How to develop students’ interest in mathematics

For interest in Math, it is totally understandable that many students may find math boring. One way to overcome it is to try to think of each Math question like a puzzle or game (like a Sudoku or Crossword Puzzle). Solving a Math question correctly should bring joy and a sense of achievement just like completing a stage of a game or a puzzle. And the more questions one solves, the better one gets at it.
“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.”
― Bertrand Russell
In the Singapore context, basically, Math is quite compulsory in SG education system (up till JC, even arts subject combinations requires math), but once JC is over one can skip Math entirely in university. So a secondary student just have to work hard for math for the upcoming few years, and “get it over with”, if he/she really does not like math. Similarly for Chinese, students need to work hard up till Secondary 4, score well and be exempted in JC. Math can be considered the “easiest” subject to get A, as long as one gets the answer correct he/she will get the full marks, many students complain that getting A for English or other humanities subjects like Literature is much harder due to strict or subjective marking.
The important thing is not to give up. Currently, in the Singapore education system it is quite common for students to “fail” exams (fail as in score below 50), especially in secondary school and JC internal exams. It is very possible to improve upon working hard after the failure.
“Trust me, its normal, I never passed a single A math test/exam during my sec 3/4 school years, got A2 for O levels in the end. (Mugged really hard after prelims) What matters is understanding the content I feel.”
– This student never passed a single A math test/exam up till prelims but eventually got A2 for O levels after “mugging” really hard after prelims.
Source: Reddit
trust me youre not alone. from mid sec 3 to prelims in sec 4 i got F9 all the way. but then in the end i got an A2 in olevels. one thing u need to know is to NEVER stop believing in yourself. keep on pushing urself all the way till the finishing point. aft seeing my score for prelims, i alm gave up but i told myself to atleast PASS amaths and i’d be satisfied with it. i started spamming my TYS, practice as much as i could. never give up and whenever in doubt just ask ur cher. it rly helps! atb and ik u can do it:))
Source: Reddit
dude chill. i got 8% for mye in sec 3 for A Math. form teacher told me drop the subject, but i didnt. ended up o level got A2. just do work given and practice more.
– This guy even more “power”, he got just 8/100 for Mid-year exams, but improved to A2 in O Levels.
Source: Reddit

Singtel Recontract Promotion

Singtel Recontract Phone Promotion

Not many people know this, but you can actually save $100 or more when recontracting your Singtel Combo Plan and changing a new phone.

The old method of doing so is calling 1688 and trying to reach a human Singtel customer service officer, or to wait for them to send you a letter with the voucher. It doesn’t work anymore! It is almost impossible to get a recontract promo via the old method. (Read more at: No More Recontract Voucher from Singtel? Best Phone to Recontract and Sell)

Read more below for the new method of getting a Singtel Recontract Promotion or Promo Code.

Singtel Recontract Online Promotion

The new method is done 100% online via the Singtel Official Referral Recontract Promotion. Basically, you need to click on a referral link such as the one below:

Hi, heard you were looking for a new mobile phone? Here’s a Singtel mobile offer just for you. Sign up using my exclusive link below to enjoy an extra $100 OFF on all phones when you switch to a new Singtel Combo plan. When you’ve switched, I’ll be rewarded too! Singtel terms and conditions apply.
Exclusive link: https://www.singtel.com/personal/promotions/refer-and-earn/referee?payload=MRFFjhv59gu7unLeeQY4xyvER%2Bno%2Bt8U6MqrTZ8vabEdcqsC%2FpKQXe3Ys6OAsLb4&campaignID=cK5v4D&promoCode=FRIENDOFST

Basically, once you click on the above link on the Official Singtel Website, the Singtel Recontract Promotion will be applied and you will get $100 off the phone you pick for recontracting your plan (Combo 2 and above).

Singtel Recontract Eligibility

As usual, the Singtel Recontract Eligibility rules apply. If you recontract before your contract expires, you may need to pay an early termination fee which is usually a couple of hundred dollars. To check your Singtel Recontract Eligibility date, either download the Singtel App or login to the official Singtel Website.

Singtel Recontract Voucher

As summarized above, the old methods of getting the Singtel Recontract Voucher do not work anymore. No matter what you do, just do not call 1688 and waste your time (we are trying to help you save time). 

In order to get the Singtel Recontract Voucher, Promotion, or Promo Code, you need to follow the new method which is the online referral voucher, using the link below.

Link: Singtel Official Website for $100 Recontract Promotion and Voucher

Singtel Recontract Hotline

We need to repeat this important fact: the Singtel Recontract Hotline is 1688, but it is very hard to reach a human Singtel customer service officer using 1688. We have wasted many hours navigating the automated robotic Singtel phone system in an attempt to reach a human customer service officer, and we wish to help our readers avoid this.

Hence, rather than trying to contact the Singtel Recontract Hotline, we strongly recommend readers to use the online Singtel Recontract System:

Link: Singtel Official Website for $100 Recontract Promotion and Voucher

4-day work week among ideas to improve work-life balance (Singapore)

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/4-day-work-week-among-ideas-to-improve-work-life-balance-here

Sounds like a good idea, to improve work-life balance and potentially solve several other problems like low birth rate (which will alleviate the problem of aging society).

Many people have the illusion that industrialization and technology have improved the work-life balance of ordinary workers, however the reality is quite the opposite.

Before industrialization, workers worked less hours and had more leisure time.

Before capitalism, most people did not work very long hours at all. The tempo of life was slow, even leisurely; the pace of work relaxed. Our ancestors may not have been rich, but they had an abundance of leisure. When capitalism raised their incomes, it also took away their time.

Source: http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/worktime/hours_workweek.html

The worst period seems to be right in the middle of the industrial revolution, the mid 1800s. Workers worked up to 70 hour work weeks (with low pay). Most of the profit went to the rich capitalists.

One of capitalism’s most durable myths is that it has reduced human toil.

http://groups.csail.mit.edu/mac/users/rauch/worktime/hours_workweek.html

Jack Ma once said:

People could work as little as three days a week, four hours a day with the help of technology.

Jack Ma (Economic Times)

Will this age ever come? Note that Jack Ma in another speech endorsed China’s 996 culture, which is to work from 9am to 9pm six days a week (CNN).

Philosophically, it seems that no technology will be able to eliminate work? It is the so called “Adam’s curse”:

He told the man, “Because you have listened to what your wife said, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ cursed is the ground because of you. You’ll eat from it through pain-filled labor for the rest of your life.

International Standard Version

Expenses incurred from working at home qualify for tax deductions (Singapore)

Source: Business Times

Firstly, note that Business Times is part of SPH (Singapore Press Holdings) and hence is a rather reliable source.

This is quite a good news for large families or large households. For small households, the total expenses saved may be quite negligible (maybe just $10 per month). Another thing is that the calculation seems quite difficult and hard to justify (for example whether increased air con usage due to work from home is justified as electricity expenses).

Another scenario where it is useful is maybe those telemarketers who use their own phone to call at home.

Currently, this source from Business Times seems to be the sole source of information. Probably when more official sources appear, there will be more information on how to calculate and provide justifications for the tax expenses savings. Some worked examples would also help, for people to gauge what is the typical amount they can claim.

WORKERS working from home can claim deduction against employment income for charges such as electricity and telecommunication expenses not reimbursed by employers.

An Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) spokesperson told The Business Times: “Tax deduction against employment income is allowable for expenses incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of employment income. ”

To qualify for deduction, the expenses must be incurred while carrying out official duties, not reimbursed by the employer, and not capital or private in nature.

These expenses include the additional power and telecommunication bills incurred when employees are required to work from home. This is not limited to the “circuit breaker” period, the taxman said.

The Business Times

Is CCA important in JC?

CCA enhances the overall portfolio of the student, but at the end of the day, the foundation of the portfolio is still ‘A’ levels.

Especially for local uni admission, CCA is not really taken into consideration.

For top tier scholarships / top local courses, it would require good ‘A’ level results + good CCA though.

Question from JC1 student on Kiasuparents: “but the school focuses a lot on other areas of development like CCA and etc so i want to know that is it really that important cos i don’t feel like taking part in all these activities anyone got experience in these areas??”:

I would think for majority of students, it would be better to prioritize to get:
Good ‘A’ level results & Mediocre CCA
rather than Mediocre ‘A’ level results & Good CCA.

Of course, if one is all-rounded, one can aim for the ideal goal of:
Good ‘A’ level results & Good CCA.
(To be realistic, not everyone can achieve that…)

The only exception is if one’s CCA results is so excellent (e.g. win top award at national or international level), it can potentially lead to special case arrangements for university admission even with poor ‘A’ level results. Note that this is probably a 0.1% case scenario for top CCA performers, a typical “President of CCA group” position may not suffice, let alone an ordinary member of the CCA.

CCA training hours can vary widely among different CCAs. I have seen students with CCA that can last up to 9pm or later on weekdays. This can be extremely tiring considering that school starts at 7am next day. Someone succinctly summarized on Kiasuparents that: “In conclusion, the minimal you need to do is to choose a CCA with only one session per week and make yourself physically present on that day.

