Who knew English could be this hard
Is your teen struggling to score in GP?
Rest assured that you are not alone in this! A large number of students who enter into Junior College are caught off-guard at the level of difficulty of General Paper (GP), the substitute for English. Even those who had traditionally have no problems scoring in English may now find themselves at the short end of the stick. While secondary school students could score with writing expository essays and short stories regarding their own lives, this technique cannot be used for scoring in GP. Unfortunately, GP is a compulsory H1 subject at the A-Level examinations in Singapore, hence there is no way around it. The only solution is to tackle this challenge head on!
It could seem weird that despite GP and English being relatively similar, being good in English does not necessarily translate into good grades in GP. This is because scoring in GP requires students to have the ability to think critically and to construct coherent and cogent arguments. Furthermore, they have to be mature in their thinking, forming reasonable arguments involving real-world problems and current affairs, and of course, be proficient and adept in the use of the English language. Not only that, but they need to spend considerable time studying and memorizing facts on a variety of topics, some of which may not be of interest to them.
Furthermore, in GP, essay-writing is different, and is more argumentative and formal as compared to what students are used to doing in secondary schools, where students are expected to express an informed, creative, and critical response on an incredibly diverse spectrum of topics, (such as history, economics, politics, philosophy, science, current developments, culture, arts, mathematics, geography, etc)
A need for GP tuition or tutor?
Students that are unable to score in GP mainly struggle on two fronts – they either lack a strong command of the English language or lack in-depth content knowledge on a variety of topics. If your teen faces one or both of these problems, it is highly recommended to engage in good GP tuition to improve his grades.
Without GP tuition, a student can find him or herself very lost, as this is not a science subject, things are not as straightforward as students might hope for. A competent GP tutor will be able to spend more time with your teen personally, as well as pinpoint your teen’s weaknesses in GP and help them to gain confidence by working on their weaknesses, be it common grammar mistakes they make while writing or cultivating new train of thoughts for familiar topics. Even though it is not a science topic, the saying 'practice makes perfect' still holds very true here. Practice papers and exercises for essays and comprehensions can be provided to give your son or daughter the exposure and drilling that he or she so dearly needs.
What's more is that some GP tutors are even known to be able to predict with accuracy the topics that will come out in the next A-level exams, as they have an abundance of experience under their belt. This could aid in strategy on which topics and what points to study and memorise, which is bound to ease your teen's workload. Some also have their own personal content booklets, imparting valuable knowledge and nuggets of information which the student can note down to recall easily during examinations.