How do I score A for PW?


Should you choose to enrol in a Junior College (JC) or Millennia Institute (MI), you will be required to take the H1 Project Work (PW) subject in your first or second year respectively. As you step into this new environment, you may be wondering: What is this new subject, what does it entail, and how do I get A for PW?

The H1 Project Work (PW) is a compulsory subject for all students who will be taking the A-levels. Essentially, it is a subject that allows students to embark on a project of their interest, according to the topics set for that year. Students will need to work in groups of 3 to 6, depending on the school and their class size. PW will span for approximately slightly less than a year, before the end of the student’s first/second year in JC/MI.

It is a subject that majority of the cohort scores A or B in. Although PW sounds as though like it is of a subject that may be less important in comparison with your other H2 and H1 subjects, it actually does make a significant difference for your university application. Your PW grade is taken into account for the computation of your University Admission Score (UAS), a form of measurement to determine your entrance into university. You can use this UAS Calculator by Zueet to work out an estimation on your A-level grades when PW is taken into account.
Of course, getting an A will be the most beneficial for you to increase your UAS score! So here’s a post guiding you through on how to ace PW for your A-levels:

Pick the correct question
At the start of the year, you will be given two questions to pick from. Study the question and its requirements carefully before embarking on them. Consult your PW teacher for any clarifications pertaining to the question.
Most of the time, students will be assigned their group members according to their PW teachers. Thus, do get together with your group members, discuss the questions together and make a list of topics that your team may potentially want to work on. Discuss in detail pertaining to the requirements of the question and bring the list for discussion with your PW teacher. This will help to ensure that you are all on the right page from the start as your PW teacher will discuss the feasibility of your project with you and your team.

Understand your group’s dynamics
As you may very likely not be able to choose who you want to work with, it is important to get to know your members well. You will need to work with all of them for the remaining part of the year and you would not want to not be able to gel well with your team mates. Understanding the group dynamics will help the team to work better and more efficiently. First of all, delegate roles according to the strengths of every individual. Pick a good leader who is able to lead the team well, assign an overall editor, a timekeeper to ensure that the work done by the team is always on track, a notetaker who will take down key discussion points during meetings. If you have more team members, you can delegate more roles for them to take on.

Work out a schedule, constantly ensure that everyone is on the same page
Together as a team, work out an overall schedule, fixing specific deadlines for your group to meet. Of course, these datelines should be reasonably apart from the actual datelines to ensure that your entire team will have sufficient time to work on any changes if required. Always leave some buffer time before the actual deadlines to also consult your PW teacher on the work done as well. Also, discuss with your members the frequency of your meetings. If possible, pick a fixed day for your team to meet and work on your project. This day come to be a day for everyone to be updated on the progress of the project worked on by each member.

Start early
Always start early whenever you can. Don’t have the mindset that you have a lot of time on your hands to work on the different components of the project. Alongside with the other work that you have for the other subjects, time will go by very quickly and before you and your team know it, it will be the deadlines for the assignments. It is also always good to start early so that you all are able to consult your teacher on the work done and ensure that you all are on the right track.

Checkpoints: Are we still fulfilling the requirements?
Set certain checkpoints along the way for you and your team to have an overall review of the work done so far to ensure that what you all are working on is still in line with the requirements of the question picked. This is an oft-neglected aspect of many groups as they get overwhelmed and carried away with the workload. In every assignment and area that you all are working on, always ensure that your team is still fulfilling the requirements to secure the A for your PW grade.

Secure interviews, surveys etc
This is one area that will help a team to ace their PW. As the PW subject is designed to expose students to work on empirical and real-time data, it will be a plus if they can gather such statistics and information by themselves. Send out emails to relevant parties for interviews, do up surveys to get the data you need to back up the grounds and feasibility of your project. If you are able to get endorsement from an established organization or professional individual in the marketplace, you will know that your project is definitely moving towards the right track.

Consult your PW teacher as a group
Always consult your PW teacher along every step of the way from the start up till the very end to ensure that your group is constantly on the right track.

Practice together
Do get together and get sufficient practice for the oral presentation that takes up 40% of your group’s grade. Practice together and help out one another to point out areas of improvement and also the transition points from one to the next. Try not to hold on to scripts as that would reflect better preparedness on the actual day of the oral presentation itself.

For more information on the syllabus and its requires, do refer to the MOE website and the official syllabus.

Geraldine Lee
Geraldine lives out of bubbles and dreams. When she’s not writing, she reads about kids and parenting matters. Her works have been featured on Singapore’s Child, theAsianParent and now, even yodaa.