Aquatic Avenue Review

Aquatic Avenue Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AquaticAvenue/

I have been there personally once. Had a good impression as they had exotic fish not commonly found elsewhere. (For example, Gertrude Rainbowfish (Pseudomugil gertrudae), Celestial Pearl Danio, etc.) They are also specialized in shrimp and plants. It was my first time seeing the Gertrude Rainbowfish, and I was absolutely fascinated.

The guy (not sure of his name) there was clearly knowledgeable about fish (much more knowledgeable than me). Taught me a bit about how to keep Celestial Pearl Danio. The owner was friendly, and can see that he is passionate about the fish and aquarium hobby.

Also, ordered plants online from them. Their plants are of good quality, and labelled correctly. For example, my Ludwigia Super Red was bought from them. It was grown submersed (underwater), and was of good quality (had roots, leaves are bright red color).

For comparison, many other aquarium shops in Singapore don’t label their plants, as well as sell non-aquatic plants. (I as a beginner was “scammed” twice, once with Malayan Aqua Fern, and another time with Alternanthera Sessilis.) Had they been labeled, a simple Google check would suffice to know that they are non-aquatic.

Currently, they do have a free delivery promotion (no minimum purchase), so do check them out on their Facebook or online store.

Overall, I would say that they are more of a premium aquarium store, they have great quality and range of rare exotic fish and plants.

There is one negative review of them in a blog online (dated 2014), that was certainly not my experience in 2019. In 2019/2020, my review of Aquatic Avenue is definitely positive.

Overall Review of Aquatic Avenue:
Very Good!

  • Exotic and rare fish
  • Exotic and rare plants (properly labeled and grown)
  • Quality fish and plants
  • Premium high-end aquarium shop, prices are still affordable
  • Friendly and knowledgeable staff

If you decide to visit them (after the virus situation stabilizes), do check out the nearby Redhill coffeeshop as well. There are many vintage hawker food there which are of good quality, and at very affordable prices.

School holiday activities for children stuck at home

Due to the circuit-breaker, most children are unfortunately stuck at home during their school holidays. Other than playing computer games, this article suggests other educational and fun activities for children and their parents: School holiday fun at home: Kids can go online to stargaze, study about animals, do science experiments.

The live stargazing activity of Science Centre sounds quite fun: https://www.facebook.com/183389296588/videos/2534433140205259/

Most of the activities are open to children outside Singapore as well!

StarHub Rebate Registration Form

StarHub Rebate Link

In addition to the apology, StarHub will offer affected customers a one-time 20% rebate on their Home Broadband monthly fee, which is equivalent to six days of free home WiFi service. A dedicated website will be made available for affected customers to register for the rebate. Details will be announced to customers soon.

Note that the deadline is: 26 April 2020!

Sign up at: https://www.starhub.com/broadband-rebate


Share this to your friends and relatives using StarHub! This rebate is typically worth around $10 (20% of $50 broadband subscription). The key thing is that only those who registered above will be given the rebate!


Related posts:

PerroMart Discount Code

PerroMart SG is an online pet store in Singapore specializing in dog and cat food and products. It has an extremely wide range of food/products at very reasonable prices. During this COVID-19 period, it has free delivery!

For example, it has Himalayan Yak chew for dogs, which is a very rare dog chew that lasts very long and is very suitable for dogs. It also has exotic Kangaroo meat treats which are also very healthy for dogs. PerroMart also has overseas brands of dog food like the famous “Taste Of The Wild”.


PerroMart Discount Coupon

5% off coupon: PerroMart 5% Discount Coupon

Click on the above link to get a valuable 5% off coupon!


PerroMart Discount Codes

Use “PERROMART5” for $5 discount!

(The above code is valid as of April 2020.)


Absolute Bites Himalayan Yak Dental Sticks Dog Treats from PerroMart

100% Natural Himalayan Yak Chew comes from the ancient recipe of the people of Himalayas in Nepal.

KEY FEATURES

  • 100% Grain Free & Gluten Free Dog Chew
  • No Artificial Ingredient
  • Ultra Durable & Long Lasting
  • High in Protein & Minerals, Rich in Calcium
  • Ideal for Teething Dogs

In the surrounding Mt. Everest at more than 15,000 feet, these dog treats are made using traditional methods with yak and/or cow milk, and all natural products with no preservatives, binding agents. These yak chews are gluten free, and also provide health benefits like protein, minerals and calcium. An excellent and unique dog chew for all breeds and sizes.

Himalayan Yak chew is made from the milk of the Himalayan yak. Yaks can weigh up to 1,200 pounds (550 kg).

Free COVID-19 Insurance (DBS/POSB customers)

I looked through this free insurance by DBS, there seems to be no “catch” to it, i.e. it is really a 100% free insurance for you.

Maybe only “downside” is that you will have to provide your contact information which can be used by DBS/Chubb to “contact you via email, SMS and phone calls in respect of promotional offers”.

Sign up using the official link below.

URL: https://marketplace.dbs.com.sg/insure/personal/2019-nCoV/coverage/

  • Exclusive to DBS/POSB customers

    Free hospital income coverage for you and your family

  • Daily Hospital Cash Benefit

    Receive SGD 100 per day, up to 14 days in the event of hospitalisation due to COVID-19

  • ICU Hospital Cash Benefit

    Receive SGD 1,000 one-time lump sum payment, in the event of hospitalisation in ICU due to COVID-19

  • 30 days of free coverage

    Your cover starts immediately once you submit your application, and expires automatically at the end of 30 days

Going Hungry In Singapore

Singapore is famous for its cheap hawker food, including the cheapest Michelin-starred meal in the world. Why does hunger, or food insecurity, still exist in this city?

Food insecurity refers to the lack of reliable access to nutritious food due to financial constraints. But we found that it doesn’t exist only among the lower-income or the elderly poor. In a two-part special, CNA Insider investigates the issue of hunger, and the efforts to address it in Singapore. We spent months talking to recipients of food aid, and groups like The Food Bank Singapore, Free Food From All, Food From The Heart, Keeping Hope Alive, Willing Hearts, Volunteer Switchboard and SG Food Rescue.

Read more: Why some are going hungry in a cheap food paradise https://cna.asia/hungersg1

How you can donate or volunteer:

Food From The Heart: https://www.foodfromtheheart.sg

Food Bank Singapore: https://www.giving.sg/the-food-bank-s…

Free Food For All: https://freefood.org.sg

Willing Hearts: http://www.willinghearts.org.sg

National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre: https://www.giving.sg/sgunited

TOUCH Community Services: To volunteer for Meals-On-Wheels delivery, call 68046565

Biggest Fairprice store in Singapore

Biggest NTUC Fairprice in Singapore

My previous post on Biggest Sheng Siong Outlet became quite popular. Hence, I decide to write a related post on the largest Fairprice supermarket (also known as NTUC supermarket) in Singapore.

No. 1 Largest Fairprice in Singapore: VivoCity

It is quite universally agreed that the largest Fairprice store in Singapore currently is the one at VivoCity, replacing the Giant store that was previously there. It is reported in the news that the Fairprice Xtra hypermarket is the largest in Singapore currently as of late 2019. Source of news is at: Largest FairPrice Xtra hypermarket opens at VivoCity.

I have been to the Fairprice in VivoCity, and it is indeed big. However, the layout of the store is quite “open” and “sparse” in the sense that there are many open spaces and the food item shelves are spaced wide apart. Hence, in terms of dense stocking and amount of items, it may not be as “big” as the next followup, the second largest Fairprice in Singapore.

No. 2 Largest Fairprice in Singapore: Ang Mo Kio Hub

With a bit of logical deduction, we can deduce that the second largest Fairprice in Singapore is the one at Ang Mo Kio Hub, also known as AMK Hub.

A few blog posts online still list AMK Hub Fairprice as the largest Fairprice (before the opening of the Vivocity Fairprice). For instance:

Fairprice Xtra has its biggest outlet located in Ang Mo Kio Hub. The total area of the hypermarket is 7150 square metres. In comparison, a full sized standard Olympic swimming pool is 1250 square metres. That is almost 6 full sized swimming pools.

Source: https://goodyfeed.com/4-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-fairprice-xtra/

Hence, if AMK Hub Fairprice Xtra used to be the largest Fairprice, it makes perfect sense that it is now the second largest Fairprice after the one at VivoCity.

Largest Fairprice in the West

Jurong Point has a very big Fairprice that is open 24 hours. Its address is Address: 63 Jurong West Central 3, #03 – 01, Singapore 648331.

It may be unbelievable, but Jurong Point has another Fairprice in the same building, located at 1 Jurong West Central 2, #B1 – 09, Singapore 648886. Hence, it is quite guaranteed that whatever you need can be found in Jurong Point. If you combine the two Fairprice together, it is quite certain that the largest Fairprice in the West is at Jurong Point (both Fairprice outlets lumped together as one).

