The A-Levels is a challenge for any student to take as it would be the key to their academic success. It covers a wide variety of subjects, from math, science to general knowledge.
Every student prepares for their A-levels differently with some preparing on their own, while others seek the help of A-level tuition schools scattered across Singapore or tutors.
However, out of the subjects covered in the A-Levels, General Paper examinations are often found by students as a very tricky test to do and prepare for. The exams cover a wide range of topics, from simple topics like history to topics like social media and climate change. As a result, some A-Level tuition schools and tutors offer General Paper tuition for those having problems with their GP exam preparations.
Since it involves broad topics, the JC GP syllabus has been revised several times. As a result, it is important for students to learn these changes so they can prepare for the exams easily.
How will students be assessed at the A-Level GP Examination?
Under the current guidelines of the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board, every student taking A-Levels in the country are required to complete 2 papers for their GP examinations. Each paper requires a student to utilize different skill sets, but it will show how students understand critical issues and answer the question in both papers.
Paper 1 (Essay)
Paper 1 is the essay section of the GP examinations and students are required to select one of the twelve essay questions given. When a question is selected, the student would need to answer the question in 1 hour and 30 minutes in just 500 to 800 words. Paper 1 covers 50% of a student’s overall grade for the subject.
Most of the topics covered for this part of the GP entails disciplines such as culture, marriage, social media, and society. As a result, a great way to pass this part of the test is by reading widely and understanding key issues discussed in society today. Students must also focus on improving their writing skills, such as point elaboration, paragraph development and expressing arguments clearly with the aid of evidence.
Paper 2 (Comprehension)
The second part of the exams involves comprehension. Students will need to answer a series of short answer questions, application questions and do summary writing. The questions are related to the given material, which is often two passages long. Similar to the first part of the exams, Paper 2 must be completed within 1 hour and 30 minutes and covers the remaining half of a student’s grade for the subject.
Excelling in Paper 2 will require students to practice their comprehension writing skills, such as information synthesis and analysis. Students must also learn how to do word substitution to box ideas together and retain the key message of the passage given.
Finally, the application question part of the test would require students to interpret passages and identify the motivations of the writer or his arguments.
What are the skills required to excel in the A-Level GP Examination?
In order to pass JC GP examinations, a student must develop their essay writing skills and comprehension answering skills. They must also be able to handle the questions that may appear on the examinations.
GP Essay Writing Skills
Essay practices are often recommended for students who wish to improve their essay writing skills. With the help of a tutor, students can take on lessons that would help them write clear and concise introductions that would cover the main message of their essay and the arguments they intend to raise throughout the paper. They could then take lessons on main body writing which would also hone their paragraph development skills, as well as be writing a well-structured and easily understandable essay.
GP Comprehension answering techniques
In order to improve one’s comprehension skills, students can begin by reading passages thoroughly. With the help of JC tuition, they can test their capability to annotate key parts of the passage given to them and interpret what these passages are trying to convey. This would then help them hone their summary writing skills, namely information extraction, and idea paraphrasing.
Students can also try doing sample comprehension questions which can assist them in applying their analytical skills into words. As they try to test their capacity to answer comprehension questions, they can develop their word substitution skills and personal opinion development skills throughout these practices.
Latest Trends of the JC GP Examination
At the present time, A-Level GP examinations have changed the areas of focus it covers. Paper 1 now involves questions with interlinked themes, like how economic issues affect the environment. In order to prepare for this change, students should practice their essay writing with the use of categorization skills since this will help them examine different issues from various sides.
Paper 1 now covers reflective issues, like the importance of national identities, the value of democracy and other similar topics. Reflective issues are often abstract and require more analysis and understanding as compared to direct issues, like pollution.
Short answer questions now require students to paraphrase the ideas in the passage given and interpret the writer’s position using inference skills. Students are also advised to read regularly, such as editorials and newspaper columns. Doing this would enable them to identify ideas immediately and expound on the questions easily.
Reading news and on various issues is also important for students taking their A-Levels since it will enable them to select topics which are not common and show how much they know about it in their exams.
Like any subject a student has to take throughout their academic career, A-Level GP exams also change throughout the years to accommodate the changing topics discussed in society today. If you are taking your A-Levels, don’t be afraid to take special General Paper tuition to prepare for the test and learn the new changes in the GP syllabus to help in your preparations. With a little bit of assistance, stay updated and hard work, General Paper exams will be easy to pass and ace!
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