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6 Key Strategies To Score A for GP

Why is General Paper so difficult?

Many students have done the same - memorised all the concepts, reading notes several times and zapped answer sheets from many past exam papers, yet still getting an F or U grade.

Why is General Paper a different ball game from the Secondary level English, one might ask. As per SEAB, GP’s curriculum is a step up from O level English standard.

Students cannot get away with writing simple short stories about their personal experiences.

A-level essays require critical thinking skills and content knowledge on current affairs, global trends etc; Something alien to most students in Singapore.

We have summarised 6 key strategies on how to score A for GP from our top GP teachers around Singapore:


1. Know the exam format

To score well in General Paper, you need to know what will be coming out and which areas to focus on.

[ Paper 1 ] -  Essay Writing 

Students have to choose 1 out of 12 questions to answer. 
You have to write on issues from various topics such as education, economy, environmentalism, cultural issues etc.
Duration is 1 hour and 30 minutes. This constitute 50% of the total grade.

[ Paper 2 ]- Comprehension and Answering Skills

There will be passages where students will be tested on the comparative analysis skills, demonstrate your ability to comprehend the contents, infer from the passage on the writer's opinion and then summarize in your own words to evaluate the whole paragraph.
Duration is 1 hour and 30 minutes. This constitute 50% of the total grade.


2. Comprehension & Summary

Score for these 2 as it's 25% of your grade!

You need to have a good arsenal of vocabulary and paraphrasing skills, which are very challenging to most students.

Here's how you can score for Comprehension & Summary:

a. Learn the marking scheme and answer according to what markers want. Its not that difficult!

b. Read widely during your free time – news sites, social media sites, ebooks, online discussion forums, anything that can expand your world view and improve vocabulary


3. Argue Argue argue!

You must learn how to reason, persuade and argue constructively.

Not just memorise and list out everything on what you recall. Every question is different, so you need to customise your arguments to fit into the essay. 


4. Content Knowledge

Content knowledge for GP essay is something that most Junior college students will struggle in as these topics are not something that is exposed to them in secondary schools.

Substantiate your arguments with examples and case studies. This comes from hard work and there are no shortcuts! Sorry!

JC students will also need to read and memorise many facets of the modern world – current affairs, global economics, local sensitivities, GP essays on education, and many topics which seem dull at first sight.

One way is to choose a few topics or styles that you can master...

...since its almost impossible to fully remember the great number of topics available. For example, if you like science then read up on topics relating to chemistry or environmentalism, so you can write on something that you are interested in and have a good chance of doing better in it.



5. Language skills

Polish Your English - Watch your grammar and spelling. Improve your tone, diction, sentence structure.

These are things you need to improve on over the 2 years in Junior College.


6. Get help from expert GP private tutors!

Still Troubled? Don't fret! Many others are like you. Let our GP tutors assist you now.

Here is an infographic "How to study for GP"
How to study for GP

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.