Another large Fairprice is found in JEM (Jurong East). Its address is at Jem: 50 Jurong Gateway Road #B1-21/22 & #B3-01, 608549. The location is better than the Jurong Point Fairprice for most Singaporeans, unless you are living in the extreme West (e.g. Boon Lay region). The large Fairprice in JEM has live seafood, including Boston lobsters, certain fish like tilapia, etc.


If you know other large Fairprice supermarkets, do comment below! In particular, it may be of great interest which is the largest Fairprice Finest, or normal Fairprice supermarket.

Ohm Energy Review

For those who are still hesitating on whether to switch to Ohm, I have collated all our previous blog posts on why you should choose Ohm, also known as Ohm Energy:

Website: https://ohm.sg/price-plans-select

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

  1. Ohm vs Geneco vs Tuas Power vs Keppel
  2. Fixed Ohm vs Ohm Discount
  3. Ohm Electricity Review
  4. Ohm $20 Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

The sooner you switch to Ohm, the more money you will save. Do help your older relatives (who may not be computer literate) switch to Ohm as soon as possible. There is literally zero benefit in staying with SP services as it is definitely more expensive.

A typical family would see about 20%-30% monthly savings in electricity bill (see this news article).

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Ohm vs Geneco vs Tuas Power vs Keppel

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Firstly, just a disclosure that I am a happy customer of Ohm since 1 Nov 2018 (see my Ohm review blog post). Everything, from payment to electricity supply, is virtually perfect and hassle-free. It is very easy and quick to sign up online.

The purpose of this blogpost is to compare Ohm vs the other major electricity providers. All conclusions will be supported by factual numbers from the respective official websites, as far as possible. The final decision will be entirely up to you, the reader. If you decide to choose Ohm, do use the below discount coupon code to enjoy $20 savings:

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Note that there are many price plans (fixed, discount off tariff, etc.) hence we will only be comparing discount plans for convenience (very popular and cost-effective plan for most users). Discount plans essentially guarantee that you will be paying less than if you stayed with SP Services. For Fixed Plans there is a small but nonzero risk that the SP Services Tariff may drop so much that your Fixed Plan is more expensive than the SP Service Tariff.

One important thing to note is that:

Ohm absorbs the transmission loss. (Basically electrical energy is lost as heat while traveling through the cable, Ohm absorbs this and charges consumer based on metered usage. This is worth approximately 3.4% savings.)

Source: https://mathtuition88.com/2018/11/01/ohm-20-promo-code-ohmref25cc5a/ which is in turn taken from https://www.ohm.sg/news.

Ohm vs Geneco

For many reasons, Geneco is the number one comparison made to Ohm, due to several similarities (they both have a strong online presence and referral program).

Ohm has an upper hand in the discount-off tariff rate, since the Ohm Discount is 25% off SP (Singapore Power) tariff, while Geneco’s discount is 22% off tariff.

(By the way, we have a detailed analysis of why Ohm Discount is currently better than Fixed Ohm: Fixed Ohm vs Ohm Discount.)

To top it off, there is additional 1.5% discount when you renew your Ohm discount plan:

12-month Ohm Discount – Additional 1.5% discount on prevailing 12-month Ohm Discount rate (at point of renewal) throughout Supply Term

Source: https://ohm.sg/promotions

Ohm Discount off tariff is 25%.

Geneco discount rate is 22%.

Conclusion: Ohm (King of “Discount-off Tariff” Plans) wins!

Ohm vs Tuas Power

Tuas Power, similar to Geneco, has a 22% off tariff plan. To their credit, Tuas does have a 1% cashback plan with POSB Everyday Card.

Simple math will tell you that Discount Ohm (25% + 1.5% upon renewal) is still better in this case.

22% Discount off Tariff for Tuas Power.

Conclusion: Ohm (King of “Discount-off Tariff” Plans) wins!

Ohm vs Keppel

Keppel electric also has 22% off tariff plan.

Keppel Electric 22% off tariff plan.

Conclusion: Ohm (King of “Discount-off Tariff” Plans) wins!

As you can see from the screenshots above (taken from the actual official websites), the Discount Ohm plan is virtually unbeatable in the Singapore market in the “Discount-off Tariff” category.

To be fair, we need to state that the Fixed Ohm plan may not be the very best in Singapore, but is still very competitive nonetheless (just a few cents off the cheapest in Singapore).

Do share this with your relatives/friends who are about to switch electricity providers! It just takes 10 minutes of your time, but can save potentially thousands of dollars.

Ohm website: https://www.ohm.sg/price-plans-select

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Ohm vs Other Electricity Providers

As of 3 Oct 2019, there are 12 electricity retailers (https://blog.moneysmart.sg/budgeting/open-electricity-market-singapore/):

  1. Best Electricity Supply Pte Ltd
  2. Diamond Energy Merchants Pte Ltd
  3. Geneco (by Seraya Energy Pte Ltd)
  4. iSwitch Pte Ltd
  5. Keppel Electric Pte Ltd
  6. Ohm Energy Pte Ltd
  7. PacificLight Energy Pte Ltd
  8. Sembcorp Power Pte Ltd
  9. Senoko Energy Supply Pte Ltd
  10. Sunseap Energy Pte Ltd
  11. Tuas Power Supply Pte Ltd
  12. Union Power Pte Ltd

Basically, you will need to check up one by one, to see their updated plans and how they compare to Ohm. Remember to check for the fine print and see if they absorb transmission loss or not (that alone is worth 3.4% savings, which Ohm provides). Ohm is very transparent in their plans, which is another plus for Ohm — they do not hide important details in “fine print”.

Some plans are very fanciful (e.g. free tablet computer, iPad, etc) but do not provide best value for money. It is much better to stick with a plain plan that provides maximum savings (e.g. Discount Ohm), and use the savings to buy the free gift/iPad yourself if you really want it.

Basically, anyone who really sits down and do the number-crunching can tell that Ohm (in particular Discount Ohm) is a very good choice and one of the best in Singapore. How Ohm achieves this is they spend low on advertising (you will never see a Ohm promoter on the streets asking you to sign up). With those savings in advertising costs, they pass it on to the consumer (you) in terms of lower prices.


Ohm website: https://www.ohm.sg/price-plans-select

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

SimplyGo App Review and Suggestion

SimplyGo is a wonderful app that allows you to use your Mastercard/ Visa credit cards as an “Ez-link” for public transport.

Currently, certain credit cards do have “cashback” for SimplyGo, in particular:

Contactless spending cashback cards: DBS Live Fresh, DBS Visa Debit Card, StanChart Spree Card. These are cards that give you bonus cashback on contactless payment, i.e. Visa PayWave, Apple Pay etc. Currently, SimplyGo transactions are counted as contactless payments too.

Source: https://blog.moneysmart.sg/transportation/transitlink-simplygo-abt/

SimplyGo Monthly Total Expenditure

Currently, possibly the only drawback of SimplyGo is that the fees reporting (both in your credit card statement and also in the app) is quite messy. Basically, it is not totaled up in a nice manner.

MoneySmart also has a similar comment:

Yep, it’s a complete mess. The transactions seem to go through at random intervals instead of something sensible, like 1-week intervals, so it’s hard for me to tell if there are any potentially fraudulent charges or any other errors.

Source: MoneySmart

For those who need to total up your monthly transport expenditure (for your own tracking), you will need to do so rather manually by calculator or excel spreadsheet, typing in every single entry you see on the App. It would be great if the App can do it automatically (total up the monthly expenditure) for the commuters’ convenience. From the programmer’s perspective, it shouldn’t be that hard to total up (essentially just doing addition)?

Ohm Energy Referral Competition (2 Dec 2019 – 2 Feb 2020)

Just to share this Ohm Energy Referral Competition. If you are not a Ohm electricity user, sign up using the promo code OHMREF25CC5A now to begin the competition!

Also read my blog article explaining why Ohm is the best electricity supplier in Singapore: Ohm $20 Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A.


We would like to thank you again for giving us the highest rating in the Energy Market Authority’s Customer Satisfy Survey. To show our appreciation, we will be rolling out 3 concurrent competitions from 2nd December 2019 with attractive cash prizes up for grabs.

Your Personal Referral code is: OHMREF25CC5A

Do access our Customer Portal Login to verify your referral code.

1. All-in Referral Competition (“All-in”) – All referral registered from the start of the Open Electricity Market soft launch on 1 April 2018 through 2nd February 2020 will be counted towards the prizes.

2. Fresh Referral Competition (“Fresh”) – All referrals registered between 2nd December 2019 through 2nd February 2020 will be counted towards the prizes.

At the end of the competition, the Top 10 referrers from each category, All-in and Fresh, will win cash prizes from Ohm according to the table below.

