PL1101E (Sem 1, AY2015/16)

By: A
Module taken in Sem 1, AY 2015/16
Introduction to Psychology

Lecturer: Dr John Elliott

Lecturer Review: Lecturer was pretty good, went through the salient points of each lecture content. But he didn’t have sufficient time to cover everything in the textbooks. He used a variety of media such as videos instead of going through the lecture slides alone. Also please do show up for the lecture just before the midterms. There will be a short review of what is covered for the midterms but there will definitely be hints given, though very subtle. In my experience, fewer than 100 students showed up for that lecture but boom what was covered in that lecture came out in the midterms.

Module Review: Very content heavy. Apart from the lecture slides, everything in the textbook, including details you would normally overlook, may come out. So might as well put your textbook under your pillow and sleep hoping some of the knowledge will osmosis into your head. Also do not skip the lectures too because content of videos may or may not be examined as well. Examination format was I think 75 MCQs and 5 Essay-length (about 1 A4 page) questions. Weightage is Midterms 50% and Finals 50%.

PL1101E (Sem 1, AY2013/14)

By: Anonymous
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2013/14
Introduction to Psychology

Professor: John Elliot

Professor Review:  John Elliot was the lecturer for this, and even though he did critic the textbook and gave additional info to ponder about from time to time, I started skipping lecture halfway through because the bulk of his lectures was simply a summary of the textbook. Had webcast as well but if the population in the lecture theatre was too small he would threaten to stop the webcast (which is understandable… who wants to talk to people who don’t wanna listen to you?).
The title says it all – the module goes through a large variety of topics such as memory, learning, intelligence, developmental psych, abnormal psych, etcetc. If you have interest in how the brain works and what human behaviour is like, this is a module for you.

Module Review: I used the extra time to read the ebook ehehe.
Mid-terms had 100 mcq questions which tested on even the tiniest details in the textbook… i have the impression that psych in nus is basically all about memorizing (which i suck at unfortunately).
Finals had 75 mcq qns and 5 short answer questions worth 5 marks each. the questions were pretty random, like what is natural selection.
Tutorials were pretty okay, once every two weeks and most of the questions are just copy and paste from the textbook.
People with photographic memories should definitely take psych cus it’ll probably pull up their grades a lot lolol.
Average people like me will just struggle averagely.
But i still enjoyed what i learnt in psych, i now know a little more about my mind and my body and the reasons behind some of our body’s reactions. 🙂
(Well I have to since i wanna major in it a hah aaha…)

Rating – 1 being least and 5 being most.

Difficulty in understanding: 1/5
Workload: 2/5
Self-study time: 5/5

Grade: B+


PL1101E (Sem 1, AY2010/11)

By: Alan
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2010/11
Introduction to Psychology

What is it about?: The title says it all – the module goes through a large variety of topics such as memory, learning, intelligence, developmental psych, abnormal psych, etcetc. If you have interest in how the brain works and what human behaviour is like, this is a module for you.

How’s the workload?: The textbook is a monster – it was 800++ pages in total. (excluding references + appendix) Readings every week are usually one chapter, though you may have to read more in some weeks. Each chapter is about 40-60 pages. Do note that the textbook may change every sem(or year?) so it may be different.
There is one mid term paper (which you know the topic from about week 3 or 4, and is due about week 8?), a 100 MCQ mid term test, and a 100 MCQ + 5 short essay finals. (both closed book)
One 2h lecture per week (should be 6-8pm on monday as always) and one 2h tutorial fortnightly

How difficult is it?: The readings sound like alot but they are really not that bad. Firstly, the information is generally interesting to read and are not dry readings like journal articles. Next, there are many experiments and examples to aid your understanding, so it is not as long as it seems. The textbook is pretty easy to understand so there shouldnt be any problems here.
The exams are almost entirely memory-based – if you are able to memorize the textbook from the first to last page, you will very likely get a close-to-perfect mark. That said, understanding the concepts is quite important (versus just memorizing definitions) as the MCQs like to rephrase certain terms and see if you can pick the correct definition. Do try to read every thing from the textbook and remember the gist of everything, because they will test everything.

Miscellaneous Tips: This is one module in which you cannot fall behind in your readings – everything snowballs really quickly. Also, it’s all about remembering everything, so ideally try to read your textbook at least twice over. Making a summary sheet for every chapter REALLY helps in revision.
Also, get started on your mid term essay early since they release the topic so early. The topic was fairly straightforward for this semester, not sure about future sems.
Lectures are an absolute waste of time, I stopped going for lectures in the second half of the semester. All they do is regurgitate what is stated in the textbook, and do a rushed job (because realistically all the content cannot be covered within a short 2hr lecture)
Tutorials are boring as well, but I guess it depends on which TA you get. No tutorial participation, so go ahead and switch off during tutorials :p

Should you take it?: A content heavy mod and should be balanced accordingly with whatever else you are taking. Not difficult at all to score if you have the time to keep up with readings. Known to be one of the most interesting exposure mods, and psychology is always interesting to read about. Go ahead and try it!

