About Dr Neil Laurence Coomber

Dr Coomber is the Director of Pre-University Studies and Business English at Academia.

Highly respected by his former students, he spent five years teaching General Paper at Raffles Institution, where he set examination papers ranging from Prelims and Promos to Common Tests. He possesses exam setting, marking and standardisation expertise, having developed school curriculum and infopacks for a variety of themes. His teaching skills are highly regarded by those who have had the good fortune to study under him and his legendary General Paper notes are highly sought after. Prior to teaching in Singapore, he taught English to MBA, graduate and business students internationally. His impeccable credentials include a PhD from Oxford University supervised by the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Dame Jessica Rawson, as well as a Certificate in Teaching Gifted and Talented Students from Purdue. He has trained at the Raffles Teaching Academy and NIE and many will remember him as the Master of Ceremony during the quintessential school rugby finals for several seasons running. He knows how to guide students with their UCAS applications and testimonials to top universities, ranging from Oxbridge to the Ivy League.

Dr Coomber’s Remarkable Reflections

I had a great first year at Academia.

To my GP students this year, I hope you found the A level paper manageable. It wasn't an easy paper and the questions were tricky, but I hope you were able to answer the national borders and foreign aid questions based on the work we did this year, alongside the content notes and exemplar essay we gave you.

To my secondary students, well done. Plenty of you got A1 or A2 grades in the end. To the boy whose essay topped your school, keep on eating those Oreos!

To the two Raffles Institution students who wrote me these testimonials below, I am very touched.

Have a great break with your families.

“If I had to use a single word to describe Dr Coomber, it would be "brilliant". His sterling credentials and  PhD from Oxford are testaments to his competence, but his capabilities go far beyond this — to his students, he’s known as a walking Google; a human repository of general knowledge and current affairs. As a General Paper teacher, he possesses a keen attention to detail and the uncanny ability to dissect students’ essays to uncover both glaring errors and small mistakes that might not appear pertinent at first glance, but amalgamate to make a big difference. Not only does he provide suggestions on how to improve phrasing and linguistic skills, but he also provides detailed and thorough content notes which make essay studying and writing so much easier. Before I joined Dr Coomber, I’d created my own notes based on personal research and article compilations, only to realise after studying with him what real content notes and model essays were supposed to look like.

“Most importantly, however, Dr Coomber helps you receive the grade you both want and deserve; as long as you put in the hard work, he is willing to go out of his way to help you. Because he keeps his classes small and intimate, clarifying your list questions and fulfilling your requests for extra papers to be marked are made both a possibility and priority. Personally, when I was sourcing for extra GP help, I wasn’t looking for another mass lecture with students clamouring to get the teacher's attention, and was fortunate enough to have found Dr Coomber, who provides customised feedback that meets each student’s personal needs. It’s because of him that I've gotten above 40/50 marks for my GP Prelim essay, and a more than 10 mark improvement for the comprehension section, all within the short span of a month. Achieving an overall A for GP wasn’t an easy task, but it proved to be surmountable because of Dr Coomber’s persistent help and guidance.

“With his quick wit, dedication, attentiveness and confidence, Dr Coomber pushes you to the next level and helps you build the confidence you need to strive for more and achieve. He’s got that special je ne sais quoi; he inspires you to work harder to avoid disappointing both him and yourself. Most of all, he cares, and that’s what truly matters.”

~ Humanities student, Raffles Institution

“To put it shortly, Dr Neil Coomber is truly a remarkable teacher. He teaches with impeccable standards and is able to invoke a sense of passion in the subject among his students. His lessons are fun, interactive and most importantly, personalised. I owe a lot to Dr Coomber. Since I joined, he has provided substantial guidance, both during class and after office hours, teaching me the essential skills required for GP. Dr Coomber does something that many enrichment teachers will not do - he goes the extra mile and is willing to mark and provide relevant and extensive feedback on extra work submitted.

"He also provides his students with comprehensive content notes, which allowed me to gain in-depth knowledge about various themes important in GP. Dr Coomber has also provided extensive guidance when it came to helping me with my application to Cambridge.

“Thank you, Dr Coomber.”

~ Student, Raffles Institution


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