“Fresh Competition” Cash Prize “All-in Competition” Cash Prize
Top Referrer S$1000 S$1000
2nd Place S$500 S$500
3rd Place S$300 S$300
4th – 5th Place S$200 S$200
6th – 10th Place S$100 S$100

3. Periodic winners – We will also select a winner for six interval periods. The counter will reset every period and we will pick the customer with most referrals registered in that period. In the event of a tie, the award will be divided equally amongst the winners:

Period 1: 02 Dec 2019 to 15 Dec 2019 – S$40 cash prize

Period 2: 16 Dec 2019 to 29 Dec 2019 – S$50 cash prize

Period 3: 30 Dec 2019 to 12 Jan 2020 – S$60 cash prize

Period 4: 13 Jan 2020 to 19 Jan 2020 – S$80 cash prize

Period 5: 20 Jan 2020 to 26 Jan 2020 – S$90 cash prize

Period 6: 27 Jan 2020 to 02 Feb 2020 – S$100 cash prize

For all 3 competitions, eligible referrals must be keyed into the promotion code field at the point of registration as we are unable to retrospectively change or input referral codes. A referral is only eligible if we can detect that it has been applied in our systems and the customer’s transfer is confirmed by SP Services. Any manual credit to an account will not be counted as a referral.

Do visit our existing Referral Programme Terms and Conditions at Refer Us to A Friend and Ohm Referral Competition Terms and Conditions here for more details.

We wish you the best of luck and a great festive season!

Warm Regards,
Team Ohm

Fixed Ohm vs Ohm Discount

Many people have decided to switch to Ohm electricity, but are still confused which plan to take. The two best plans are Fixed Ohm and Ohm Discount.

Personally, I think Ohm Discount is the better one, with this blog post detailing my calculations: Ohm $20 Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A.


*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

After extensive research, I find that Ohm is one of the best alternative electricity suppliers. Choose either Fixed Ohm or Discount Ohm depending on your likings. I chose Discount Ohm as I have a feeling that the tariffs may drop. Fixed Ohm is also very good, and in fact better if tariffs rise.


The blog MoneySmart have also made their calculations and concluded that at this point in time, Discount Ohm is superior to Fixed Ohm.

Ohm Energy’s discount of 25% off is the best in the market, compared to other retailers who are offering only 22% or 23%. Yup, this means your bill will always be 25% less than whatever SP charges, which sounds awesome.

Right now, the tariff is 25.07¢ for Oct to Dec 2019, which actually makes the Ohm Discount plans cheaper than their fixed price plans, quite the anomaly in the electricity market.

Source: https://blog.moneysmart.sg/budgeting/ohm-energy-review/


Simply Ohm vs Market Ohm review

Other than Ohm Discount and Fixed Ohm, there are actually two other plans Simply Ohm and Market Ohm. Without going into too much details, we may just say that these two plans are not nearly as good as Ohm Discount or Fixed Ohm. You may read the MoneySmart article above for more details, basically they are more expensive in most cases for the average consumer.

Conclusion: Ohm Discount is Clear Winner, followed by Fixed Ohm

For the average consumer, it is safe to say that Ohm Discount is the plan you should go for. Both my blog article on Ohm, and MoneySmart comes to this exact same conclusion.

Fixed Ohm may be actually better in the event that tariffs start to rise significantly, but in the near future that does not seem to be happening (based on the trends). Simply Ohm and Market Ohm are very specialized plans targeted at very special cases, currently they are no match for Ohm Discount nor Fixed Ohm.

Do sign up for Ohm now using the promo code below!

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Ohm Electricity Review

I have been using Ohm as my electricity supplier since 01 Nov 2018. So far everything has been going 100% super smoothly. Cheaper electricity bills, and integrated billing system with SP services. Ohm has been processing everything efficiently in the background.

Their website design is super sleek and modern. Very easy to use.

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Highly recommend everyone to go with Ohm as their electricity provider. Just spend 10 minutes of your time to switch now, the potential savings in the long run can add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Good thing is everything is online, there is no need to go down to any location nor any physical paper work. It is also applicable to citizens, foreigners, PR, basically anyone who lives in Singapore.

If you have an extensive network of friends/relatives, their referral network is also amazing for you. You will get $20 off your electricity bill (and your friend too), with no upper limit and no expiry date. Imagine, if you have 500 loyal facebook friends who sign up through you, you will get $10k off your electricity bill, which may be enough to last your entire lifetime in most cases.

See my detailed review and also promo code here: Ohm $20 Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

*Ohm Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A

After extensive research, I find that Ohm is one of the best alternative electricity suppliers. Choose either Fixed Ohm or Discount Ohm depending on your likings. I chose Discount Ohm as I have a feeling that the tariffs may drop. Fixed Ohm is also very good, and in fact better if tariffs rise.

HDB Low Water Pressure: Phone Hotline

For those living near the top floor of HDB blocks, you may experience low water pressure since the water tanks are typically built at the rooftop of HDB flats.

The pressure exerted by a column of liquid of height h and density ρ is given by the hydrostatic pressure equation \displaystyle\boxed{p=\rho gh}, where g is the gravitational acceleration.

(Wikipedia)

By this equation, you can understand why those at the top floors experience low water pressure, due to the low height h (from the water tank). There is probably a need for a pump to increase the pressure. For low floors, it is typically ok, the natural pressure should be enough to make the water flow fast.

Water Pressure Low Hotline: 1800-CALL-PUB

The number you should call when experiencing low water pressure for HDB flats is:

1800-CALL-PUB
(1800-2255-782)

My Experience with Low Water Supply

I experienced unbelievably quick action by PUB on Chinese New Year, around 9pm. I called the PUB hotline due to very low water pressure (insufficient for even bathing). Mentally, I was prepared that probably they could only fix it the next working day (which is 2 days later).

To my amazement, a repairman arrived 15-20 minutes later, and proceeded to fix the water tank. The water pressure was back to normal in just half an hour from the time I dialed the hotline. I was quite impressed by the high efficiency.

I am not sure what caused the problem in the first place though. This problem of low water pressure has been reported by Channel News Asia.

HDB Low Water Pressure What To Do

Firstly, you should check with neighbors on the same floor whether they experience the problem of low water pressure. This is to confirm whether the problem is with the water tank pump/pipes, or an isolated problem only pertaining to your unit.

If your neighbors also experience low water pressure, then most likely it is a problem pertaining to the water tank pump/pipes. You should dial the PUB hotline (1800-2255-782) and inform them of the low water pressure. They will liaise with the Town Council and send a technician to investigate. (The service is free of charge.)

If the situation still does not improve, you may wish to purchase this “Wind Storm” High Pressure Shower Head. Basically, it turns a low pressure stream of water into a high pressure spray of water, to the extent that you can feel a “wind” blowing. It also saves water so it will pay for itself in the long run (by reducing your water bills).

URL: https://qoo.tn/BpGvgR/Q100000595

[S$11.90](▼77%)[Restock] Wind Storm Shower Head ★Powerful High Pressure Shower heads ★ For Bath

WWW.QOO10.SG


Also see: Free Water Saving Kit (Singapore)

Ohm $20 Referral Code: OHMREF25CC5A

*Ohm Referral Code: OHMREF25CC5A

Ohm has just improved their discount off tariff rate to 25%! Their fixed rate is also improved! Previously Ohm was good, now it is fantastic!

Read my previous review of Ohm at: Ohm $20 Promo Code: OHMREF25CC5A


Dear Customer,

Thank you for trying us out. We are glad that you have chosen Ohm as your preferred electricity retailer.

Our mantra is to keep prices competitive and not disadvantage customers who have signed up earlier. We still maintain the same view. Since the start of the Open Electricity Market (OEM) on 19 March 2018, we have kept our prices consistent in spite of the increase in Brent prices. After consideration, we realised that we are able to introduce additional savings to our customers and so, from 1st January 2019, we will be updating various Price Plans. The intention of this email is to inform you that although we are updating our prices, if you are still on our 3-month trial, you would be eligible to switch to any of our other price plans, you can choose to do so on our customer portal. at www.ohm.sg.

Our Fixed Ohm Price Plans will be lowered to the following prices (inclusive of GST):

6-Months Fixed Ohm: From 20.01 cents/kWh to 18.35 cents/kWh
12-Months Fixed Ohm: From 19.58 cents/kWh to 18.03 cents/kWh
24-Months Fixed Ohm: From 18.14 cents/kWh to 17.98 cents/kWh

Our Ohm Discount Price Plans will be updated to the following prices:

6-Months Ohm Discount: From 20% discount off Regulated Tariff to 25% discount off Regulated Tariff
12-Months Ohm Discount: From 22% discount off Regulated Tariff to 25% discount off Regulated Tariff

Below is a Quick Guide on the price plan change process:

1. Go to our website at www.ohm.sg and click on Login at the top right-hand corner. If you have forgotten your password, you can reset your password through the “Can’t remember your password” link.

2. When you have logged into Customer Portal, Go to the “Electricity Price Plan” tab.

3. Select “Change my Price Plan”.

4. You will be redirected to our webpage by clicking on the “leave” button.

5. Select the Price Plan of your choice on the left top corner on the price plan page (e.g. 24-months Fixed Ohm). Click on “Change Ohm Now”, your current information will be auto-populated.