Retrieved from Alan’s blog

PL1101E (Sem 1, AY2013/14)

By: Julene Ong
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2013/14
Introduction to Psychology

Since I intend to major in psychology, I needed to take PL1101E and PL2131 and obtain B- for both of them to major.
Some people recommend taking both mods in the same sem so that you can clear the requirements faster and start taking major modules while others suggested taking PL1101E in the first sem then taking PL2131 so that you can put more focus on doing well for each in case taking both cause you to sacrifice the grade of one for the other or sth.
I decided to take both in the first sem because I don’t think it would make a difference to each of the grades.
This sem was totally different from past sems!!
The lecturer changed from a one lecturer per topic type to having the same lecturer for the same sem.
And our textbook changed to an ebook that only costs $29.90.Ebook has its advantages and disadvantages as usual.
Advantages: It has mcq questions for us to practise and it kinda helps for the exams since the exams are mcq too. Cheap. Handy if you have a tablet or sth that you bring to school.
Disadvantages: Lags like mad. It always suddenly becomes unavailable/maintenance nearing the exam date lol. Strains your eyes to keep reading it from a screen.
I printed out the whole ebook so that it was easier for me to study because I don’t really find the ebook very user friendly 😦Assessment format:
Midterm MCQ test (30%)
Midterm paper (30%)
Final exam (40%)
12 RP points to be completed

There were 16 chapters in total for the textbook, 9 were tested during midterms and the other 7 during the final exam.
As the reviews on says, memorising the whole textbook will give you that A.
There were 100 MCQs for the midterm to be completed in 90minutes.
The midterm paper was a 2 choose 1 essay question that is 2 page long.
Final exam was 75 MCQs and 5 short answer questions to be completed in 2 hours.
The MCQs are from the last 7 chapters while the 5 short answer questions can be from any chapter.
The short answer questions are quite straightforward, if you studied you would be able to answer. One of the questions was something like “What is natural selection and give an example” and another one was “what is object permanence and how do you test if babies have it?”

RP is this programme where you have to be research participants from the psych experiments of seniors. There is a website where we can check when there are experiments available to for signup. 1 point is half an hour so you have to complete 6 hours worth of experiment participation. And cos I took PL2131 which also has this requirement, I had to complete 12 hours worth of experiment participation.
One advice I wished some senior had told me was not to be so kanchiong to take up any experiment available just to clear the 24 points fast.
The word tasks are like the most boring thing on earth and you cannot finish it early because the application is timed. Words were just shown one after another on the computer screen and you are asked to determine whether that is a word or non-word, for half an hour!!!!
The other personality ones are much more fun such that you enjoy that half an hour and sometimes you can finish it in like 15 minutes if you answer everything fast.
Towards the end of the sem, there were more interesting RPs like religion based, there was one about porn and anger management and some relationship and mating ones hahaha
And there is definitely enough slots for everyone so don’t need to be so worried that you don’t have enough experiments to sign up for. But dont leave everything to the last minute also la.
If possible, try to sign up for like a few that are one after another so that you don’t have to keep travelling to the experiment rooms.

The things learnt in psych are interesting and I think scoring well for the mcq exams is really possible if you re-read the textbook like a few times and really know the textbook inside-out.
I was kinda worried when I got C+ for my midterm paper because I thought it would be difficult for me to get at least B- already.
But things didn’t turn out so bad in the end thankfully!!!

Predicted grade: B- / B

Actual grade: B
Retrieved from Julene’s blog

PL1101E (Sem 1, AY2014/15)

By: Lee Jia Ying Trena
Module taken in Sem 1 AY2014/15

What it is about: It’s basically an introduction to Psychology – it goes through the different areas of Psychology, such as abnormal, cognitive, social, and so on. It’s a prerequisite for Psychology majors (you have to get at least B- to declare Psych as your major, same for PL2131).

Lecturer(/s): Prof John Elliott and Ms Kaur, Susheel
For 1101, Prof John Elliott’s style is that he’ll go through materials from the textbook, though in his own order and not necessarily in the order the textbook presents it in. I was actually quite lost during his lectures, since I didn’t read the necessary textbook chapters (whoops) before his lectures, and he presents the information in a different order from that of the textbook. I can’t comment much on Ms Kaur, Susheel’s teaching style, since I think she only lectured for one lecture.

Tutorials: For the tutorials, there wasn’t much work to prepare, other than some research/worksheets to complete before tutorials. Tutorials were actually my favourite part of the module, as they were really interesting for me. My tutor was Mr Lee Li Neng, who’s a REALLY good tutor. I heard from my friends in the other tutorial classes that their tutors weren’t as good though.

Workload/Examinations: For me I would say it was medium-heavy. The textbook is massive, but I survived by sharing the cost of the testbank with my friends. The testbank was really useful, especially since you can practice+learn the topics by doing it, especially if you don’t have enough time to cram all required chapters for mid-terms and finals. Without the testbank, I think the workload would be heavy, since revision would probably have taken a lot more time.
Mid-terms were MCQs, while finals were MCQs and short-answer questions.

Other comments: I think for PL modules, the workload doesn’t really come until before mid-terms/finals. It might be my style of cramming/learning all the psych information only before tests, but the lack of assignments/projects for this module helps you in focusing on the assignments/projects for other modules, and not have to worry about this one. Honestly, for this module, lectures were quite useless, and I stopped going after a few. I would still recommend taking this mod though, even if you’re not majoring in Psych – especially if you’re interested in the theories behind human behaviour, the brain’s link to the body, and so on. The textbook’s really interesting too, and offers life advice hahaha.

My grade: A-