O Level Social Studies

Why is Social Studies important?

social studies help students to gain a better understanding of the interconnectedness of Singapore and the world they live in, and appreciate the complexities of the human experience. Social studies draws on aspects of society that are of meaning and interest to the students and ignite students’ curiosity to inquire into real world issues that concern their lives.


Teacher Eleen conducts her lessons in O level social studies tuition in Singapore through the use of inquiry and authentic learning experiences to help her students to attain relevant knowledge and understanding about real world issues, develop critical and reflective thinking skills, and appreciate multiple perspectives.

Mastering Social Studies

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Source-based case study Structured-response
Analysing Source-Based Questions (SBQ)
Identifying Source-Based Questions (SBQ) types
● Inference
● Compare and contrast
● Cross referencing
● Biasness
● Purpose
Employing correct techniques to answer Source-Based Questions (SBQ)
Applying contextual knowledge to the question
Employing correct techniques to answer Structured Essay Questions (SEQ)


Syllabus content is organised around three Issues and is anchored in a set of knowledge skills and values outcomes. The three Issues correspond to societal issues that have been shaping Singapore society and the world. The knowledge, skills and values acquired through a study of these Issues will enable students to enrich and deploy their competencies to respond to real world issues.

O level social studies tuition in Singapore content

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IssuesKey Understandings
Issue 1: Exploring Citizenship and Governance

Inquiry Focus – Working for the good of society: Whose responsibility is it?

This Issue invites students to begin exploring what it means to be an informed, concerned and participative citizen. Students will deepen their understanding of their
roles as citizens and that of government.

1. Understanding of citizenship is varied and complex.
2. Different groups of people in society have competing interests and managing these interests requires trade-offs to be made.
3. Both citizens and government can play complementary roles in working for the good of society.
Issue 2: Living in a Diverse Society

Inquiry Focus – Living in a diverse society: Is harmony achievable?

This Issue helps students appreciate diversity and the importance of harmony.
Students will develop an understanding of
who they are as individuals and accept, respect and celebrate diversity as well as common practices and values in a diverse society.

1. Identities are diverse and complex.
2. Living harmoniously in a diverse society means respecting our differences and appreciating what we share in common.
3. We can choose how we respond to diversity in our society.
Issue 3: Being Part of a Globalised World

Inquiry Focus – Being part of a globalised world:
Is it necessarily good?

This Issue helps students understand and make meaning of their lives in a globalised world where
countries, companies and individuals are interconnected and interdependent. Students will explore the
impacts of globalisation in three areas:
economy, culture and security. They will understand the complex process of globalisation through examining how the uneven impacts of globalisation in these areas result in trade-offs and tensions.
These impacts lead to different responses from countries, companies and individuals.

1. Globalisation shapes the interconnections and interdependence between countries and people.
2. Globalisation creates tension due to uneven impacts.
3. The impact of globalisation results in differing responses from countries and people.