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NUS Business Module Review: MNO2706 Business Communication for Leaders (ACC)

What it’s about: Introduction to business communication and how it will be like in the real world. Covers a broad range of topics including communicating using stories and writing a resume and cover letter.

Assignment workload: Other than the “required” readings, there is no assignment for this module. The key allocations of marks are for your individual presentation and group project so you may want to focus more on that.

Thoughts about the tutor: She is an excellent professor. Since she comes from industry, she brings in a substantial amount of experience in business communication. She also shares with us personal stories regarding personal communication to make the lesson more interactive and interesting. She is also very well-versed with her content and can mix the content and her real-life experiences to come up with very enjoyable 3-hour seminars for us. At least for me, I found the lessons to be very enjoyable and interesting.

Personal presentation: This was about resolving a problem a company has by trying to convince them that there is light at the end of the tunnel and trying to raise positivity and encourage employees. Personally, I am not very good at presentation and the nerves got the better of me during the presentation but I felt it was a rather enriching experience.

Project Drama: The quality of my group was on point for this mod. We met up during recess week to discuss the group project. After allocating the work, we did our individual parts and consolidated the report within 2 weeks. A 15-page report within 2 weeks is certainly quite amazing. The slides were done by me again and it took about a week. Smooth sailing and with a few rehearsals, we nailed the report and the 15- minutes presentation!

Readings: Little to none. There are some readings of different newspaper articles and other information sources like TED Talks that are provided but they are not mandatory. It is good for supplementing your general knowledge about communication, but not so much about course content.

Final Thoughts: Overall, I had a very good experience with this mod. Although the content is a bit too “fluff” to my liking, I really enjoyed the mod due to the way it was delivered, as well as the great amount of information given to us to help us in our journey towards self-improvement.

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NUS Business Module Review: MNO1706 Organisational Behavior

Very glad to be taught by Prof Audrey Chia as she usually do not teach year 1s.

She’s very friendly, smiley and approachable.

I like the way she conducted the lesson in the sense that you can share your views and ask questions at any point during the lesson instead having a fix “Q&A time” and “lecture time” which can make the learning environment uncomfortable.

She would invite speakers to the class, share relevant cases and prompt us with questions that make us think not only about MNO but also our life.

Assessment criteria during my Sem:

10% subject pool

30% individual presentation (5mins)

30% group presentation(20mins)

30% class participation

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NUS Module Module Review: GET1020 GEM1536 Darwin and Evolution

I wish to stay attending the class because Dr. John is a very good and humorous lecturer. Classes weren’t dry at all since Dr. John always came up with interactive teaching methods or funny jokes. However, a big amount of memorization needed making me already gave up after midterm test because I am not someone who love to memorize. But, I would still suggest this module for those who are good at memorization or just looking for interesting GET modules given they still have S/U quota.

The content of this module started with some early ideas about evolution, then going through Darwin’s life and the Beagle voyage, Wallace’s life, The Origin of Species and its reception, Victorian naturalism, other works of Darwin, Darwin & Religion, Neo-Darwinism, modern opponents of evolution, new theories, human history, and finally principles of evolution (which is the only chapter I could really understand). Dr. John would also give myth-busting and clear all misconceptions about Darwin.

Grading components: (i think both exams’ portions were equal)

Midterm: 50 MCQs testing all chapters up to recess week.

Final exam: 50 MCQs testing all chapters (however I thought it was only testing chapters in the second half of the sem).

I guess both exams’ bell curves were quite steep as the MCQs weren’t that difficult. I was planning to S/U this module since the midterm was over and I was only expecting a pass grade. But, just 15 mins before the final exam was started, I borrowed a piece of some random past paper questions from my friend and turned out around 70% of the questions came up in the final exam (such a miracle!, or maybe the lecturer was very busy to make a new set of questions haha).

