Note the differences :
Questions in the General Paper 8004 exam are more specific than those in the General Paper 8806 exam.
The time set to write each answer varies for both papers.
Personally, I find that the questions in the 8004 paper are phrased in a wider variety of ways, while the 8806 paper contains questions that more limited in the ways they are expressed.
But the questions in the 8806 exam – in true Singapore-style – have added complexities, especially comparative words, absolute words and other special key words. So when you practise, you should practise questions that have been phrased like those in the exam YOU are sitting for.
Yet the 8004 questions are still useful in identifying some of the specific areas we should be aware of when we are studying our chosen topics for the General Paper 8806 paper. Also prioritise your own country’s concerns when you are studying your chosen topics. Some obviously irrelevant issues that can be put aside (e.g. hydroelectricity is not an option for Singapore, so you can safely put this area of study aside)
Note the similarities :
Examine the 8004 questions (2005 to 2011) below. If you are familiar with the 8806 questions, you would be able to see some similarities. I have highlighted in bold similar as well as potential questions (but this is just a personal opinion)
(Click here if you are unfamiliar with General Paper 8806 questions.)
Anybody who ignores history is foolish. How far would you agree ?
History is no more than a study of human folly. Is this a fair comment.
Explaining the past should be left to historians. Discuss.
Historic buildings are interesting but useless relics of the past. Discuss.
Is it important to preserve old buildings or encourage new forms of architecture ?
How far are ‘ordinary’ people important in the history of a country ?
How far should immigration be encouraged or discouraged ?
How far do you believe immigration to be a blessing to your country ?
Should the key industries of a country be controlled by the State ?
To what extent would you agree that your country has the government it deserves ?
To what extent do you consider politicians to dishonest ?
Politicians do not control events; they merely react to them. Do you agree ?
Totalitarianism and religion share one important feature : indoctrination. To what extent would you agree ?
Can democracy be imposed or must it grow naturally ?
It is not acceptable that multinational companies often exercise more power than national governments. How far do you agree or disagree ?
The Environment :
How effectively engaged are young people in environmentally friendly projects in your region ?
To what extent should young people worry about climate change and global warming ?
To what extent should developing countries be expected to limit their industrial output to suit current environmental concerns ?
Carbon emission controls hamper the progress of developing countries. How far do you agree ?
Population growth is the primary source of environmental damage. Is this the whole truth ?
How far do you agree that developing countries have far more urgent priorities than environmental protection ?
Problems faced by the country / society :
Do national boundaries serve any purpose in an increasingly globalised world ?
To what extent was your country affected by the recent global financial crisis ?
Personal income should be sufficient to cover decent shelter,clothing and food. How well are these ‘basics’ fulfilled in your society ?
How far is public transport reliable and affordable in your country ?
To what extent has your country protected itself against recent pandemics ?
How far can countries be prepared for a serious outbreak of disease ?
To what extent can the impact of natural disasters be lessened ?
Famine is a global issue, not just a local one. Discuss.
To what extent can small businesses survive in the modern economic climate ?
In your opinion, are there any justifiable reasons for some countries to put pressure on other countries to suspend their nuclear programmes ?
Analyse the advantages and disadvantages of globalization for your country and its citizens.
Social Issues :
Is the institution of marriage under threat in your society ?
How far is it true to say that leisure interests in your country have changed in recent years ?
Civilisation is essentially an attitude of equal respect for all people. Discuss.
How far is it possible for societies to provide equal opportunities for all its citizens ?
How far are minority groups treated fairly in your society ?
To be different is to be condemned by society. Is this a fair statement ?
In your society how far can people look forward with confidence to growing old ?
The most effective effective learning takes place away from school. How far do you agree ?
Is it always best to tell the truth ?
The Media (general) :
To what extent has television had a negative impact on ‘live’ entertainment ?
How good is the quality of television programmes in your country ore region ?
To what extent has television broadened the horizons of the people ?
Explain the international appeal of films made in your country.
Today, news can be transmitted by anybody who has access to technology. Assess the implications of this change.
What is the role of libraries in today’s world ?
Advertisements always promise far more than they deliver. Discuss.
In what ways can advertising be useful and entertaining ?
The media focuses too much on opinion, rather than on fact. How far do you agree ?
The Media (computers) :
Discuss the view that the internet can be more harmful than helpful.
How far do you agree with the suggestion for paying to access content on the internet ?
How much of a social problem is internet gambling ?
In a world of instant communication, is travel for business purposes of any real use ?
Account for the popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Bebo.
Account for the popularity of consoles and computer games.
To what extent does video conferencing make international travel unnecessary ?
How far do you agree that cyber crime is an ever increasing danger ?
Explain and evaluate the appeal of those artistic forms of expression which are important to your society.
Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. How far do you agree ?
A work of art can only be measured in monetary terms. Assess this view.
To what degree have local languages influenced spoken and/or written English in your country ?
To what extent is learning a foreign language important in your society ?
Do minority languages have a place in a world of mass communication ?
Is learning a foreign language worth the time and effort ?
Would you consider your society to be too fashion conscious ?
The way we dress reveals who we are. How true is this ?
How effectively are traditional crafts maintained and supported in your society ?
To what extent is the current celebrity culture harmful or beneficial ?
Consider the artistic and social value of cartoons and/or animated films.
Assess the role that music plays in your own life.
How effective are diets in helping people to lose weight and become fit ?
How far do you agree that we should ‘eat to live’ and not ‘eat to live’ ?
Why is fast food popular when it is considered to be unhealthy ?
Consider the view that the key to good health is not medicine, but lifestyle.
What more should be done to discourage people from damaging their own health ?
The benefits of technology are mostly enjoyed by the rich. Do you agree ?
How far can poorer countries benefit from scientific developments ?
Discuss the view that only rich countries benefit from recent developments in technology.
Technology is more of a curse than a blessing in the workplace. Do you agree ?
Technology gives us the ability to control our own lives. How far do you agree or disagree ?
Can the world sustain our dependency on electricity ?
Can scientists ever justify the development of ever more sophisticated weaponry ?
Assess the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric power generation.
Assess the suitability of solar power for generating sufficient electricity.
How valuable is the knowledge being gained from observatories and space telescopes ?
Parents should not be allowed to select their child’s gender. To what extent do you agree ?
The donation of healthy body parts after death should be made compulsory. Do you agree ?
Do you think there is a conflict between science and religion ?
Assess the importance of mathematics compared with other curricular subjects.
How far would you agree that mathematics is the real universal language ?
Which mathematicians do you consider have greatly influenced the modern world ? Justify your choices.
What can be done to make more people aware of the importance of mathematics ?
Money is ruining sport. To what extent do you agree ?
Assess the advantages and disadvantages of hosting international sporting events.
Sport is a greatly overrated activity. How far do you agree ?