Secondary school testimonials

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Hwa Chong Institution

illum.e brought me a new experience in the area of learning the English language. Multiple learning platforms allow me to take part in lessons regardless of location and the availability of both hardcopy and soft copy lesson materials brought me great convenience. On top of that, the teacher's lessons are structured in a way that we learn and have fun at the same time, and the lessons are also planned according to our interests and needs. Attending lessons at illum.e is definitely something I look forward to every week. Lastly, group discounts are available so do recommend friends and classmates to illum.e to enjoy the discounts!

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Wang Hong Yu

Hwa Chong Institution

Mr Liew is a very responsible English teacher who is focused on helping his students improve. His in-depth breakdown of essay topic sentences allowed students like myself to better understanding how to structure our essays. In class, Mr Liew regularly types out essay paragraphs on the spot to demonstrate some of the writing approaches and strategies at illum.e. With his guidance, I saw my English improve a lot this year. Thank you Mr Liew!

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Yi Jia

Nanyang Girls High School

I like that illum.e's lessons are tailored to our needs and learning styles and that they are focused on improving our thinking and writing skills instead of just overloading us with content.

They have truly illuminated me by improving my critical thinking abilities, as well as giving me exposure to a wider range of vocabulary and question types.

Thank you Mr Chia for always helping, customising lessons for us and for always teaching us the subject enthusiastically and passionately!

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Jurong Sec

Looking back, I really did enjoy my time spent here in the company of my fellow peers as well as the strong support given by my tutors. In particular, I would like to extend my utmost and sincere gratitude to my Geography tutor, Mr David Kun, for being such a supportive figure throughout my upper secondary years.

Back in Secondary 3, when I was struggling to grasp several geographical concepts, Mr Kun was more than willing to have consultation sessions, slowly explaining the concepts in a simplified and digestible way. Even when it took several times for him to repeat the same concept, Mr Kun never once lost his cool and was always patient with me. Till date, I am amazed by how he is able to explain an initially daunting and complex theory in a coherent and logical manner. For that, I am very thankful for Mr Kun, for his endearing passion for teaching and making our Geography class fun.

Beyond the rigour of the ‘O’ level syllabus, Mr Kun has always been a genuine and sincere teacher outside class. Like a companion, he always encourages us when we may not do as well as our expectations. Rather than penalising our faults, he constantly reinforces the fact that failures are an integral part of the whole learning process and it’s through a process of trial and error that we will eventually get a good grip at what we are doing. Mr Kun has also nurtured me to become a critical and bold thinker who constantly questions the world around us. His help and guidance has been invaluable in my receiving the MOE Humanities Scholarship and decision to enter the Raffles Humanities Programme.

All in all, Mr Kun has been nothing short of amazing. He has inspired me to consider a future career in teaching, and I hope he will continue to inspire many more generations of students at Illum.e to come.

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Hua Jing Yi

Unity Sec

As an international student from China I came to Singapore at the age of 12, and repeated my year as a primary four student. Thus. initially my grades for English were always on the verge of failing for every exam, all the way until secondary school, until recently when I joined illume's English tuition.

My tutor, Mr Roger really helped me a lot in clarifying my doubts for the language, as well as telling me my weak areas to improve on. The lessons were fun and engaging as well. as such, my language speaking skills and comprehension skills were greatly enhanced.

I am now able to speak and express my thoughts fluently and accurately, which has helped me greatly in my oral examinations. My grade for English was a flat D7 in MYE, but after joining illume shortly after, it had improved from D7 to a B4 in prelim.

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Nanyang Girls High School


Lessons at illum.e have helped to boost my confidence and interest with regards to learning English. Before coming for lessons here, English was originally my worse subject and I struggled to score well all the time. After going for lessons here, I began to have a better grasp of the skills required when writing and have seen huge improvements.

I like how lessons at illum.e are catered to student’s needs. This really helps us to improve as the worksheets targets our weaknesses so it makes it easier for us to learn from our shortcomings and improve from there.

Thanks to illum.e, I managed to score A1 for my language arts in IP Year 4. I would like to thank my teacher, Mr Chia, for being a very patient teacher and believing in us – my teacher’s guidance has really helped us to improve our English abilities and boost our confidence!

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Juying Sec

Mr Chia was very nice and helpful. He provided top materials and notes that were well-researched, with a clear strategy for each component. illum.e materials also provided a lot of tips on how to do even better, such as for instance how to apply persuasive techniques in situational writing, to help us do better than our peers in school.

