Fall 2014


CSE 111 Great Ideas in Computer Science

Instructor: Sally Yong Sok Ying

Almost impossible to get an A, hard to get an A- as she does not grade projects leniently (2 projects each 20% of the total score). However, do try to score at least 90% in her quizzes and her mid-term and final exams as they are easy to score and can help to pull up your marks.

But I’ll have to add that some of her MCQ questions are… damn how should I describe them? 1) Need a bit of general knowledge as the terms she use will sometimes be different from those in the notes. 2) Sometimes, you need to link the content in the notes before you can answer a question. 3) Some common sense.

As a teacher, she is not bad la. Although she has a stern face most of the time, she still knows how to joke occasionally. She also shows some videos in class to aid our understanding of the concepts. Furthermore, she allows us to do our project in every first lesson of the week and once she finishes teaching a chapter for the day, she will release us about 30min earlier! And her teaching is easy to understand, though many people have problems in the first chapter about the calculation of bits. No textbook is required. Yay.

My grade for this course: B. My group lost a lot of marks in the first project, and for the second one, we only got 16/20. We are allowed to choose our group members though. For the quizzes, so-so lor, got around 8.0 or 8.5/10? I improved in my Mid-terms 12.5/15 marks. Many people did better than me for the quizzes though.


COM 101 Principles of Communication

Instructor: Amanda Lohiser

It is possible to get an A if you put in effort for your individual assignments and most importantly, the tests. Her tests have a heavy weightage and you should try to score around 90 in one test and 86 in the other. That should get you an A. Too hard? 76 and 84 will get you an A-, not forgetting that there are individual and in-class assignments too!

Very easy to get 30/30 for individual assignments, just don’t write rubbish and follow the concepts in textbook/notes carefully. Confused? Ask! The same goes for in-class assignments. Don’t write rubbish, be responsible and do your part, help others too if they are really having problems with their part such as wrong concept, unclear phrasing, spelling errors (Amanda dosen’t like spelling errors! However, she seems to be fine with Grammar mistakes). There’s very little effort needed for in-class assignments, so try to get 20/20! Just make sure you us e the correct concepts and use it correctly and, Answer. The. Question. ATQ!

Omg if you see any COM 101 class being taught by Amanda, please take her class! Confused? Ask! She is very friendly and helpful! But don’t ask her questions in a way that shows that you didn’t pay attention, or you thought that she didn’t teach a particular concept, such as when she tries to clarify someone’s doubts about an assignment and you ask exactly the same thing again, or asking “Oculesics is the same as eye contact?” 99% of whatever is assigned/ tested has already been taught by her. Whatever you don’t know can be found in the textbook. Amanda makes lessons interesting with a lot of personal stories/examples to explain the concepts. She told us that she puts in a lot of effort to make our lectures interesting. Once, just before our test, she rapped for us, and the lyrics are the concepts tested in the test. So it was a nice recap for us. Whoever said White girls can’t rap? Also, she likes to play music in the background while she is teaching!

She does not like people talking in class or doing other stuff that will distract themselves or others or both. If you have questions, do not ask your friends. She sees it as talking. Take note!

Tip: If you realise you are running out of time to study i.e. left 1-2 days before the test, read the notes first, then the remaining time read the textbook. Once you have read all the notes, you would have known the answer to 97% of questions. 1% of questions come from the textbook, the other 2% are freebie questions to check whether you paid attention in class, testing videos/stories that Amanda told in class.

My grade for this course: A-


SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology

Instructor: Lim Lanyu

Getting an A is also possible, if you do well in everything, tests and projects. Her first two tests are not easy. All her questions that are tested can be found from the textbook, so don’t panic when she says she will test from research presentations. She won’t test anything from her lecture too. You need read the question carefully and think well before you pick your answer. She does not test dates, but test names! So many people coined this and that, how to remember??? Well if I got any of such questions right, it is because I’m lucky. Sometimes she will also test stuff that are not of major importance such as a particular propaganda technique or what kind of food best represents the diversity in America like or even a belief of a particular religion. Read every single text in the textbook, including those boxes. You have been warned… Try to aim for 25/30 to get an A.

There is also a research presentation and research project (2 completely different components) Research presentation is easy to get 15/15. You are supposed to analyse 2 articles or something else and come up with 5 questions. Me and my friend (supposed to get into groups of 3 or 4, but we couldn’t find people. However, some even had 5 members!) got 15/15. Lanyu does not tell us how she will grade this research presentation and she only released the grades after our final exam so as to be fair to the others who are doing it earlier than the others and have no example to learn from. So I can’t tell you how we got that 15/15, but I have an advice for you: Take it seriously and put in your best effort to do it. Read the question carefully. Majority of you will have many weeks to complete it but we were only given a week to do everything.

