Saturday, January 11, 2014


You are an officer with the Social Welfare Department. You have been asked to write a report on missing children in Malaysia. Your article should integrate all the information given below. You should write 150 to 200 words.

Missing children in Malaysia from year 2006 to year 2008

The table present information on children lost and found in Malaysia from 2006 to 2008, while the pie chart provide reasons why these children went missing.

Although the number of children missing has decreased, it is sad to note that the recovery rate for missing children has declined as well. Abusive parents are the main cause of this problem.
In 2006, 2405 children were lost but only 1712 were found, a recovery rate of about 71 per cent.  In 2007, 1803 children were lost. However, the recovery rate fell slightly to around 70 per cent, with 1254 children found. In 2008, 1485 children were missing, but only 900 children were found, resulting in a 10 per cent drop in the recovery rate to 60 per cent.

In light of these cases of missing children, the government has launched a hotline to help these distressed young people, and this may also solve cases of child and domestic abuse.

There are many reasons why these children went missing. The most prominent reason and amounting to about 65 per cent is because of abusive parents. The remaining 35 per cent comprised; 18 per cent due to peer pressure, 10 per cent were lured by strangers, while five per cent did so because they rebelled against parents. Two per cent of the children went missing due to unknown reasons.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

How Singapore generates its electricity

You are a newspaper reporter. You have been asked to write a short article on how Singapore generates its electricity. Your article should integrate all the information given below. You should write at least 200 words.

How Singapore generates its electricity
The two pie charts illustrate production of electricity in Singapore by sources in 1970 and 1984.

In general, coal was the most important source of electrical power in both years. However, nuclear power grew in importance over the same period.

In 1970, coal-powered stations were the main source of electricity, producing 46% of electricity, and this figure increased to 55% in 1984. The second most important source of power in 1970 was natural gas which produced almost 25% of electricity. However, by 1984, the usage of natural gas to produce electricity declined to 12.3%.

In the same period, the use of hydroelectric power also declined, from about 16% to less than 14%. In contrast, nuclear energy gained in importance as a source of electricity when it rose from just 1.4% of production in 1970 to almost 14% in 1984, which was a ten-fold increase since 1970.

In conclusion, more electricity was produced from coal and nuclear energy from 1970 to 1984. In the same period, the use of natural gas, hydroelectric power, and oil to produce electricity declined in importance. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


You are advised to spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Using only the information given, write about the findings of a survey conducted on consumers’ choice of venues for grocery shopping in 1985 and 2010. In your writing, you are to link the information given in the two visuals. You should write 150 to 200 words.

Consumers' choice of venues for grocery shopping in 1985 and 2010

The stimuli present a bar graph on 'Places Where Consumers Buy Their Groceries' and a table on 'Characteristics of Shopping Venues in 2010'. Generally, majority of consumers prefer to shop in supermarkets that have customer-friendly characteristics compared to quarter of a century ago where people favoured wet markets.

The grocery shopping trend has evolved over the last 25 years based on the data in Figure 1. There is a significant increase of 55% of consumers visiting supermarkets in 2010 (60%) compared to 5% in 1985. This is attributed to the positive characteristics of supermarkets which are more comfortable, convenient and offering big discounts and variety. Also showing a rising trend is a 3% increase in consumers visiting 24-hour stores because of its convenience.
Meanwhile, night markets seem to show a consistent trend stabilising at 11% both in 1985 and 2010. The most substantial decline can be seen in the deteriorating percentage of consumers visiting wet markets from 45% to 14% (difference of 31%) followed by 27% difference for grocery stores. The table indicates that while negotiable price and personalised service are key characteristics of grocery stores and wet markets, these venues seem to lose customers to venues that offer more appealing characteristics.

In conclusion, venues like supermarkets with better characteristics in terms of discounts, variety and services are more likely to win over customers.

