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What is the General Paper?

The General Paper – or as it’s more affectionately termed, GP – is mandatory for all Junior College and Millennia Institute students sitting for the GCE ‘A’ Level certification (except those taking Knowledge & Inquiry at H2 level). Even though it is classified as a H1 subject – which usually means it’s less intensive – it is a rigorous paper that many schools choose to devote an inordinate amount of time and resources on. In fact, many believe that your GP grade can make or break a university application.

Equip yourself with the GP skills you need!

GP papers require students to keep themselves well-apprised of current affairs, both on the local and global scale. Examination questions can cover a wide range of topics, from actual geopolitical occurrences, to philosophical discussions on religion or the abstract. This means maintaining a healthy reading diet of newspapers and established news publications like TIME or The Economist. However, reading widely is not enough to guarantee you an A grade. It’s also a common misconception that students who did very well for English at the ‘O’ Levels will naturally do well for GP. This is untrue! While it’s possible that students who have a flair for writing have an advantage in terms of expressing their opinions, this doesn’t translate into a high GP grade. The GP paper instead tests one’s ability to formulate coherent and convincing arguments, as well as your knowledge on particular subject. That’s why GP tutors are increasingly in demand; not only can they help you better internalise the large amount of information necessary for a well-argued essay, they also guide you into thinking critically about issues. They will take the time to break down complex global issues and answer any questions you may have. GP is aimed at preparing students for writing university level academic papers, and so, requires you to address the question directly in your answers. For this paper especially, vague essay responses, anecdotal evidence or slip-shod examples are frowned upon. All answers have to be convincing, to the point, and well-substantiated with concrete examples to support your argument. But it must be noted that GP students shouldn’t argue too strongly from only one point of view. A good GP student acknowledges that his or her own argument is not necessarily the only valid one, and takes into account alternative perspectives on the issue at hand. This informs the examiner that you are well-informed about, and also receptive to, other viewpoints. Nor is it good to offer too balanced an argument! Students who “sit on the fence” tend to sound unsure about their own argument, and are often criticised by examiners for being fickle-minded. Students are thus expected to walk the fine line between indecision and single-mindedness. One’s response should be both coherent and nuanced in order to showcase an in-depth understanding of complex issues, as well as a maturity of thought. Being guided by a GP tutor can help you greatly in this area, because he or she can analyse your essays and highlight any problematic areas you may have on the spot. This speeds up your improvement! Because you find out what your mistakes are right away, and can correct them with the help of a qualified teacher, your grades are likely to improve at an accelerated rate! This is often not the case at school, because school teachers seldom have the time needed for such scrutiny. Tutors can also hold debates concerning controversial issues, and in so doing, help you to understand both sides of a particular argument. And depending on your style of learning, by forcing you to think on the spot and applying it to a real discussion, this could help you remember key arguments and important examples that you can employ in your examinations. And since the GP paper comprises two parts, in total spanning over 3 hours long, it also challenges your mental stamina and time-management skills. For Paper 1, the essay component, students must complete a stand-alone paper which elaborates on their chosen essay prompt. After a short break, students must sit for Paper 2, the Comprehension segment. The application question (AQ) is considered the most difficult part of this section, because it requires students to, not only think critically, but also quickly! Students only have about 20 minutes for this section, and they also have to be concise, given the limited space allocated by Cambridge. As you can see, time is of the essence during GP examinations, and students who are well prepared and proficient in exam skills will be at a distinct advantage. At Epigami, our tutors can guide you along in your ‘A’ Level journey, and teach you the skills you need to ace your GP exams!

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    S$ 80-90/hr
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    S$ 25-50/hr
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    S$ 30-35/hr
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    S$ 35-40/hr
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    S$ 40-50/hr
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    General Paper Add

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    S$ 30-40/hr
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