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NUS Module Module Review: GEH1030 PC1327 GEK1519 Science of Music

I took this mod in AY2018/2019 Sem 1. Prof Bernard Tan and Ms Lydia Lim conducted the lectures and tutorials respectively. There were 2 separate lectures a week, and one 1.25-hour tutorial per fortnight, if I remember correctly. Content-wise, the module has quite the range of technical information, history, scientific fact and math. As an FASS student, I have to say that I am glad there was an essay component (concert review) and a music composition component. It’s beneficial to have some music background, I can imagine being a little lost without one. Lectures are uploaded on the SOM site itself, and frankly, it is fine to skip them as long as you go through the slides. The content is pretty fascinating although Prof Tan speaks a little slowly and can be dull at times. Both mid-term and final tests were MCQ and held about a week before most tests, giving you more time to focus on them. They do involve a great deal of math, though, so if your math is poor, do not take this module. Overall, despite the hit-or-miss lectures and numerous calculations required, I do not regret using it to clear my GEH especially in my first year :’)

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NUS Economics Module Review: EC3101 Microeconomic Analysis II

Textbook: Intermediate Microeconomics, 9th Ed by Varian. (Not necessary IMO, but your mileage might vary, etc.)

This is the second of the 2 intermediate microeconomics modules offered in NUS. The description on NUSMods is outdated – the module no longer emphasises general equilibrium analysis since the exchange economy is already covered in EC2101. There will be fairly little review (everything you learnt in EC2101 is basically assumed knowledge), so within the first 3 weeks intertemporal choice and choice under uncertainty will have been covered (covering these topics is kind of a revision on consumer theory anyway). The module then goes on to analyse monopolies, oligopolies, game theory and various forms of asymmetric information, the kind of stuff that you have to think about when you throw perfect competition assumptions out of the window.

If you like EC2101 (like I did), and are comfortable working with your Lagrange multipliers, I feel that EC3101 is probably the kind of module that you would enjoy as well. If not, I think it really isn’t the most difficult 3K module you’ll encounter in in the Economics department (*cough* EC3102 *cough*), but you should spend some time to think about what is discussed in class, work through problem sets and homework, etc.

Unlike EC2101, there are different lecturers in different semesters (apparently the module is harder under Dr Tim Wong, but that is hearsay and I cannot verify this). Prof Sng is a pretty good lecturer, and I think that he explains things fairly well, so I can recommend taking the module when he’s teaching it.

As-is standard in any EC-coded module, problem sets are fairly short and do-able, first presentation in class is graded, homework can be challenging but is definitely doable. I feel that the Midterms and Finals are much easier than EC2101, but much of it is still a test of concept mastery rather than just mere mathematical manipulation.

Ultimately, like a TA for this module said, you either get micro or you don’t. Microeconomics is really foundational for later 3K/4K Economics modules though, so try your best to get it.

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NUS Economics Module Review: EC2303 Foundations for Econometrics

Lots of statistics and mathematics but as long as you’ve been through H2 Math Stats it shouldn’t be too much of an issue, though there are some new concepts that were not covered in JC. This is a mod that provides a basis to higher level Econometrics so it’s highly recommended to take it after EC1101E. I also recommend taking it together with GER1000 since the concepts are similar.

Lectures – Webcasted, meaning you can watch it from home!! Professor Yue Mu also uploads her working(s) onto LumiNUS which are concise and clear, so you should go through them as well!

Tutorials – Make sure to finish your revision and tutorials before every lesson or you won’t be able to understand anything. Tutorials are not very difficult to finish as long as you have done your revision. Try to volunteer to present your answers so that you can earn class participation marks. Luckily for me, Qing Wei provided summary sheets for each topic/lecture which made understanding the concepts much easier.

Exams – Unfortunately, PYPs were not provided + the syllabus changed in 19/20 Sem 1 so I could not refer to Carousellers who only provided PYPs for 18/19 Sem 2 and earlier 🙁 However, that also means everyone is on equal level-playing field. For exam revision, just redo your tutorials and problem questions in the lecture slides and go for consultations if you need to clarify anything. All the best!!

Bellcurve — Relatively steep, but don’t worry too much about it!! Consistency is key to doing well!!

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NUS Economics Module Review: EC2102 Macroeconomic Analysis I

Assessment:

15% Class Participation

35% Midterm

50% Finals

Textbook: Macroeconomics, 9th Ed by Abel, Bernanke, and Croushore, as well as part of Macroeconomics, 6th Ed by Williamson (textbooks are supplementary readings since lectures notes are largely self-contained. I personally found them to be decent readings that compliment the lecture notes pretty well.)