6. You will then reach the confirmation page, click “confirm & verify” to accept.

7. If you face any issues or you are required to re-enter the information, you can refresh the screen by clicking on your account name on the top right-hand corner.

Should you have any questions during the change process or have other general questions about the electricity market, please do let us know and we will be happy to assist you.

#TeamOhm would like to thank you for a great 2018 and an even better one in 2019. Happy New Year!

Sincerely,
Team Ohm

Price Plan Change Summary for Fixed Ohm and Ohm Discount

Fixed Ohm Price Plan (Inclusive of GST)

Current Price (cents/kWh) NEW Price (cents/kWh)
6 Months Contract 20.01 18.35
12 Months Contract 19.58 18.03
24 Months Contract 18.14 17.98

Ohm Discount Price Plan

Discount off Regulated Tariff Discount off Regulated Tariff)
6 Months Contract 20% 25%
12 Months Contract 22% 25%

Good news for Poly students: O Level “not counted” for Uni admissions

Should be good news for most Poly students. It is good to aim for a decent grade for key subjects like E maths and A maths though, as they may still be required for certain subjects in university. For example, a polytechnic student who wishes to apply to a computer science course at NUS would need at least a B3 in O-Level Additional Mathematics.

Source: Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: Polytechnic graduates applying to the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) from 2020 will no longer have their O-Level grades be considered for admission, except for certain courses.

This comes with the Ministry of Education (MOE) removing an existing requirement for an applicant’s O-Level results to comprise 20 per cent of his University Admissions Score (UAS).

The UAS is a framework adopted by the six autonomous universities to benchmark and rank applicants’ academic abilities for admission to university.

Test your Circuit Breaker today; Circuit breaker can save you from electrocution

Do forward this to your family and friends. Especially for older homes, the circuit breaker could have broken down silently without anyone noticing.

Source: https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/circuit-breaker-could-be-a-lifesaver

Pressing a button at home regularly could save your life.

This is the “test” button, typically denoted by a “T” on the circuit breaker, a safety device found in all households and buildings.

If you press that button and all electricity cuts off, that means it is functioning. A working circuit breaker will cut off electricity in the event of a current leakage, like when someone touches a live wire, minimising the chances of fatal electrocution.

10 cents Mr Bean Soya Milk (with Masterpass @ Qoo10)

A small reward for yourself/ your children this October? Coupled with the ongoing Masterpass promotion ($1 off) at Qoo10, and this Mr Bean promotion, the soya milk ends up costing only 10 cents!

This is probably the cheapest drink in Singapore currently! (other than NEWater 🙂 )

URL: https://qoo.tn/BSSwbR/Q100000595

[$1.10](▼48%)[Mr Bean][ 10.10 Special ] Grass Jelly Soya Milk or Classic Soya Milk – $1.10 only!

WWW.QOO10.SG

How do students in Singapore from the Express, Normal Academic and Normal Technical streams perceive each other?

Recently, this CNA (Channel News Asia) video is very popular on YouTube. Do check it out. Basically, due to the segregated nature of the education system, GEP, IP (Integrated Programme), Express, Normal Academic and Technical students rarely mix with each other, if at all. Hence, there may be some prejudices and biased views from each side towards the other.

A more in depth official commentary can be found here: https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/regardless-class-race-religion-survey-singapore-income-divide-10774682

In light of this, the story of From PSLE 124 to PhD A*Star Researcher is very remarkable, on how a student overcame prejudices from society to reach his full potential. Do read it if you haven’t.

No More Recontract Voucher from Singtel? Best Phone to Recontract and Sell

It is an “open secret” last time that if you call the Singtel customer service hotline at 1688, they may give you a recontract voucher for you to get a new phone. In previous times it used to be as high as $100, then over the years it slowly reduced to $50. It seems that the voucher is gone now, for low usage customers (e.g. Combo 2 plan). That is, no more recontract voucher. That was my experience in September 2018. That being said, experiences may differ from user to user, you may still want to phone in to try your luck. The only reason I am still using Singtel is that the rest of my family is on the “Singtel Circle” plan.

Important Update: There is a new form of voucher, called the Singtel Referral Voucher, worth $100! Basically you switch to a new Combo Plan and get $100 off the phone.

Best Phone to Recontract and Sell Off

Traditionally, the best phone to recontract and sell has always been the latest iPhone. This is based on the strong demand for iPhone. For instance, as of now, the most popular seems to be iPhone XS, Gold color, 256 GB. Do take note of the color/storage size as unpopular combinations may fetch a lower price. At the time of writing, recontracting and selling an iPhone may earn as much as $300 or more (buy at $1338 and sell off at $1640).

How to get Singtel Voucher (2019 onwards Method)

Are you still looking for the elusive Singtel Discount Voucher to offset your phone purchase? Do not bother to call 1688 anymore, that is the old-school method that does not work nowadays (you can still try if you want, you will find it hard to even speak to a human Singtel operator).

The new method is to use the Singtel Referral Voucher which is worth $100. Click here to go directly to the official Singtel website where your $100 voucher will be applied automatically.

Poll: Opinion on Fewer exams for Primary and Lower Secondary Students?

I have added a poll to see what readers think of this new proposal?

Actually mid-year exams and assessments may have a role as a “buffer” to reduce the weightage of the final exam. Removing mid-year exams actually has the effect of transferring more weightage to the final exam, making it more stressful? It boils down to whether people prefer a grading based on 100% weightage for final year exam, or something like 30% mid-year, 20% assessments and 50% final exams. Based on personal experience, many students (including myself) do prefer having a mid-year exam so that their results of the year is not entirely based on the final exams.

Also, for people who are natural procrastinators, who tend to do things at the last minute (possibly around 90% of the human population?), cancelling exams at the Primary 1 and Primary 2 level may end up causing a false sense of security, leading to a frantic panic attack at Primary 3? As a tutor, I receive numerous tutoring requests as late as September/October (for the final year exam), hence I know that numerous students/parents tend to panic at the last minute due to procrastination.

Possibly a worst case scenario that can end up is that the child does not learn well the fundamentals during P1 and P2, and this is undetected by his/her parents due to the absence of exams. Suddenly at P3, the reality is unveiled and it comes as a sudden shock. The P3 student has to catch up with the two years of fundamentals (P1 & P2) quickly before it is too late, as many subjects are cumulative in the sense that P3 topics relies on previous knowledge of P1 and P2 material.

Nonetheless, it is a new policy and it is good to see some changes coming that is intended to reduce the stress of young students. The time “saved” from doing exams can potentially be channeled into learning something new that is not found in the traditional syllabus. Scrapping the class/level position is good, there is no need to be obsessed with being “first” in class at such a young age. Possibly a percentile grade is still necessary for parents to gauge how their child is doing. Keeping PSLE is also good, despite PSLE being stressful it is actually a meritocratic system that theoretically allows a talented student from a poor family to rise to the top.

Source: Channel News Asia

The changes will be implemented in stages, beginning with the removal of all weighted assessments and exams for Primary 1 and 2 students from next year. Weighted assessments, said MOE, can take various modes such as class tests, presentations or group projects.

Currently, Primary 1 students do not have exams, but weighted assessments are conducted throughout the year. Primary 2 students now have weighted assessments throughout the year, as well as a year-end exam.

Secondary 1 students will also no longer have a mid-year examination from next year. From 2020 and 2021, this will also be removed for Primary 3, Primary 5 and Secondary 3 students.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/exams-assessments-scrap-mid-year-primary-secondary-schools-10767370

Chope.co Review

Sign up for Chope here: https://cho.pe/hna9y

Chope.co is a restaurant reserving website that provides diners with benefits and rewards for reserving their seats at restaurants! “Chope” is a Singlish slang for “reserving a seat”. Reserving a seat is often important since the majority of  Singaporeans eat out on weekends/weekday dinner/and special occasions. This means that the restaurant is crowded during those popular times, and failing to reserve a seat may mean long waiting times or even worse, not finding a seat.

Join me on Chope and earn a SGD$10 restaurant voucher!

Fulfill your first Chope reservation and earn a SGD$10 restaurant voucher after dining. Simply book through Chope using this link https://cho.pe/hna9y and you’re all set.

From PSLE 124 to PhD A*Star Researcher

Source: A-star Official Website

For those familiar with the Singapore education system, you would know that PSLE 124 is not a good score by any standard. Yet Dr Vincent Lim, through his hard work and perseverance, managed to push on and graduate from university with first class honours, eventually earn a PhD and land a job at the prestigious A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology.

I believe the chances of this happening is truly rare in Singapore, possibly even rarer than striking 1st prize in TOTO. Singapore’s education system is known to be not too forgiving, once you make a “slip”, it is hard to get back onto the fast track. It must have taken tremendous courage, perseverance and hard work to overcome the odds to achieve this.

