Singaporean students are not only well-known for their competence in mathematics and science, they are also known for their ability to write. Students train hard to be able to write confidently about diverse subjects, and such training is largely thanks to their preparation for the A-Level General Paper.
Composing a perfect essay is not easy. If students do not have a firm foundation, it will be hard for them to score. As a result, some may feel stressed when it comes to sitting for their General Paper. In such situations, students may also request for guidance form their teachers or tutors. Singapore has plenty of General Paper tutors who are dedicated to helping students.
Here are a few other suggestions that students can adopt:
- Select a few topics to focus on
There are a wide variety of topics that can be tested. As far as the curriculum is concerned, it would be impossible to prepare for all the topics to be covered in the exam in a small amount of time. So, it’s a good idea to pick a few themes and expand from there.
When you choose your topics, try to pick those you are interested in. For example, if you are interested in history, choose topics that are related to it like the Cold War. If you like science, choose from topics like electronics, astronomy or environmentalism.
However, it is advisable that you do not only concentrate on one topic since you cannot keep writing the same few points for all of your answers. Focus on a variety of fields. If you want history, expand it to include politics, society, or interpersonal science.
2. Enrich your reading and take important notes
When you’ve selected the topics you wish to concentrate on, read up on them them, and take notes. This helps to ensure that you’re up-to-date with the relevant materials. Besides noting down specific facts and figures within your selected topics, do also take note of how certain events you’ve noted have impacted the society. Your notes have to be accurate to ensure that you do not make a sloppy claims about your topic.
Write your notes together on a separate sheet of paper as you work. You should memorize it and build on your content knowledge as you revise.
3. Study “Sample Essays”
If you’re still confused about how a General Paper essay is meant to be written, check out the library or the internet for guides or old collections of GP essays. Reading these will give you a sense of how it’s written and what’s expected of you when you take your exams.
4. Create Essay Outlines
When you think of previous General Paper essays, you might notice that they have a certain flow and style. This suggests that they have adopted a model for writing.
When you begin to outlines of your own, you will discover that, if you have a good grasp of your topic, you will be able to fill out the outline well without any assistance.
Practice under timed conditions. This helps train your writing speed and builds your confidence before an examination. You may also spend time doing some planning, but do not overuse your time; 15 minutes should suffice.
When you write, make sure you have all your statements and evidences written accurately If your teacher can’t read your essay, you may lose points even if your facts are correct.
6. Ask for help
When in doubt, ask for help. Your teacher can help check your practice essays and give you constructive feedback.
And lastly, do not rush. Being able to finish an essay quickly does not guarantee a good grade. Take the time to write and be aware of places that you can score well in.