Research Project is the tough one… till now, I still don’t understand what is the correct way to write a Sociology Research Paper. Well we had to form groups of 6-7 members, brainstorm a Sociological question/argument (my group members kept coming up with Philosophical questions, I said “No”. This is not a Philosophy class!) , gather data and then analyse the data and come up with a conclusion of the question/argument. We got a C for the research project, but after reading the comments, we still did not know what really went wrong. But since it was the last day of exams, we didn’t bother about it anymore. Hah, despite all the above, Lanyu’s final exam was easy peasy. I already know the answer after reading a few words from the question. No names at all. Yay

Lanyu shows a lot of videos in her lecture, which can be good or bad depending on your purpose for coming to lectures. Do you like a teacher that shows a lot of videos in class or do you really come to class to learn more about the concepts? Unfortunately, Lanyu is the former. She does not explain much about the concepts and although you won’t realise it during the lecture, after a few lectures with her you will start to realise that she is almost “reading off the slides”, explaining one or 2 sentences for each concept and then moving on to the rest. She never gives any personal examples to illustrate concepts, so you know very little about her. Or probably she dosen’t need to explain much because of the nature of the subject/ textbook. Although I have not tried it (I’m an extremely guai student), I believe that you will be able to do well just by reading the textbook alone. The textbook is really easy to read. Her notes are based on the textbook too. As for the attendance portion of the grade, I looked through the attendance sheet and I’ve noticed that some people have asked their friends to sign for them. But I do hope you will come to class and enjoy the videos together with everyone and learn and have a good laugh instead of watching them at home!

Sociology opens your mind… so does Lanyu’s videos. Her videos can be unsettling for some, if you are uncomfortable, close your eyes like what I see others did. Oh and if she does not change the videos that she will be showing in class, guys or rather, males, please go for the “Medicine and Health” Lecture. You’ll love it. *winks*

This is really bad: When studying for a test, I will study both textbook and her notes and cross-reference the content in the textbook to her explanation/ examples that I copied down during the lecture (I’m very sure I copied exactly what she said). I realised that sometimes her explanation and the examples she gave were wrong!

My grade for this course: A-


PSY 101 Introduction to Psychology

Instructor: Yeap Lay Leng

My grade for this course was so bad, that I do not know what advice to give you to get an A-. Getting an A is almost impossible because her tests are all fill-in-the-blanks or short answer questions, and you are bound to get a bit of Xs here and there. I did not study 1 chapter for the mid-term exam, hence I only got a borderline pass. Served me right. She is more lenient with the short answer questions though. You’ll only get MCQs in the final exams. If you like your tests to have more MCQs, pick Dr Reena instead. BUT, Dr Yeap does give quite a number of hints when she does a review of the chapters that will be tested in the exams. She will specifically say which one is coming out, etc.

Dr Yeap likes to tell a lot of long-winded, personal stories. I personally don’t find them boring, but my friends do. Fortunately, in my class there are a bunch of students who love to crack jokes with her, which enlivened the atmosphere. Also, when a student says something stupid/silly/funny, she will joke along too! Yeap, so we laughed a lot in this class!

I felt there are times where Dr Yeap set questions that are not clear, such as you are not sure which chapter the question is testing on.

My grade for this course: Very bad, can I not say?


ESL 407 Written English I

Instructor: Gael Lee

Getting an A is almost impossible too as she rarely gives an A for the essays that we write. Majority of my essays are A-, yet I don’t even get an A- overall. Other components like mid-term essay, quizzes, class participation marks probably pulled down my grade. If you want to get an A-, do well in all of the above.

I don’t have any problems with Mrs Lee, but a number of people in my class do not like her. They said that she “talks down” to us like a superior talking to subordinates, not fair, lessons not fun, etc. Aiya, complain so much for what, last time my school teachers also like that one lor. As for the “not fair” issue, the problem lies with the students themselves. If you guai like me, I guarantee you, nothing will go wrong! As for the “talking down” issue, haha I feel like she is giving business presentations only LOL There is some truth in what I say: she does conduct talks and give corporate training to companies about ____ (I can’t remember). As for the “not fun” issue, a lot of school teachers in our education system also like that lor. Overall, she’s ok. Nothing bad, nothing good either.

My grade for this course: B+


3 thoughts on “Fall 2014

  1. Hi Sgubkid!

    Thank you so much for your valuable feedback – I am not sure if your reflections were meant for my eyes – but they certainly caught my eyes when I was just googling myself for fun! 🙂 It is really an insightful commentary, and it would have been better if you’ve approached me and shared your experiences with me during the semester, so that I could have the opportunity to address your concerns. However, the irony about evaluations is that it always has to come AFTER the experience – so it’s better late than never. Be assured that I will take your views seriously and make the necessary improvements to my course, so that your reflections would not be in vain, and would benefit those that come after you. 🙂



  2. Hi,
    I came across your blog and I am extremely interested in the content that you are putting up. As I am awaiting my school term to start in the Summer semester, your content has been of great help to me. I just got my timetable and most of my modules are those that you took as well, being ESL 407, COM 101, SOC 101, PSY 101. As I am planning to work through school, i was wondering if I could ask you some questions regarding the modules that you took in Fall 2014?
    Thanks for the help in advance!

    With my best,
    (Name removed by me, sgubkid, because initially I did not know how to change the settings to let my readers post anonymously)


    • Hi! Thanks for reading my blog! Yup you can ask me anything. 🙂 Anyway, if you are taking the same modules during the Summer semester, I would advise you not to work too many hours, because the classes will be at a faster pace than the Spring and Fall semesters (15 weeks class become 12 weeks class during the Summer). Furthermore, I felt it was a little hectic when I took these courses during the Fall.


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