Truly amazing! Do share this to encourage those with children not doing too well in primary school. Certainly, late developers do exist and if given the right environment and nurturing support, they can blossom to reach their fullest potential.

Inspirational quote:

My advice for people who didn’t do well in school is this: it’s never the end. Society may sometimes seem to say: ‘This is your one job, you need to do well in school!’ But that’s not true. There’s never just one job; that’s not the reason you were born for.

Grades are not the most important thing. It is merely a stepping stone; if you’ve got no stone to step on, then run, jump, and climb. What is important is to never give up on yourself and to always keep your options open.”

-Dr Vincent Lim


RI vs HCI vs NUSH

Many excellent P6 students will be spoilt for choice at this stage, as they have been accepted by multiple schools under the DSA. Here are some views on RI versus HCI versus NUS High, which are the top 3 choices for boys strong in math/science:

RI emphasize “all-rounder” and “leadership” in their culture. My personal experience is that it can get a bit competitive since many people there are literally good in all forms of studies (all subjects in humanities/sciences/languages maybe except Chinese), sports, and music, etc. The culture is similar in RGS. I find that there are some cultural and personality differences between the typical RI/RGS student and the typical HCI/NYGH student.

The good points are that RI does have a lot of activities and opportunities like overseas school trips, top coaches for most CCAs, etc, that many schools don’t have. Also, many RI students are successful in securing government scholarships for top universities since their portfolio will be built up in a balanced way during their studies; there are many Community Involvement Programmes and other activities to boost the student’s portfolio.

Certainly NUSH and HCI are very good schools too. Possibly advantages of NUSH is greater focus on science/math and advantage of HCI is greater emphasis on Chinese culture and tradition, which is useful as China is becoming a world power.

Maybe you can check out this thread on RI vs HCI: https://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=25209&start=370.

Chinese Lessons in Singapore (Video)

Source: How has Singapore’s Chinese Language syllabus evolved?

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-chinese-syllabus-changed-back-to-school-10664986

Quite interesting to see how Chinese lessons are like nowadays. To be honest it doesn’t seem much different from 10 years ago? One aspect that has changed is email writing. Nowadays it is rare to write letters, hence the modern syllabus focuses on writing emails instead. Also more multimedia like videos are being used.

One notable statistic is this: “At Tanjong Katong Secondary, Mrs Lee said about 70 per cent of students come from an English-speaking background.” This is a very high percentage compared to the times of the past. To master Chinese is increasingly hard for such students, great effort needs to be put in for improving their command of the Chinese language.

Notable Quotes:

She agreed that it can be difficult at times to speak Mandarin fluently. But she makes it a point to practice by having conversations in Mandarin with friends and family members, and exposing herself to Chinese shows.

“I enjoy it when the teacher shows videos in class,” she said. “I understand how the characters feel, and how they speak. I can learn a lot from the way they phrase their sentences.”

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/singapore-chinese-syllabus-changed-back-to-school-10664986

Free Money from PayLah (Quick! Before it is fully redeemed)

Hey! You can get S$5 when you register for PayLah! with my Referral Code WILDOF087 (last 3 digits are numbers zero-eight-seven) by 31 December 2018. Download PayLah! from http://www.dbs.com.sg/paylah now and enter the above Code during sign-up before this offer is fully redeemed. T&Cs apply.–

PayLah! can be downloaded from Apple Store or Android store (Singapore). Getting your $5 should be instantaneous. Be sure to redeem it today since there is a cap of 40000 people who can redeem. (The offer is still available now, but who knows next week it may be fully redeemed.)

Poll Results: Which JC is the Best?

62 people have voted for the best JC in Singapore. (Poll is at: Which JC is the best in Singapore?

At top place is Nanyang Junior College 12.9% (8 votes), tied with Raffles Institution 12.9% (8 votes).

Visit the poll to see the full results! Some other interesting options voted are as follows:

Other Answer Votes
DKJC 1
Definitely not SR 1

Also see: Which Secondary school is the best in Singapore.

Royal Caribbean Promotion – Free Stuff to be won

Royal Hunt QR Codes

The first two tiers of rewards are Polar and Ya Kun $2 vouchers. The final tier is a chance to win the top prize (worth $15,000); a seven-night Mediterranean Cruise for two on board Royal Caribbean’s state-of-the-art Symphony of the Seas. The prize also includes return economy airfare to Barcelona, Spain.

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/travel/find-the-golden-anchors-and-win

The Royal Hunt starts on March 2 and ends on March 20.  Here is how you play:

1.  Download the Royal Hunt app from the App Store or Google Playstore;

2.  Activate the app and check the e-map. The e-map will show the locations of 20 MRT stations — Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bugis, Buona Vista, Chinatown, Choa Chu Kang, City Hall, Dhoby Ghaut, Harbourfront, Jurong East, MacPherson, Punggol, Tampines, Tanjong Pagar, Raffles Place, Serangoon, Stadium, Tiong Bahru, Toa Payoh and Woodlands;

3. Select any of the MRT stations indicated on the e-map and look for the Royal Hunt posters within each MRT station;

4. Scan the golden anchor QR code embedded within each Royal Hunt poster to drop the anchor onto each tile on the scorecard. After scanning each QR code, go to the next location to collect the subsequent Golden Anchors;

5. After collecting five Golden Anchors, you will be assigned a specific location to collect the sixth and final Golden Anchor;

6. After collecting the sixth Golden Anchor, you complete the scorecard and end the game. You will then be in the running to win the top prize.

Six Golden Anchors must be collected to complete the scorecard.

Hence, basically you need to complete and scan 6 QR codes out of the possible QR codes: Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bugis, Buona Vista, Chinatown, Choa Chu Kang, City Hall, Dhoby Ghaut, Harbourfront, Jurong East, MacPherson, Punggol, Tampines, Tanjong Pagar, Raffles Place, Serangoon, Stadium, Tiong Bahru, Toa Payoh and Woodlands QR codes. If you only want the first two tiers of rewards, 1 or 3 QR codes respectively instead of 6 QR codes will be sufficient.

Royal Caribbean Promotions

From time to time, Royal Caribbean is known to offer some of the following promotions:

  • $10 2nd Guest
  • $10 offer on kids fare, balcony upgrades and second accompanying guest
  • 50% off 2nd guest
  • 3rd & 4th Guests Cruise FREE
  • $11 Suite upgrade
  • 30% off all guests and Kids Sail Free offer

These promotions are usually for limited time only and interested customers are advised to watch out for such promotions by monitoring the official Royal Caribbean website.

 

More schools to merge in 2019, JCs included

Seems like the declining population is quite serious indeed. Not too long ago there was another merger: 8 JCs to merge (i.e. 4 JCs to close down). “Merge” is just a nice way to say that the affected schools are closing down.

I think at this rate, quite a few jobs may be affected, like paediatrician (children’s doctor), childcare, and even tuition. I think a previous Today article mentioned the impact of declining population on the tuition industry.

The following Primary/Secondary schools will be merged in 2019:

Bendemeer Primary – from merger of Balestier Hill Primary and Bendemeer Primary

Casuarina Primary – from merger of Loyang Primary and Casuarina Primary

Cedar Primary – from merger of MacPherson Primary and Cedar Primary

White Sands Primary – from merger of Coral Primary and White Sands Primary

Damai Primary – from merger of East Coast Primary and Damai Primary

Jing Shan Primary – from merger of Da Qiao Primary and Jing Shan Primary

Junyuan Primary – from merger of East View Primary and Junyuan Primary

The merged secondary schools will be:

East Spring Secondary – from merger of East View Secondary and East Spring Secondary

Jurongville Secondary – from merger of Hong Kah Secondary and Jurongville Secondary

Yuhua Secondary – from merger of Shuqun Secondary and Yuhua Secondary

The merged schools will be located at the schools whose name has been chosen for the combined entities. For example, students from Loyang Primary will thus have to go to the existing Casuarina Primary School from 2019.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/names-of-primary-and-secondary-schools-merging-in-2019-announced-9818744

PSLE 181 to NUS Medicine (Miracle Story)

Quite an amazing story. The road from PSLE 181 to NUS Medicine is a long and arduous journey. Read how Mr Tan Jun Xiang, 22, managed to overcome the odds to enter the prestigious NUS Medicine faculty.

NUS Medicine is very hard to get in (even perfect scorers can get rejected). His overjoyed father “booked two tables at a restaurant and invited (his) relatives to celebrate.”

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/he-broke-the-mould-by-going-from-normal-stream-to-nus-medical-school

SINGAPORE – Mr Tan Jun Xiang, 22, is not your typical medical student who aced all his school examinations.

In fact, he scored only 181 points in the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) and had to go into the longer five-year Normal stream in secondary school.

The polytechnic graduate, who made it to the prestigious medicine faculty at the National University of Singapore (NUS), is among the rare few who do not fit the mold.

When he was younger, he never thought he would go to university – much less the highly competitive Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at NUS, where only about one in seven applicants get in.

So what sparked his stunning academic turnaround?

