NUS Module Review: Yr 2 Sem 1 (2014/15)

NUS Module Review: Yr 2 Sem 1 (2014/15)


This sem was probably my busiest one at NUS (so far). At times it got so hard and I felt so tired because many people were asking for something from me which led to some mental meltdowns. +_ + I also joined a cca and became part of a society committee which made things worse (in terms of busy-ness). No regrets though!

It was also my first sem at ridge view residences.

Things I love about it: 

  • Room is bigger than any hall’s or pgp’s (i could probably hold 3-4 more hobos if i wanted to)
  • Shelter all the way from rvr to yih to arts (because i’m a shade-loving person)
  • Food court/7-11/subway/sarpino’s/old chang kee 2mins away
  • Walking distance to science, mpsh (so useful during exam period), 1 stop away from utown
  • Toilets are cleaner and newer than hall toilets (unless you have unsanitary floor mates)
  • Trees everywhere
  • Stairs everywhere

Things I could live without:

  • People constantly stealing my milo packets (amongst other stuff) from the common fridge ;_ ;
  • Bugs everywhere. when it rains heavily my room is full of insect wings that flew in from the gap under the door. i eventually blocked it with kitchen roll lol.
  • Washing machine is so far away which leads to procrastination which ends up in 2am laundry times
  • Stairs everywhere

I was pretty excited for this sem because all my modules sounded interesting…but all of them had group projects and other assignments which took up soo much time and barely any time left for studying for mid terms and finals. :'(

PL2132: Research & Statistical Methods 2

I took this under Mike Cheung…he seems pretty knowledgable and gives good practical advice about conducting research at times, but I’m not smart enough to keep up with him and most of the time I’m just lost during lectures lolol.

Tutorials were spent going through SPSS and R, followed by revising the concepts gone through during lectures. I like my tutor Ranjith (who was also my tutor for PL2131 last sem) as he tries to explain concepts with diagrams and simplifies it, though sometimes it ends up sounding more complicated than it actually is (lol). He’s pretty funny as well which makes class a little bit more entertaining.

Mid terms were mcq (which really helped, i think…) and tested more on understanding than anything else. It was hard for me because I barely understood much until I was about 3/4 into the sem! /slow

There’s also a group project which took the most time out of everything else in this module, but thank god for some really amazing group members! it consisted of a proposal, data collection, final report and presentation. It all sounded pretty daunting at the start but being in a good group really helps (well, of course *coughs*).

Finals were okay (besides the fact that i couldn’t calculate some stuff…) and were open-book. I suggest you make a template for the different anova tables or at least mark the pages of the book with those tables.

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most.

Difficulty in understanding: 4/5

Workload: 4/5

Self-study time required: 3/5


PL3240: Group Dynamics

I was really excited for this module as it’s like part 2 of social psychology and I really enjoyed social psych. Dr. Cha is a pretty good lecturer, he gives enough personal anecdotes to keep us entertained and manages to link all the topics to current affairs and random movies (though this causes lectures to end late sometimes, which I find a good trade for all the videos shown during lectures).

He also gives the chance for optional extra credit assignments (there’s 4 throughout the sem i think), in which you can get bonus marks (capped at 5). I find it good writing practice, because there’s nothing to lose if you don’t score, and the tutor writes comments to the essays as well.

The most interesting aspect of the module is the group project, for which you can choose any activity to do as long as it has a ‘group’ aspect to it. There are people who cooked, did pranks, parodies of music videos, etc. during the first tutorial, you’re grouped up with people whom you (claim you) don’t know. It provides a chance to make friends with people from the same major, and for me it was a really fun and novel experience (even though it took up a lot of time – from the idea planning to the filming to the video editing to the presentation and written report).

Mid terms were mcqs and fill-in-the-blanks, which I found pretty difficult (for the first time ever, the cohort did pretty averagely). Finals were even harder – it was my hardest paper this sem. There were mcq, fill-in-the-blanks and short essay questions combined with case studies. The case studies killed me. +_+

I’d have to say this mod is hard to score in, but it still was an interesting mod!

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most.

Difficulty in understanding: 2/5

Workload: 4/5

Self-study time required: 4/5


PL3236: Abnormal Psychology

i thought i’d find this mod the most boring out of my other mods, but I liked learning about the various disorders. The lecturer, Dr. Keng, simply follows the textbook (we have a textbook specially made for pl3236) for her lectures. She likes to test on random statistical numbers, e.g. the prevalence rate of bipolar disorder in singapore. She’ll mention the figures during lecture so it’s important to note it down.

Tutorials were pretty slack, except for when it’s your group’s turn to present your analysis (in the form of a skit, a powerpoint presentation, something else) on a particular case study.