Mr Chia is also a good teacher and his instructions were very clear and easy to follow and easy to apply. He is also very patient and he always ensures that the students understand the skills and techniques before he carries on with their lesson. Consultation and help are also always available, something that not many group tuition provides.

I managed to obtain a B3 at O levels. This was the best grade that I have ever achieved for EL (I usually get a C for EL in school). I feel that I could have perhaps even improved to an A2 if I had more lessons or time at the centre.

illum.e made me realise that it is actually possible to prepare for the EL paper, and this was very different from school, where the teachers just asked us to read the newspapers or do practices. illum.e teaches and focuses a lot on skills, and that is why i think that students and parents should sign up at illum.e without any hesitation, because they are definitely the best English learning centre in Singapore.

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Teng Shi

Jurongville Sec

My teacher (Mr Chia) is a very out-going person. He is also very creative in the way he teaches his lessons. He would always use real-life context to explain a vocabulary word when it is hard for me to understand the word. Furthermore, he is also a person who conducts his lessons systematically and he always plans his lessons with a clear objective to the lessons. As a student I can really understand what he is teaching and I am able to apply all the writing skills that he has taught me.

In one of his lessons, he taught me the skill of how to introduce sensory details in my writing so that I can improve my writing skills. He wrote a sample essay as an example and asked me to observe the skills that he applied. Afterwards, he guided me with my writing experiments. He taught me not to be too literal in my writing and after applying the skills that he taught, I realised that I am now able to write proper essays, and i am also starting to enjoy the process of writing essays.

I am thankful for his lessons. Without his guidance, I might not be able to pass my English. I am currently one of the top students in his class at Jurongville Sec, and I appreciate everything, especially the 'high impact' vocabulary list that he gave to me. It definitely helped me a lot in my writing!

Mr Chia is someone who really interacts with students. He is very open minded and whenever you talk to him, he sounds and feels more like a friend which is very important for me. I believe that effective learning can only take place when the students feel comfortable talking to the teacher. Thus i would recommend illum.e to my friends.

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Unity Sec

Mr Chia was my school teacher and he had helped me to realise the potential that I had to excel in English! His materials prepared proved to be extremely useful for my revision before my O levels. The notes were highly detailed and informative, with various real-life examples that I could use in various essays. The lessons also provided us with a multitude of drills and practice questions for various skills and techniques in comprehension such as Unusual & Effective which were not taught anywhere else.

These practices helped improve the way I answered the questions in English Paper 2, an area which I found to be particularly challenging for me to score. Furthermore, the teachers were always more than willing to clarify any doubts that I had regarding the skills and content that I learnt, and always encouraged me to ask more questions so I could improve.

Even now that I have moved on to poly, the notes have helped me in numerous ways for my writing assignments. The facts and statistics included in the notes, as well as the extensive list of vocabulary words have improved the way I present my information in my projects and presentations.

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Juying Sec

Teachers at illum.e are literally the best English masters ever. I have learnt so many new things at illum.e especially hybrid mixed-genre essays and article writing which we did not really cover in school. The learning atmosphere is also great, with a spacious classroom that doesn't make us feel claustrophobic. The teachers are also super friendly and are able to help you whenever, if you ask for it. 

What really set illum.e apart from other centres is the clear and concise notes provided as well as the detailed explanation from the teachers. The notes were really useful with clear strategies on how to successfully prepare for each component of the EL paper, and the teachers even prepared summary notes before O levels to ensure that we know what are the most important aspects of each skill that we need to revise before the exams. The lessons were also very clear and interesting, with a key learning objective, and we could see the overall direction that we were moving and where we would get to.

I will forever be grateful to illum.e, for they have helped me in my O level English, and made a drastic difference to when i first joined. They helped me pull up my C6 to a B3, in half a year and i even managed to secure an A2 for O level! This was something that i thought would only be possible for Science and Maths, but not for EL, because we often hear comments from seniors and teachers that it is difficult to score for EL and we should be satisfied with a B3. But illum.e proved that it is possible and i am glad i joined illum.e.

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Catholic High

Mr Chia has truly been of great help to me in learning English. His unique views has inspired me greatly, allowing me to generate more content for my compositions, and his effective drills has allow me to experience a drastic improvement in my comprehensions.