A few things: seeing how disappointed his parents were with his results, getting into the secondary school of his choice after an appeal and discovering that he could indeed do well if he put his mind to it.

Read more at Straits Times

Fave (previously Groupon) FREE Promo Code

FREE Promo Code discount: http://myfave.com/invite/KJMDZ?city=singapore

Fave (previously known as Groupon) is a fantastic deals site that offers many discounts. It includes discounts to many restaurants/buffets in Singapore.

Quite many famous restaurants are offering discounts there: e.g. Dancing crab, Mouth Restaurant, Ah Yat Abalone, JUMBO Seafood, Charcoal Thai and more.

Here is a free Promo Code, for first-time users who sign up on Fave: KJMDZ

You will get a further first-timer’s discount upon sign-up.

Click here to sign up with the Promo Code: http://myfave.com/invite/KJMDZ?city=singapore

Singapore is in the wrong timezone

Most people who have been living in Singapore all their lives wouldn’t know this: Singapore is in the wrong timezone. To be precise, Singapore should be in the GMT +7 timezone, but we are using the GMT +8 instead. This means that, for instance, 7am in the current time is actually supposed to be 6am.

I only realized it myself after googling, and only after some suspicions after going overseas: Comparatively, why does the sun rise in Singapore so late (around 7am), and why does the sun set in Singapore so late (around 7pm). In Singapore, it is common that the day is still very bright at 7pm. At first I attributed it to the fact that Singapore is in the equator and hence experiences “summer” all year round. It turns out that a bigger reason may be the wrong GMT timezone.

In this article: Singapore’s time zone biggest contributor to sleeplessness problem, it is argued that being in the wrong timezone causes lots of problems, such as sleeplessness. This is because the body’s true time (circadian rhythm) is out of sync of the “fake” GMT +8 time.

The biggest issue may be the time school starts for school going children. In most schools, the morning assembly starts at around 7.30am. Depending on where the children live and their mode of transport, it is common for children to have to wake up at around 5.30am. By the previous logic, this corresponds to the true time of 4.30am!

 

‘Stemaritans’ help breathe life into maths and science

Quite interesting term “Stemaritans”, referring to people who promote STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math).

‘Stemaritans’ help breathe life into maths and science

“Parents think highly of the Singapore education system and like the fact that the bulk of our teachers had taught in mainstream Singapore schools …

Other interesting educational news from Singapore.

‘Titles culture’ in Singapore stifles entrepreneurial streak, say foreign-born businessmen

Mr Staarman, 60, who is from the Netherlands, added that the results-driven, exam-centric approach in Singapore’s education system does not require …
Tech, the road less travelled by girls

In Singapore, the programme has reached more than 6,500 girls in more … This programme comes amid a push by education institutes to get girls …
Skills portal to guide S’poreans from age 11

… and plan their careers”, said the Ministry of Education (MOE), Workforce Singapore (WSG) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) in a joint statement.
What the rollout of IHL SkillsFuture Series means for workers and highereducation

Given the longstanding policy of heavy state subsidies for higher education in Singapore, the state has a significant influence in determining the main …
Rising school fees for non-S’poreans force rethink among Johoreans

The Singapore government began sharpening the distinction between citizens and non-citizens in education, healthcare and other major policy areas …
Be less ‘uptight’ about times tables, urges Singaporean maths mastery expert

Dr Yeap Ban Har spent 10 years at the National Institute of Education in Singapore, a country that has played a leading role in the development of the …

Free Movie about PSLE

There are 2 short films on the subject of PSLE, free on YouTube. Quite accurate about the lives of kids in Singapore currently. Do feel free to watch if you are interested.

It is truly a first-world problem (only kids in middle to high income families will suffer from this, as tuition is not cheap), but it does reflect the stress that children go through nowadays.

Look at the child’s timetable: https://youtu.be/FQB7ritn580?t=116. Completely packed from Monday to Sunday. (Quite realistic as I have seen real life examples of such scenarios.)

Son of taxi driver among this year’s President’s Scholars

Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/son-of-taxi-driver-among-this-years-presidents-scholars

Mr Lee Tat Wei lives in a four-room flat in Woodlands. He and his older brother went to neighbourhood schools. His father is a taxi driver and his mother works as a part- time sales assistant.

Despite his humble background, the 19-year-old said he has never felt shortchanged. “My parents gave me an environment that money couldn’t buy. They never pressured me to get straight As. They taught me to live in the moment,” said the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) graduate who had a perfect score of 45 for his International Baccalaureate diploma exams.

Mr Lee, who is one of the five recipients of the President’s Scholarship this year, will be going to read liberal arts at Yale University.

SG Education News: More places for Medicine Students

Good news for those aspiring to be medical doctors.


Med school places to rise to 500 by next year

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has had more than 2,000 top students fight for the 300 spaces in its Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine …

Other top Education news:

Hong Kong, UAE, Singapore Priciest Places for Education

In Singapore, the government subsidizes schooling costs for locals and has doubled its education budget since 2005 as part of a plan to build the …

New NTU president has history of ties with Singapore

New NTU president has history of ties with Singapore … Council and the International Academic Advisory Panel of Singapore’s Ministry of Education.

Building a `Smart Nation’ in Singapore Doesn’t Come Cheap

Schooling isn’t cheap in Singapore: not just for citizens, but for the government too. The city state boasts one of the best education systems in the world …

How robots are teaching Singapore’s kids

In Singapore, admired globally for its education system, authorities are trialling the use of robotic aides to teachers in kindergartens. Two humanoid …

Finally received WordAds payout by WordPress

Thanks to all readers of mathtuition88.com, I have received WordAds payout by WordPress.

Mathtuition88.com first joined WordAds in 01-2014, where the payout was quite miserable (less than $1 for 5000 views). The payout has since increased considerably, thanks to higher quality adverts localized in Singapore.

The advertisements shown are quite relevant (usually tuition by top tutors/schools, travel and other deals in Singapore), so do turn off ad-blockers when visiting mathtuition88.com. Thanks once again!

Nanyang Girls NYGH starts school later at 8.15am

Very good idea by NYGH. Sleep is important for students.


SINGAPORE: For almost a year now, Nanyang Girls High (NYGH) students have been starting school at 8.15am – a good 45 minutes later than most secondary schools.

And the results have been telling.

The school in Bukit Timah has been taking part in ground-breaking sleep studies conducted by Duke-NUS Medical School researchers – whose studies have shown that 80 per cent of teens here don’t get enough sleep, which affects their health, grades and cognitive abilities.

It was what the teachers of NYGH had been suspecting all along.

Mrs Ho-Sam Choon Juen, NYGH dean of student systems and info management, said: “For a long time, we’d known that our girls were not sleeping enough because of their academic and extra-curricular demands.
Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/cnainsider/a-big-difference-in-students-after-nanyang-girls-starts-school-8833844

8 JCs to merge (i.e. 4 JCs to close down)

The latest education news in Singapore is that 4 pairs of JCs to merge as student numbers shrink; 14 primary and 6 secondary schools also affected.

The effect on the primary and secondary schools is not that significant, due to the large number of primary and secondary schools. However, there are only around 20 JCs in Singapore, the effect is quite big for JCs.

8 JCs merging is just a nice way of saying 4 JCs to be shut down permanently. RIP Serangoon, Tampines, Innova and Jurong JCs.

The most affected would be O level students in the next 5 years. Yes, there is declining birthrate but that is gradual. So for the next 5 years, there is approximately the same number of students competing for 4 less JCs.

So by “Demand and Supply” logic, we have:
– similar demand for JCs (approx. same number of students in the next 5 years)
– lower supply of JCs (due to the 4 axed JCs)

By Economic Theory: If supply decreases and demand is unchanged, then it leads to a higher equilibrium price.

Hence the logical conclusion is that the “price” will rise, that is, cutoff points for JCs may become lower. To add on to that, the 4 axed JCs cater mainly to the 13-20 pointers. So students falling in that L1R5 range will be especially affected.


Also check out: Which JC is good?

Looking for Home Tutors?

If you are looking for home tutors (any subject, e.g. Mathematics, Chinese, English, Science, etc.) contact us at:

Email: mathtuition88@gmail.com

We are able to recommend you highly qualified tutors, free of charge, no obligations.

Note that usually tutors’ slots will start to fill up as the year progresses, so by mid year May/June it is going to be very hard to find a good tutor.

GEP Selection Test Review and Experience

The following is a parent’s review and experience of the GEP Selection Test (2016). Original text (in Chinese) at: http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/xQpLynFWpZ6QNpI_vlw4cw

Interested readers may also want to check out Recommended Books for GEP Selection Test.


Translation:

One day in September 2016 afternoon, read the son of the third son as usual time to go home, after the door looked calmly handed me a letter ~ OMG! A letter from the MOE to inform the son passed the GEP first round Examination, will be held on October 18 to participate in the second round of selection.

