Are you always scoring poorly for your General Paper (GP) essay component? Does your essay score remain stagnant even after you tried to study for it? If your answer to any of the two questions is yes, you are not alone. The fact is almost 80% of the GP student I have seen reported difficulty in improving essays score.
The main reason is that GP is a self-directed subject, and many students do not know how to study effectively and efficiently. Therefore, it is common to see their essay score staying in the low-20 range.
In this article, I will share with you the correct method to study for GP essay, and how you can score high A for your subsequent GP essays.
Read widely For Essay Content
The most common advice that teachers and tutors give students is to read more newspapers, magazines and books. By doing this, we can acquire new content, examples that we can apply to our essays, making our essays ‘meatier’. Also, by reading more widely, we can have a better understanding of the controversies that surround the issues in GP essay questions. With that, we can make more sound and matured arguments, rather than just making them up on the spot.
But, as Junior College students, do we have the time to read? Aside from time, do we have the motivation to do so? Your answer is most probably no. So how can we make things better? Here, I suggest a few tips I would like to share with you.
To begin, you can subscribe to the news from local and international news media using your social media accounts. They tend to post short news summary snippets which are engaging and easy to understand. When scrolling through your social media feed, you can read them through and keep yourself updated. Some of the news media on Instagram are:
Also, instead of reading newspapers and collating examples yourself, you can buy General Paper study notes. It is even better if your school provides them as experienced teachers mostly write them. The content written by schools are specially designed such that they contain the hot topics of a common theme. It saves your time and makes you study more efficiently. You can buy study materials from Popular, Notester for even get them free on Sgfreepapers!
If you prefer learning by watching, I suggest that you can watch educational videos from Ted Talks. Ted Talk tends to talk about hot topics that are happening around the world.
Strategise Your Learning
For A Level GP exam, 12 GP essay questions will be asked from a set common theme (media, social issues, politics, global issues, arts and sports).
So, my advice for you is to select two or three themes that you are interested in. Study them well – memorise the examples and understand the controversy behind issues relating to the topics.
Practice Writing GP Essays Early
It is prevalent for students to study GP just a few days, or even a few hours before the examination. Last-minute revision is not going to work. GP requires continuous and consistent practice so see positive progress and improvement in results.
To do this, you must be committed and motivated to do so. Chart out a systematic study plan that is realistic and achievable and make sure you stick to it. For example, you can plan to write an essay every Tuesday and read GP essay content every Friday. By the time of the exam, you have already written more than ten essays. This type of systematic study constantly reminds you to study for GP and not overlook it.
Additionally, simply writing essays without getting it marked is at its best useless. It would help if you got your essays marked, so you know what mistakes you made and how you can further improve your whole essay. You can submit your essay to your school teacher or tuition teacher and kindly request them to help you mark your essays. Once your essays are marked, don’t just chuck it one side. Read through your mistakes and learn from them; if needed, record down the mistakes you made so that you can track them as you practice writing more essays soon.
Learn The Right GP Essay Techniques
There is no better way to write outstanding essays without learning some essay techniques. Essay structure, for example, is one of the most crucial components of essay techniques that decides that fate of your essay. Stronger essays tend to have a fixed and predictable structure, where the thesis statement and topic sentences form the backbone of the essay. Also, accurate signposting phrases (Hence, therefore and for example) must be used as they guide readers through your chain of thought.
Most important, it essential to know that your essay must be as balanced as possible. Many students don’t understand the word ‘balanced’. A balanced essay is one where both sides of an issue is addressed, and a conclusion weighing contrasting arguments is done. One-sided essay limits your scope and makes you seem myopic. You can read perfect examples of GP model essays here.
Learning of essay techniques is easy. However, it would help if you put more effort into reminding yourself to use these techniques when you are writing your essay. The best method is practising writing essays so that it becomes a habit for you to write remarkable essays using the correct essay techniques.
In conclusion, it is not impossible to see a great improvement in your GP essay. You need to know how to study effectively and efficiently. Although not many students are focusing on GP simply because it’s an H1 subject, I urge you to appreciate the subject as it gives you a broader perspective and makes you understand the world better. Follow the tips that I have shared, and I firmly believe you will see your improvement very soon.