He has always been able to blend interesting ideas and facts that are more relatable to me not his lessons, allowing me to better understand and benefit from them.

The notes provided at illum.e were extremely helpful in helping me master the the basics of the English language, allowing me to try out even more advance skills to strive for even greater results. His frequent encouragements and passion in teaching has also motivated me to work harder myself. These two years has been a great experience, Thank you Mr Chia and illum.e!

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Sean Tey

Juying Secondary

Mr Timothy Chia has been an incredible and spectacular teacher in many ways. Due to his excellent teaching abilities, I was able to surpass myself and soar to greater heights in terms of my grades and character. To those who may already be wondering what makes Mr Chia’s teaching so remarkable, the reasons go beyond just these few lines. While it seems impossible to list them all out, here are a few top specs of Mr Chia.

To any student, lessons with a teacher must consist of fun, enthusiasm and an unstoppable drive for learning. While teaching me, Mr Chia was able to execute all these components flawlessly. So what makes Mr Chia’s teaching so great, is how observant he is to the mistakes of students that many like myself have at times neglected. He would correct us immediately and make us ponder on how we could answer the question better. One such example includes a Quote and explain exercise. When there were errors in my answer, instead of simply marking it wrong and going through with the whole class afterwards, he spent his precious time going over my answer and explaining what I did wrong or could have done better. An example of this is when he explains that my quote was either missing certain lines, too long or short or when my explanation was unclear. I enjoyed lessons with him as I was able to learn how to tackle multiple components of the comprehension. I no longer dread those quote and explain or global text questions. Lessons were also very engaging due to the methods he used for annotation including close reading. I could feel a part of myself in the context of the text and was able to answer the questions a lot easier.

When it comes to lessons with Mr Chia, notes were never short of and were always in great quality and clarity. Most of the notes include drills on the most common sections in the comprehension paper in which multiple students have struggled over. The notes would include answering and annotation techniques that really helped us rephrase our answers better especially in sections that really need this skill for questions like in your own words(IYOW).

Paper 1 components were also practiced well and regularly. Mr Chia has often shared us model essays in which we can refer to mostly written by him so we students would have a better idea on how to write better. In the notes for paper 1 components, there would always include a practice each for an introduction, body and conclusion paragraph. This teaching method was really helpful as instead of going through with writing an entire essay itself, we students were able to work better on each paragraph to ensure our entire story or essay flows with what we think and write. This step by step strategy allowed me especially to write tremendously better, reducing on my often lengthy and repetitive or illogical sentences which really boosted my grades.

There are multiple things in which I would like to thank Mr Chia for and express my gratitude. First of all would be his remarkable patience. I am an especially slow learner who would take multiple practices before mastering anything . Thanks to Mr Chia, who never hesitated to go through the struggling comprehension components again and drill me well enough till I get it, I might never have done as well for my exams. Following this is the very clear and helpful advice he give whenever I encounter a problem in my learning or when I struggle on correcting my errors by myself or with my group during group work. I got a better drive to learn thanks to his methods and constantly making me ponder on how better my elaborations can be improved or what phrases or vocabulary could be included. Last but not least, in fact most of all, is the powerful encouragement he gives during and after lessons. He would always cheer me and other students on when facing never ending hurdles, and always open to us. He allowed us to have a better mental state during the exams thanks to his methods of helping us tackle the difficult components. We felt a little less nervous during the exam thanks to these helpful skills we learnt from him.

In conclusion, Mr Chia is an incredible teacher who is always there for his students and never neglects them, believing in their endless potential and capabilities while enhancing their abilities. It is hard to find a teacher who would always be so open to you or can always consistently helps each individual directly, going through their personal flaws and helping them improve from where they are weak. Not every teacher in this world can always be there for each individual student in a class of 20 or 30 students. Mr Chia has put plenty of effort into helping each individual on their own flaws on a regular basis. For this reason alone is why I would recommend this great teacher to all students out there who would be seeking strength to improve and surpass their old self.

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Jurong West Secondary

Before attending Mr Chia's lessons, I was doubtful about how to study for English Language examinations. I could not even understand how to answer different types of comprehension questions, especially Quote and Explain and summary questions. I could barely understand how to master situational and continuous writing. But after attending his lessons, I could finally master all types of comprehension questions. My summary has improved from 4/15 in Secondary 3 EOY to 10/15 in Preliminary Exams. My situational writing has improved from 16/30 in Sec 4 MYE to 21/30 in tests. I became more motivated in studying for English Language examinations.