The son of the school in Singapore ranked 100 +, the third grade a total of seven classes, a total of about 280 students, he is in the best class. According to him, almost all the classmates participated in the first round of examinations, only through the eight individuals, including him. Later learned that, in fact, the school also 8 individuals to participate in the second round of their selection. Due to the small number of schools will not send people to pick up. Examination place in a subway station, never been to the school. The original quiet life, because to send test and upset, and finally have the opportunity to close feeling the legendary GEP.

A. Parents around the campus export was packed, looking at the eagerly a pair of eyes, I immediately think of China’s college entrance examination. Originally even sent too lazy to send his son to the exam, that is only an examination only, did not expect her husband told me to pick up the road, I began to excitement.

B. Carefully observed the son of the school to take the exam students, are not usually learn top-notch, but not usually take the scholarship. Such as the son of English is poor, but also through the first round.

Further, GEP study focus on learning with the usual very different. Also confirmed the rivers and lakes in the legendary: GEP will try to reduce the impact of language on the selection, so that truly talented children to stand out, and as much as possible without interference. Nevertheless, English is actually bad or affected. I asked the four students, all of the questions are difficult to answer the most difficult IQ, and the son of English that is better than IQ difficult, but there are several IQ questions did not understand, because the word does not know, of. In this case,

C. There are eight children in the class reference, thought that there will be a few other classes, did not think the day before the collection know that their school also their 8 classes. In fact, before the class this year, his son was assigned to other classes of students, there are several aspects of the results are good. Why the last one did not pass the GEP first round?

I think the first is the environment, in improving class, the teacher will be strict a lot of the other classes are not necessarily. Son is after almost a year, only to adapt to such a fast-paced and strict requirements.

Second, the amount of information provided is different. I remember the beginning of the beginning of his son’s class soon, on a large number of additional courses, including Mathematical Olympiad, Science Olympiad, Chinese writing, the second foreign language (Malay), plus a day CCA and school normal plus lesson. . .

Never had a tutorial managed son plus a lesson, home every day at least 4 points, and sometimes 6 points, as well as the violin and Chinese Orchestra, once tired and round and round all day shouting hungry. Home do not want to do anything, followed by his brother to play, to think of homework to do quickly, the next day and get up.

After six months, tired not, but the results plummeted. I have wanted his son not to learn these extra lessons, and his son said that these classes only their classes have, and other classes will not notice the information plus lesson, or learn it!

It now appears that the school had great efforts to catch them this class, the son is still helpful, and sometimes really forced a force, hold on, or there will be harvest. At least the son did not spend extra effort to improve classes, but also an improvement! This also fully shows that folklore, the small three-class is how important and tragic. I also know it!

From the test finished out of the children’s face, you can guess the state of the exam!

D. Elite is the elite schools, such as the son of this little-known school, a school had only a few people in the first round. The elite is the school charter to pick up, as well as teachers to accompany. Because the reference is really many people, a car also sat down, opened a few.

Nanyang Primary School is said to have 120 reference. People usually test and this test is almost, not just like to play like a try test chant. In this case,

E. When the son, met a lot of acquaintances. Parents who have children’s kindergarten students, parents who have attended the parents’ meeting, parents who have written classes, parents who have Chinese orchestra help, parents who have neighbors playmates, friends who have friends with God, and my fellow villagers and husband colleagues Even though the children in different schools, but the emphasis on education, parents, will eventually meet ~ to wait for the child to test this way to meet, quite special.

F. From the parents of the ratio can be inferred: the Chinese to the absolute high rate of reference, a small amount of Indian, a small amount of Malay, did not see Europe and the United States. Chinese like to test, but also good at the test, really reflected most vividly. After my visual, the number of boys more than girls. Take the son school, for example, 8 people have only 1 girl. I guess half of half a far cry. After all, his son son school class first, almost the girls occupied. Impression in the class last year, single scholarship, only the son of a boy.

G. GEP ultimately can be admitted to the rare, most parents are holding try to see the idea of the problem, let the children participate in, do not need all the energy on the GEP, but no need to focus on depletion in the primary three. Son of a classmate did not apply for GEP, heard there are not admitted to the second round, and some even admitted to the elite do not read.

Have seen a documentary article, his children’s classmates, the results are very good score is also high, can enter the first-class university, but eventually chose to read poly, because that read enough, never want to read!


Summary

Although most of the parents of the GEP rush, often the results are unsatisfactory. If the child has the ability to have a high degree of quality into the GEP selected elite, of course, is very good!

But if it is to further test, in order to further fight, one year or even several years earlier to the child overweight, premature energy consumption in reading this matter, the child’s desire to pursue knowledge and innovation, personal opinion, for the long And a variety of life, it is not worth!

I am a student of English in the workplace, said her daughter through the GEP test class children to go, now mixed very general.

Postscript

Participating in GEP is a good experience. No matter what the outcome, are worth a try Oh!

In addition, the son of GEP in the second round of the examination notice, the accident received three years to transfer the success of the phone in the fourth grade to go home only 5 minutes away from the school, and is directly assigned to the best classes to This ended his last three years, 5-15 minutes a day, take a 15-minute bus, but also to go some way to learn the experience.

Attached: GEP introduction of Singapore

GEP History

In 1984, the Ministry of Education of Singapore launched the Gifted Class, which aims to foster gifted students and give full play to their talents so as to better serve the community in the future.

The nine schools that provide talent education are: Anglo-Chinese School (Primary), Catholic High School (Primary), Henry Park Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School (Nan Hua Primary School) ), Nanyang Primary School, Raffles Girls’ Primary School, Rosyth School, St. Hilda’s Primary School and Tao Primary School. Nan School).

GEP screening process

All primary school students have the opportunity to participate in the first round of screening tests, voluntary, not mandatory. The first round of screening tests, including English and mathematics, usually in late August each year (the specific test location and time to the Ministry of Education notice).

In the first round, only 5% of students will be selected to participate in the second round of the selection test (usually the examination time in mid-October each year). Usually only 1% of the students will be selected last year, from the fourth grade, more than 9 schools to enter the genius classes.

Genius classes differ from ordinary students in their curricula.

On the basis of the general curriculum, intensive classes will be arranged for the Gifted students to explore and expand the capacity of gifted students to stimulate their more personalized and profound learning.

(Text: Tao Ying)

Kids with tuition fare worse?

Article: http://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/kids-with-tuition-fare-worse

Those who read the news, either online or in print, would probably have seen this article: “Kids with tuition fare worse”.

In the article, it is claimed that: “In fact, children who received tuition actually scored about 0.256 standard deviations lower on their tests than those who did not (standard deviation is a measure of how spread out test scores are from the average).”

The headline is actually quite misleading, causing people to think that tuition causes worse performance. One needs to read the final part of the article: “The first is that students who receive tuition choose to receive it precisely because they are not doing well in school. In other words, weak performance may be what is driving students to enrol for tuition.”

The correct way to measure the effect of tuition is via a “before and after” experiment. Scores of students before and after enrolling in tuition should be compared to truly see if tuition has any effect. Many tuition centers are already doing this, it is not a rocket science experiment.

Without the “before and after” comparison, the research is meaningless. It is like saying, “People who see a medical doctor frequently have poorer health.”, it is true, but obviously one cannot conclude that medical doctors cause poor health!

Lastly, the research is analysing PISA data (Programme for International Student Assessment). Clearly, there is no tuition centre tutoring PISA, which is significantly different from the ordinary curriculum (I was a PISA grader). As tuition is highly specialized, it is true that tuition can have close to zero effect on PISA scores. It is like PSLE / O Level Math tuition has close to no effect on Math Olympiad scores; even if it is both “Math”, it is possible to score full marks in PSLE / O Level Math but zero marks in Olympiad Math!

Singaporean Student Wins US$250K Scholarship

Congratulations to Ms See for the win. The amount of the scholarship is no joke, it is the price of a HDB flat (a home in Singapore).

If you are interested to take part, here are the details: The Breakthrough Junior Challenge is an annual competition for students, ages 13-18, to share their passion for math and science with the world! In partnership with the Khan Academy, each student submits a video that explains a challenging and important concept or theory in mathematics, life sciences, or physics. The winner receives a $250,000 college scholarship. The winning student’s teacher and school also benefit: $50,000 for the teacher and a state-of-the-art $100,000 science lab for the school. Learn more at https://breakthroughjuniorchallenge.org.

AsianScientist (Dec. 6, 2016) – Ms Deanna See, a 17-year-old studying at Raffles Institution in Singapore, was one of two students to win the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, a global science video competition that is part of the 2017 Breakthrough Prizes. See’s fun and quirky five-minute video, titled ‘Superbugs! And Our Race Against Resistance,’ explains the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance with the use of Lego figurines. She takes the viewer through the evolution and genetics behind how superbugs amass their formidable defenses against various antibiotics. Watch See’s video below:

Read more from Asian Scientist Magazine at: http://www.asianscientist.com/2016/12/topnews/deanna-see-breakthrough-junior-challenge-singapore/

The other finalist, Antonella Masini from Peru