GEH1035 Phy’cal Qns from Everyday Life

Module: GEH1035 Phy’cal Qns from Everyday Life

Semester taken: AY 2018/19 Semester 1

Lecturer: Dr Ng Wei Khim

Tutor: None

Textbook: None

What it is about

This module introduces physics concepts in everyday life and applications. The lecturer will take a daily phenomenon and explain the various physics behind it, which allows students to get a better appreciation of the surroundings and the environment around them.

Assessment components

  • 50% - Two term tests (25% each): 1-hour open-book exam (mix of MCQs and long answer questions), laptops can be brought too

  • 10% - IVLE quizzes: Regular quizzes on IVLE, all MCQs.

  • 5% - Class participation: Participation in IVLE forums and IVLE surveys during lecture.

  • 35% - Term paper report and presentation.


This module was previously offered under GEM2507, but this semester saw the syllabus and lecturer change. This meant that we were the first batch to take this “new” module and there were many things that the lecturer wanted to try out.

Overall, as someone that has always been very interested in Physics, this module allowed me to better appreciate the surroundings from a physics perspective. The content taught was somewhat similar to what was taught in H2 Physics, but some of the more advanced topics were not taught and more content were covered in the topics that were actually taught.

This module is suitable for all students, although students with Physics background were at a slight advantage. However, the advantage was minimal as the tests were open book and everything that the lecturer covered can be found in the lecture notes provided. Also, there are no finals, as the second term test serves to be the final examination to be held before reading week.


The lecture notes are somewhat comprehensive and the lectures felt more like listening to a storyteller. The story behind the lectures is that a person wakes up early in the morning (time) on his bed (space). He hears the alarm go off (sound) and opens his eyes to see (sight) and feel the cool morning breeze (temperature), before getting up to brush his teeth (motion).

The lecturer goes very in-depth for each topic. However, there are certain things that the lecturer will purposely leave out in the lecture notes and cover during the lecture itself, which will then be tested during the term tests. Lectures are not webcasted and there may be surveys open during the lecture time which counts towards class participation marks.


There are official tutorial time slots but there are no actual tutorial classes. The tutorials are conducted during lecture hours by the lecturer himself, but you will need to pay attention to when he will be going through the tutorial to be prepared for it.

Term tests

The term tests consists of some MCQs and long answer questions that will test a given range of lectures. 1 hour is generally just enough time for you to finish the paper, but it is recommended that you put more effort into the MCQs as the lecturer tends to moderate everyone when marking the long answer questions (it can get quite difficult to actually score for the long answer questions as there is no concrete grading scheme). For this semester, we were allowed to bring our laptops in as part of the open book test, but this might change for the next semester.

Term paper

The main project component of this module was to come up with a term paper. You will form groups of size 1 to 4 people to write a term paper on a chosen topic by your group (of up to 1,500 words per person in the group). There are specific topics that the lecturer prefers to talk about, so it would be recommended to do those topics, but you are still free to choose any other physics-related topics to discuss in the term paper.

There is also a presentation component where you will talk about what you will be discussing in the term paper and the presentation will be done during the lecture. It is a casual presentation and you can bring cue cards or a script up on stage.

Other information

Assignment workload: There were only 4 tutorials for the whole semester and some IVLE quizzes to do, which can be easily done in a short time frame.

Project workload: The term paper will require some effort to write, but there is more than enough time to finish it before the due date. I would recommend during the term paper presentation before recess week so that you can get it out of the way before it gets busier in the later part of the semester.

Readings: None, but there is a reference book that you can get online to read up more if you are interested.

Recommended if: You love Physics or if you want a relatively light module to clear for your GEH pillar or if you hate having finals. There are definitely more interesting modules in the same pillar out there though.

Rating: 3.5/5. I felt a little cheated by the module as it was almost like H2 Physics, which meant that I did not really learn new things from this module.

Expected grade: B+

Actual grade: A- (Seeing how the lecturer marked the first term test, I was not too optimistic for the second, but apparently my fears were unfounded)

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