calculator functions. Firstly you got to take note of what the question is asking – real important, because often you can’t interpret the question, you get stuck and you don’t know what operations to perform or what equation to formulate. Pattern recognition is important in two aspects: 1) Sequence & Series 2) Drawing parallels between tutorial/revision questions and exam questions – no further elaboration on this needed. Nimble finger so that you can reach the correct calculator buttons at the appropriate speed. Mastery of the calculator functions is of utmost importance because nowadays at least 5% of all the questions in the paper is testing you on your ability to perform certain calculator functions with the information they give you and copy them down on the foolscap.
Economics is real tricky to break down but it’s still possible when you encounter such scientific approach towards teaching it right at my Junior College. Basically Economics is about theories, and applying them to all sorts of stuff in reality. It can be firms (monopolizing markets), a problem (like negative externality), an industry (like the PC industry) or a country’s economic policy. You are taught a whole load of concepts and theories: Law of Comparative Advantage, Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns, Keynesian National Income Determination, Monetarist Transmission Mechanism, J-Curve Effect, Marshall-Lerner Condition, Expenditure-Switching, Scarcity, Liquidity Preference Theory, etcetera (It did cross my mind to list everything but I guess it slipped off my mind the moment ‘etcetera’ came into it). You just have to whip out whatever relevant when you encounter the questions asking for stuff in reality. Other times you really only regurgitate the theories.
There’s two parts to Geography, the Human and Physical Component. Basically the Physical component requires an understanding of concepts very much like Science and Maths or even some part of Economics. Nonetheless it is more science than Economics and application is more direct and to the point relative to the need to customize economic theories as the situation deem fit. There’s also a component on hazards & management in Physical Geography and so you are expected to discuss matters that are more social science in nature. Human Geography is nothing more than understanding social theories and then criticizing them with all the case studies you have in the world before telling us how they are useful in the limited context they are designed for. There’s plenty of room for critique in Human Geography and you should never feel you wrote enough in essays.
Okay, I am done with this – found it pretty much like a rant.