This is the first of the 2 intermediate macroeconomics modules offered in NUS, aimed at developing models that help explain the competing theories behind business cycles in the economy in a closed-economy setting. The first part of the module uses microeconomic concepts that you may have encountered in EC2101 to create microfoundations for the labour, goods and asset markets. This would later be extended in the second part of the module after the midterm, as the basis of a simple IS-LM-FE model that can also be extended to an AD-AS model. Changes in key assumptions of the model then help explain differences between Classical and Keynesian interpretations of business cycles.

Compared to EC2101, the math in this module is far less involved, and is perhaps only slightly more difficult than EC1101E/EC1301, especially if you’re taking the module under Dr Seet, who really emphasises on intuitive and graphical understanding of the models.

Dr Seet is quite a funny lecturer, but he is also patient in his elaboration of the concepts, to the point in which he could be repeating himself at times. Your mileage might vary, but I liked his lectures, and he was definitely very approachable for consultations and discussions after lecture.

Like most Econs tutorials, expect to present solutions for the tutorial questions a few times. Most of the tutorial questions are quite straightforward, mostly either about explaining key concepts covered in lecture (which you can lift directly from the lecture notes), or about applying the models and ideas covered in lecture.

Midterms and finals are of a similar standard to the tutorial questions. Don’t expect difficult math, but do have a good grasp of the content and the models. Make sure you have practice drawing the models a few times.

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NUS Economics Module Review: EC2101 Microeconomic Analysis I

Assessment:

3% Online Quiz (Pre-Lecture, on flipped classroom content)

10% Tutorial Participation

15% Group Homework (2 sets with equal weightage)

25% Midterm (6 MCQ for 30%, 3 structured qns for 70%)

47% Final (5 MCQ for 20%, 5 structured qns for 80%)

Textbook: Microeconomics, 5th Ed by Besanko and Braeutigam, with additional readings from Intermediate Microeconomics, 9th Ed by Varian. (Textbook not really required as lecture notes are fairly stand-alone, although some of the elaboration might be useful)

This is the first of the 2 intermediate microeconomics modules offered in NUS, mostly covering the foundations of consumer and producer theory, as well as other topics like exchange economy and partial competitive equilibrium. This is a core module for the Econs major that cannot be S/U-ed, so take this as a UE only if you’re interested in Economics, or have sufficient quantitative background.

Knowledge of basic calculus (mostly just use of partial derivatives) is assumed, and more advanced concepts (specifically the method of Lagrange multipliers to solve constrained optimization problems) will be elaborated upon in class. If you’re a math or engineering student, or if you’re an Econs major that has done well in EC2104, the math in this module shouldn’t be that taxing.

Dr Zhang has taught this module since 2012(?), and her experience teaching this module really shows. Her explanations of concepts in lecture are very clear and easy to understand. She is also very approachable if you wish to seek clarification, with fixed weekly office hours and additional office hours before midterms/finals.

Tutorial problem sets are fairly straightforward applications of concepts introduced in lecture, and are meant to reinforce these concepts. You will be expected to present your solution to 1-2 questions at least once during tutorial. You will also form groups of 2-3 in tutorial to complete 2 graded homework assignments, which are slightly more challenging than the tutorial content but still fairly manageable.

Midterms and Finals are definitely more challenging. There will be questions are set differently from the tutorial/homework content, with an emphasis on your own mastery of the concepts in the module. Do the practice problem sets released by Dr Zhang before Midterms/Finals to get used to doing the algebraic manipulations quickly (especially for exchange economy and producer theory questions which can be very messy from my experience), but don’t expect to get too far during the exams just by doing the problem sets.

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NUS Economics Module Review: EC1101E Introduction to Economic Analysis

Lectures

Lectures are webcasted. I attended the first lecture and skipped the rest – webcasting at 1.5x/1.75x speed from home saves you lots of time, plus you can rewind if you need to listen to an explanation again.

The first half of the mod is your standard JC Econs, just less in-depth. If you took Econs in JC and internalised the concepts, the stuff covered in lectures will (mostly) seem like common sense to you. Unlike in JC, you don’t have to write essays and all exams and online quizzes are in MCQ format, so just broadly knowing the concepts and how things work at the micro level is enough.