Mid terms were 100 mcq questions which were fairly easy (and reminded me of pl1101e because it tested on basically everything). Finals were mcq + short answer questions + case study.

I dreaded reading the textbook because it’s sooo lengthy. Thankfully the lecturer takes out the important points in her slides (though it’s pretty much still most of the textbook) so it’s best to have the slides alongside with the textbook when you study.

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most.

Difficulty in understanding: 2/5

Workload: 3/5

Self-study time required: 4/5


GEK1508: Einstein’s Universe and Quantum Weirdness

My first science module at NUS! Every lecture was mind-blowingly and headache-inducingly intriguing. Despite being a science student back in jc, I still ended up with lots of ??????/ in my head during lectures and tutorials.

Lectures are held twice a week and tutorials are held once every 2 weeks. Dr. Phil is a super awesome lecturer who likes to crack random jokes (which sometimes no one laughs at sadly) at times. It’s amazing to see his love for physics, science and nature (in general). I’ve learnt a lot of random and incredible things from this module (though not thoroughly enough because it’s too complicated for me).

Do you want to know what happens if you travelled near (because nothing can travel at the speed of light, everyone knows that right? right?? am i the only one who didn’t?? is that statement even true???/?) the speed of light? How about what happens if you enter a black hole? And did you know that when a star dies, it expands (after contracting)?? Have you realized that so many famous physicians in the past had multiple wives or mistresses??? Were you understandably confused by the (amazing) 2014 movie Interstellar?/? Well, if all of the above piqued your curiosity, then this module is just for you at the price of just xx bid points! [2-years-later-year-4-me-edit: it’s probably xxx points now due to inflation soz]

Tutorials stress me out (unnecessarily) because there’s a short graded assignment you have to do after the tutor explicitly gives hints to the answers (thank you!). You also need to go for star gazing sessions twice to get the star gazing points. They’re held on friday nights (take note of the dates, there’s like 5-6 sessions altogether) and you basically have to do another short worksheet on stars/telescopes for your attendance to be counted. I didn’t get to see any stars because it was cloudy the first time I went, and I couldn’t make it for the rest of the sessions. I got the full star gazing points after doing another stargazing worksheet right after the final paper though.

There’s also a project consisting of 2-3 people where you either write a story with concepts related to the module or do a book review of a physics book. My friend and I did the story one (of course). I love writing narratives so it was a rather enjoyable project for me!

I didn’t actually read most of the readings (mostly because i couldn’t comprehend them lol), the lectures were pretty much enough to do the papers.

The module says ‘no exam’ but there’s 2 open-book tests (the second test lies near the end of the semester which to me is the same as having a final paper) which were rather okay (if you understood the lectures).

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most.

Difficulty in understanding: 5/5

Workload: 2/5

Self-study time required: 3/5

LAJ2202: Japanese 3

Not much to say about this as it’s basically a slightly harder and more intense version of japanese 2. Chiba sensei likes to work us hard T___ T

There were quite a few out-of-class activities which were compulsory to attend. We had to write scripts and conduct presentations for japanese students which felt pretty stressful. in retrospect, it was a great experience having contact with the japanese.

With all my other group projects going on, I didn’t have much time to study for japanese and didn’t do well for a number of the quizzes. (we have about 2-3 quizzes per week ugh)

Sometimes I imagine how much easier my timetable (and studies) will be if i didn’t take japanese…but I think not having to pay extra $$ for outside japanese lessons and the thoroughness of the curriculum for japanese here makes up for it.

The sucky thing is that even if I wanted to s/u japanese (which i did), I’d still have to study for it. Being caught without studying by my japanese tutors and lecturer will probably get me in pretty big trouble (and disappointment from the tutors).

It’s only gonna get tougher from here on. D’: On the bright side, I’ll be going to japan for exchange in yr 3 sem 1, and this would prove to be pretty useful.

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most.

Difficulty in understanding: 3/5

Workload: 5/5

Self-study time required: 5/5


Yr 1 Sem 1: x (pl1101e, js1101e, laj1201, sc1101e, el1101e)

Yr 1 Sem 2: x (el2201, pl2131, pl3232, pl3235, laj2201)

Yr 2 Sem 1: x (pl2132, pl3236, pl3240, gek1508, laj2202)

Yr 2 Sem 2: x (sss1207, pl3252, pl3234, pl3233, laj2203)

Yr 3 Sem 2: x (acc1002x, gek1049, pl3287, pl4207, pl4880j)

Yr 4 Sem 1: x (gek1900, lab1201, pl4228, pl4206)

Yr 4 Sem 2: x (pl4401, pl4480g)

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