Mr Chia patiently clarifies my doubts during lessons, as well as via Whatsapp. He also goes the extra mile to mark my extra assignments and patiently went through them with me. He will provide feedback for every assignment so that I can understand the requirements of each question, as well as the rubrics of situational writing and continuous writing. During online lessons, he would use Mentimeter to ensure that I can learn at a comfortable pace and clarify my doubts along the way.

The lesson notes are very comprehensive, providing a step-by-step methodology for tackling each comprehension question type. In every lesson, Mr Chia has given us comprehension and writing drills from other schools to apply these strategies I have learned so that I can master these crucial components in O Levels. He has also given me O Level papers with comprehensive answer keys from 2013 to 2020 so that I can understand the difficulty level of each type of question, and the trends of questions tested at O Level. Before O Levels, he has created summarised notes to emphasise the key strategies and formats of each question type in Paper 1 and 2.

Thank you Mr Chia for providing a fun and interesting learning experience, especially during online lessons. I would highly recommend Mr Chia and illum.e as your go-to centre for English.

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Unity Secondary

Mr Chia is friendly and easy to approach, he helps us by clarifying our doubts. He teaches things in a way which makes things fast and simple to remember, and this increases the speed of the lesson such that no time is wasted. He has a strong passion for English, thus influencing his students positively to love English more. I would always look forward to attend tuition classes as it was always fun and interactive. The lessons are sometimes designed with group work which helped me improve while working with different types of people and learning together with them. His lessons made me realise that English is not as easy as it seems like every type of questions requires a different answering technique which is applicable in our examinations. Knowing more about the subject drives me to become a better learner as I will know how to analyse questions and expand text during exams before answering them.

Illum.e’s lesson preparation and materials are clear and very easy to understand. All the presentation slides and notes are prepared with engaging graphics. The notes are filled with information and step by step strategies to help us memorise it better. With each part of a lesson taught, we will receive multiple practices to make sure we fully understand and make use of what we have learnt. The homework given are not demanding yet it helps us practice till we clear our doubts about the particular topic. corrections are also marked and explained to us individually so that we know our mistakes. Whenever we have any doubts, it was always easy to approach and ask questions either in real life or by sending our teacher a text. You can also always stay back after classes to clear your doubts with the teacher. For example, during the oral examination period, the notes of all possible oral discussion topics are given, and the teacher tackled every student's weaknesses to do one by one practices until their oral skills improved.

I would like to thank my teacher for his continuous support, believing that we will all do well. Also, for his great professional teaching classes and sparing his time out to help us.

I would recommend illum.e to other students as the teacher and lessons will help you evaluate your weakness out and help you improve as the time passes. Together with your own hard-work and the teacher endless effort you will definitely see a change in the results for the subject itself.

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As a student who has often struggled with English and having tried many other centres, I must say that the teachers here are by far the best English experts, hands down. Their patience and efforts to help us really shows how passionate they are, and they are always happy to help answer any of our questions. More importantly, their engaging lessons and unique skills taught has helped all of us in general! Plus the learning environment is very conducive, and they have great welfare too!!

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Pin Yi

River Valley High School (IP4)

The lessons and curriculum of illum.e definitely has helped me enhance my writing skills in the essay aspect, and I am more confident in using wider vocabulary. The lesson materials are also of great quality and they help broaden how I see modern world issues, allowing me to write with more creativity in school.

I like most about the lessons at illum.e being intuitive and adaptive to cater to my needs. For example, once I had a English Summary test at school the next day, so illum.e specifically gathered practices and resources just for summary to give me extra help, and i was able to score well 🙂 The lessons are very nicely paced too and the content coverage are of good quality too.

If I could thank my teachers, I would say that I am very thankful and proud to have you all as my mentors in my journey of honing better English language essay skills and I am eternally grateful for your patience and unwavering support, believing in me all the way 🙂

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Victoria School

As someone who used to study English on my own, I struggled a lot in Secondary 4. But after joining illum.e’s English classes, I saw immediate improvement especially in the areas I was struggling with in Paper 2. The teachers here explained all the skills and strategies very carefully, letting me know what I needed to do well and I did well after applying them! Highly recommended because I believe illume’s structure, teaching and teachers will supplement everyone’s need to excel in English for WAs, Examinations and most importantly O level exams!

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