The second half of the mod is more challenging in that there is much more new content that you won’t see in JC, but thankfully the explanations given are pretty clear and they don’t go to in-depth. It is an intro mod after all. Don’t get complacent after 6 weeks of micro.

Tutorials

I didn’t prep at all for micro tutorials and did them on the spot in class to present (I believe some tutors call on people, but mine was content to let us volunteer – sadly not many people did and he did most of the explaining), but for macro I had to prepare for several tutorials.

The micro tutorials are super easy, but the macro tutorials are a different ball game. The upside is that once you know how to do the macro tutorials, you know you’ve got the topic down.

Joash was a great tutor, he explains stuff clearly and really tries his best to make sure students aren’t lost – I think some of my classmates didn’t have an JC Econs background (I know nothing about the difference between H1/2) and needed some extra explanation, so he slowed down and went over some points. He even sends emails responding to questions raised in class or if he has stuff he wants to add on.

Assessment

There are graded online quizzes, you have 3 attempts. Just do them and score full marks, don’t be me and click wrongly twice in a row to drop a mark. Discuss with your friends if you have to.

The midterm exam was pure micro and the final exam was 75% macro. Bell curve is gonna be pretty steep since it’s MCQ and most questions are the kind you can answer almost immediately upon reading. That said, be careful – some are tricky, especially the macro ones.

I guess the exams are all about time management and being careful once you have your content down. I forgot to bring an eraser into my midterms and we had to shade on an OAS. For finals, I realised I was too fast and slowed down, only to realise near the end I was pretty pressed for time and had to rush through some questions. Our finals was an e-exam on Examplify. Familiarise yourself with the software! I was lucky enough to have experience with it (all my exams for Year 1 and Year 2 were e-exams). Oh, and do the prescribed readings that are testable (they will specify which ones are).

Final grade: A+

Parting thoughts

How much time and effort you put in is up to you. I spent a couple of hours preparing for finals, inclusive of doing the mock exam quizzes online (useful stuff!). Don’t do that unless you’re sure that you know the content. Rewatch lecture videos if you have to. Redo tutorials. I read through the macro tutorials again to be safe.

This is an intro mod and sometimes raised way more questions than answers for me, especially for macro and theory stuff. But my tutor Joash was great and was able to let me know that those thoughts were outside of the syllabus. I’d say the key to scoring for this mod is to pay serious attention to the lectures.

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NUS Module Review: LAB1201 Bahasa Indonesia

I admit it wasn’t a language I took purely out of interest. Didn’t have many other options due to constraints in bidding points. Nonetheless, I had a great lecturer and tutor who made the whole experience very enjoyable. Compared to other more popular languages (korean, jap, french etc), I would say that the pace for LAB in comparison was much more manageable. (not fair right?) idk if it’s some strategy to discourage people who want to take the more popular languages or ???

Anyway, both midterms and finals were of average difficulty, as long as you did study, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Lots of opportunities to practice in class anyway. The most nerve-wrecking part of this module or any language module for that matter, is the oral component in the finals. I found it to be much more difficult when you’re just starting out on a new language. But since half the oral test was done with a partner of your choice and I did it with a close friend of mine, it really helped to boost my confidence and was actually kinda fun on hindsight. Don’t worry even if you’re doing this module without a friend. All the partners in my tutorial group became good friends eventually, even if they didn’t know each other at first. The other half of the oral test is to narrate a story relevant to a random topic given to you (individual). Your partner will then ask you 2 questions pertaining to your story. I guess having your partner beside you helps quite a bit; moral support 

There was some written homework given nearly weekly. But the length required for the essay was not unreasonable, and can often be done in less than 30 minutes. Oh, nearly forgot to mention the highlight of this module. A cultural night. You can sign up for any project group, provided there are still vacancies. There is cooking, dance, angklung, skit performance etc. Cooking is consistently the most popular one every semester it seems. You’ll get to learn traditional Indonesian food, dance etc depending on which you signed up for. Then you’ll get to display your efforts during a cultural night performance in one of the LTs. Pretty fun experience and I enjoyed the practice sessions. Didn’t feel very burdensome cos teammates were great to work with. I think regardless of which group you signed up for, you’ll probably enjoy it!

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