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History


The A-Level History curriculum - regardless of H1 or H2 - seeks to develop historical understanding through the study of local, regional and global developments which highlight historical agency. Guided by your teachers, we hope that you will develop appreciation of past human experiences, critical awareness of the nature of historical knowledge, and the ability to make connections between the past and present.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

1) What is the difference between H1 and H2 History?

The required skills and assessment methods are similar, but the content does have some significant differences.

A broad summary has been provided below, but for further details, you can view the respective syllabi at these links: H1 History and H2 History.

H1 History (8821)

The Cold War and the Modern World (1945 - 2000) (100%)

  • Section A: Source-based Case Study on Theme 1 (40 marks)
    • Theme 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945 - 1991)
      • Emergence of Bipolarity after WWII
      • A World Divided by the Cold War [Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis]
      • End of Bipolarity

  • Section B: 2 Essay Questions on Theme 2 and Theme 3 (30 marks each)
    • Theme 2: The Cold War and Asia (1945 - 1991)
      • Superpower relations with China
      • The Cold War and Southeast Asia
    • Theme 3: The Cold War and the United Nations (1945 - 2000)
      • Organisational Structure of the United Nations
      • Effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations in maintaining international peace and security

  • There is only 1 paper and the duration of the final A-Level exam will be 3 hours.

H2 History (9751)


Paper I: Shaping the International Order (50%)
  • Section A: Source-based Case Study on Theme 1 (40 marks)
    • Theme 1: Understanding the Cold War (1945 - 1991)
      • Emergence of Bipolarity after WWII
      • A World Divided by the Cold War [Korean War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War]
      • End of Bipolarity

  • Section B: 2 Essay Questions on Theme 2 and Theme 3 (30 marks each)
    • Theme 2: Understanding the Global Economy (1945 - 2000)
      • Growth and Problems in the Global Economy
      • Rise of Asian Tiger economies (South Korea and Taiwan) from 1970s to 1990
    • Theme 3: Safeguarding International Peace and Security
      • Formation of the United Nations
      • Political effectiveness of the UN in maintaining international peace and security
      • UN Reforms

  • This is the first of two H2 History papers and the duration of the final A-Level exam will be 3 hours. The two papers will be tested on different days.

Paper II: The Making of Independent Southeast Asia, Independence - 2000 (50%)
  • Section A: Source-based Case Study on Theme 3 (40 marks)
    • Inter-state Tensions and Cooperation
      • This section will be based on the following case studies: Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
    • ASEAN

  • Section B: 2 Essay Questions on Theme 1 and Theme 2 (30 marks each)
      • Theme 1: Search for Political Stability
      • Approaches to Governance
      • Approaches to National Unity
    • Theme 2: Economic Development after Independence
      • Paths to economic development
      • The Asian Financial Crisis

  • This is the second of two H2 History papers and the duration of the final A-Level exam will be 3 hours. The two papers will be tested on different days.

2) How are marks allocated for the different components?

Each Source-Based Case Study has 2 parts - a 10-mark question that requires you to compare and contrast 2 sources, and a 30-mark question that requires an overall assessment of the sources. H2 students have to evaluate 6 sources, while H1 students have to evaluate 5 sources.

Each essay is worth 30 marks - there are no sub-parts for the essay questions. There are 2 essay questions per theme and you will have to choose 1 out of 2 to do.


3) Are there any prerequisites to taking History in CJC? Must I have taken History at the O-Level to take A-Level History?

There are no prerequisites to taking History in CJC. Having prior experience of History at the O-Level - regardless of whether you took it as a Pure or Elective subject - does give you some initial familiarity with Theme 1 for both H1 and H2 Paper 1 (“Understanding the Cold War (1945 - 1991)”) but the skills and depth of understanding that you will need to demonstrate at the A-Level are much more advanced than at the O-Level. In this aspect, everyone begins at more or less the same starting point.

Ultimately, what matters most in determining your success at A-Level History is your learning attitude and consistency of revision.

4) How is History taught in CJC?

We run on a system of lectures and seminars/tutorials. At the J1 level, per week, H2 History students will have one 1-hour lecture and two 1.5-hour seminars, while H1 History students will have one 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial.

Lectures are typically where content is delivered - you will need to stay attentive and take notes as slides and recordings are not made available by default.

In seminars/tutorials, we typically cover Source-Based Case Studies and/or essay questions. These are meant to impart critical thinking and writing skills, and individual preparation is required. Tutorial group sizes typically do not exceed 25 students, which helps to facilitate group discussions (of which there will be many).

5) What is H3 History?

The H3 History syllabus is developed on the assumption that candidates have knowledge and understanding of History at H2 level. As such, you can only apply for H3 History after the JC1 Promotional Examinations, and taking H3 History does not replace any of your existing subjects.

H3 History is pitched at a level higher than that of the H2 History syllabus. It builds on the competencies acquired in H2 History and requires candidates to demonstrate historical knowledge in greater depth and breadth.

6) Are there any enrichment opportunities for History students in CJC?

Students who have displayed a good learning attitude and aptitude by the end of JC1 will be invited to join various programmes as part of the History Stretch programme, which aims to broaden their horizons beyond the curriculum.

One of these key opportunities would be our Internationalisation Programme an overseas exchange programme with Tran Phu High School enabled by a partnership that has existed since 2018. Although it began as an overseas field trip experience, due to Covid-19, it has evolved into an virtual exchange instead. Yet, learning remained rich experiential and inquiry-driven as they explored each other’s cultures and the social trends common to both countries. This programme is a perfect example of how the mode of learning may change in its shape and structure due to unforeseeable circumstances, but the enthusiasm for and rich insights gained from learning should and would not waver.  

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In 2021, we adopted the Model ASEAN approach as a framework for engagement with our friends in Tran Phu High School. Students from both colleges embarked on a virtual collaboration and represented different countries in the region, proposing solutions to real-world regional issues such as the issue of vaccine inequity and diplomacy, and the “war on drugs” in Southeast Asia. 

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Head of DepartmentMr Lester Low
Subject Head: Ms Adhana