What a school should be

What a school should be

Throughout the world it has been said again and again that education is to refine an individual. Naturally education should also be to teach a person to make a good living, but that should not be the only aim. An ideal school has to be something that would help bring about the ideal of education.
An ideal school should be situated far from heavy traffic — human and machines as well. There should be no distractions from the serious business of education. The school should be easily accessible too, so that students should not have to travel too far or take too long to get there. The ideal school should be spacious. There should be gardens and spacious grounds for students to communicate with nature. The building itself should be big and should have all the facilities that a school would need. These should include spacious classrooms, playgrounds, recreational facilities and everything else that would make life interesting for the students.
In an ideal school, teachers should be hand picked. Care should be taken to ensure that the teachers in the school really like to teach and like their subjects as well. We all know that there will be a lot of difficulty otherwise. The method of teaching adopted in a school should be such that the students do a lot of learning on their own. There should be no lectures. I believe that all science subjects should be taught through discovery and that all other subjects through research. For this purpose the school should have an excellent library. Books of every description should be made available and learning of subjects like history should be facilitated.
Since education is for everyone, care should be taken that no one who wants an education is ever denied one — regardless of his financial ability. The state should bear the full cost of the studies. Education should be the right of every child. Also, the school atmosphere should be one of co-operation rather than of competition.
The end result that an ideal school aims at is that everyone should get a good education. Education should be an enjoyable thing and every attempt should be made to make it so.
(336 words)

What a good posture should be and how to maintain it

What a good posture should be and how to maintain it

Most people do not pay much attention to their posture, that is, the way in which they hold themselves when standing, sitting or walking. More often than not, they are not aware of their bad posture until they are told about it, or when they have a backache. What are the signs of bad posture? Some obvious ones are rounded shoulders and an abnormally curved back, which are believed to cause headaches and pains in the neck and back. The head juts forward while the chest is sunken, crowding the lungs and even hindering breathing. The abdomen protrudes, putting a strain on the muscles in its front wall. As the body is not properly balanced, its weight is unevenly distributed, thereby exerting strain on the muscles of the legs and feet.
A person with good posture stands properly with his head erect, chest high and abdomen flat. He can maintain this natural position for hours. When he walks, he holds his head high, neck and trunk firm so that his body moves only at the hip and leg joints. His arms swing naturally. When he sits, he does not slump forward. His buttocks are pushed hard against the join between the back of the chair and the seat. For this reason, car seats should not be too low, with only a slightly sloping back. Wearing the diagonal safety belt helps to maintain good sitting posture during driving. This becomes all the more important when going for long distance driving.
Bear in mind that the part of the body which has to bear the maximum strain is the lower part of the spine. When involved in heavy work, one should therefore remember not to exert pressure on the back. He may do so by using as many other muscles as possible. One good example is lifting a fairly heavy flower pot off the ground. It would be bad posture if you stretch out your arms with your spine bent almost double to lift up the object. The strain on the back may cause a bad backache that lasts a few days. The correct way would be to crouch first, and then lift up the object with both your hands, letting the leg muscles do the work. When pushing a big box or heavy object, it is wrong to do so with your back bent and arms stretched. The right way is to have a straight back, arms a little bent with elbows kept back with one of your legs close to the object.
Good posture should be maintained when you are working, whether in the office or at home. This is to prevent minor postural strains while working. For example, tools should be kept in an easily accessible position, so that you do not have to stretch to reach them when you need them. Desks and other working surfaces should neither be too high nor too low. The ideal height would be at elbow level. The height of the chair too should be adjusted according to the height of the person.
People with sedentary work should avoid strenuous exercise that they are unfamiliar with. They can keep in trim by taking some regular indoor or outdoor exercise. In fact, poor posture can often be improved by exercise, which helps to develop muscles, maintaining muscle tone and improving posture. They may do some simple exercises involving straight leg raising, holding the abdominal muscles in and deep breathing. Outdoor exercises like walking, jogging or tennis are suitable too. On the other hand, a total lack of mild exercise may result in the muscles getting weak and soft.

What are the effects of the increased use of motor vehicles?

What are the effects of the increased use of motor vehicles?

In the year 1913, Henry Ford introduced the assembly line in car manufacturing. Very quickly, other strong nations emulated the process and soon, cars were being churned out by the thousands each day all over the world from Japan to Malaysia to Europe and America.
The car was invented in the first place to make travelling faster, more efficient and more comfortable as compared to the older modes of transportation like the horse-drawn carriage, the bullock cart or the elephant in India. Today however, this original purpose of the car may not be so accurate anymore. In Central London for instance, it can take as long to cross a street as it did in the year 1900 for while back then, horse drawn carriages were doing 8 mph, the cars in a traffic jam in London today will not be doing much more. The situation is similar in other major cities in the world such as New York, Paris, Brisbane and Lagos in Nigeria.
The increased use of motor vehicles all over the world has contributed to the creation of massive, nerve wracking jams. In New York, rush hour jams can bring traffic to a standstill for hours. Jams in Hong Kong can stretch so long, one might just as well walk. This congestion on roads today has also contributed to more serious accidents that can involve many vehicles piling up one against another. Apart from that, people stuck in their vehicles in a serious jam every single day of their working lives, can be expected to suffer from stress and anxiety. The quality of life as they would perceive it then is bound to be negatively affected.
Besides traffic jam and its various consequences, the increased use of motor vehicles on the roads today has also had an impact on the environment we live in. Much has been said about the greenhouse effect. It has been defined as the progressive heating up of the earth’s surface due to the blanketing effect of man-made gases in the atmosphere. These gases are emitted from a variety of sources one of which is the motor vehicle. Smoke containing harmful substances and gaseous oxides are constantly fed into the earth’s atmosphere. When oil is burnt, the sulphur found in it transforms into sulphur dioxide which is released into the atmosphere. It then reacts with the water droplets in the air to form sulphuric acid. Similarly, nitrogen found in the air and in fuels burn to form an oxide which combines with water droplets in the air to form nitric acid. These then fall as acid rain.
Atmospheric pollution has always existed. Such pollution may come from the volcanoes, the planktons in the ocean and the swamps. But scientists have discovered that over the past 200 years, the level of atmospheric pollution has increased sharply. It is a fact that pollution of this sort recognises no boundaries. Winds carry such pollution to places miles and miles away from its original source. Acid rain brings ruin to buildings, causes crop failures and poisons fish in rivers and lakes.
The increase of the motor vehicle has caused complicated problems to man. Unless its use is curbed, we can expect environmental and traffic related problems to increase and worsen in the future.
(545 words)


You are advised to spend about 50 minutes on this task.
“A person’s success is determined by the number of As obtained in examinations”. Do you agree? Discuss. You should write at least 350 words. 

Over these past few years, the education is structured in a manner that a student’s academic performance is assessed using a grade system, which is ranged from A as the highest rank to the lowest rank of G. The grade hierarchy system is given to students to measure how well they can understand and master the context of a subject. However, most students, parents and teachers strongly believe that getting as many A’s as possible would make a person become “successful”. The question arises, can getting lots of A’s mould a successful person?

There is no law or legislation implemented for a person to be successful only if he or she had glorious results in examinations. A person can also be successful by unleashing novelties. There are uncountable students that excelled in their  examinations, with straight A’s grasped in their hand, firmly; also there are also students who failed in their examinations, really terribly. But the so called “failures” have high potential of creativity, yet to be unveiled; and the remarkable creative ideas make them to be one in a million. For instance, Bill Gates, one of the most successful software designers in the histories. He had a famous quote, “I failed in some subjects in exam, but my friend passed in all. Now he is an engineer in Microsoft and I am the owner of Microsoft”. The momentum of this quote is very strong and firm – it is definitely a silly mistake to say that a person will be led to starway boulevard even if they are excellent scorers in the examinations.

In a similar manner, a person can be successful if they had passion in what they do. Due to various pressures, mostly from parents and peers, students had a mindset that they must score as many A’s as possible to make them successful in their life. They had a mindset that they must be lawyers, professors, doctors and so on to make them successful in their life. So to approach these careers, they are to garner as many A’s as they can. But that could be untrue. As an illustration, Shimmy, who is a famous dancer, was used to be a lawyer graduate. People may argue that perhaps she could not find a law-related job after she graduated. But the fact is, being a lawyer, is her father’s dream, not hers! Her dream is that she could dance and could exhibit her dance to the world. Her passion is on the stage, not on the court. She is determined that she would not be a successful lawyer, and she was right! So what about all those A’s?

On top of that, the number of A’s obtained is definitely not a ruler to measure whether a person is successful or not. Thanks to the education system, students are molt into reading and exam machines to get A’s. Sad but true, a large percentage of A’s scorers are late bloomers. They chunk in a lot of information from the textbooks or reference books at the eleventh hour, and regurgitate all the information when it comes to examination. But does that make them a successful learner? Human memory power has limitations. So the A’s obtained by the student may not be genuine. They fit to be known as exam machines rather than successful youngsters.

In a nutshell, it is definitely not a good idea to determine whether a person is successful based on the number of A’s garnered in examinations. There are more crucial aspects as it does not portray one’s attitude in studies