General Paper Tuition
Try as you might, but there is simply no way to escape from GP (General Paper). A mandatory H1 subject for all JC students, GP can be a source of intense frustration and dread for many students. Especially since GP comes with a whole set of demands that are vastly different from that of Secondary School English, GP can be extremely vigorous and challenging. Even students who excelled in English in Secondary School sometimes find themselves struggling to stay afloat in GP class.
So, if you’ve been feeling beaten down by your poor performance in GP, be rest assured that you are not alone.
What Exactly Does GP Want of Me?
If the above scathing thought has ever run through your mind after you receive your GP grades – welcome to the club. Indeed, often times, there is a sense of helplessness when it comes to GP. This sense of dread and bleakness may stem from not knowing what the expectations of the subject are. Subsequently, students are left trying to find their way in the dark, unsure of what they should or could do to improve.
This is indeed a problem. Like any other subject, in order to brush up on GP, it is crucial that you understand exactly what GP expects of you.
The curriculum is crafted to push students to think and write more critically. While essays in Secondary School were typically narrative styles, essays in GP are argumentative in nature. Compared to narrative writing, argumentative writing is a totally different ballgame. Students need to be able to structure their arguments logically and coherently. They also need to have vast content knowledge at their fingertips in order to synthesize well-reasoned arguments backed with real-life evidence. Argumentative writing also means that students will need to use a more neutral yet persuasive writing tone, which is arguably hard for beginner writers.
Key Skills Needed to Excel in GP
- Comprehension skills
Like in Secondary School English, GP also tests your comprehension abilities. Besides understanding the passage, you have to articulate your understanding in your own words - aka paraphrasing.
- Ability to write succinctly
The summary section in the GP paper aims to assess your ability to write concisely yet accurately.
- Ability to synthesize strong coherent arguments
Both the AQ and essay are basically assessing this skill. To excel in GP, you must demonstrate strong logical and critical thinking as well as a sound knowledge of current events and topics.
Why do Some Students Struggle With GP?
- Lack of Content Knowledge
As the GP essay requires lots of varied examples drawn from real-life events, the lack of content knowledge is a major killer for most students. Moreover, unlike other subjects where there are typically lecture notes for students to refer to for content, GP does not follow a fixed content structure. The onus is usually on the student to read widely in order to gain more content knowledge.
- Weak Language Skills.
The GP curriculum assumes that students are already proficient in the use of the English language. Students have to be able to understand lengthy texts and articulate their understanding in their own words (i.e. paraphrasing). Besides comprehension skills, this would also require a wide vocabulary to be able to express oneself accurately and clearly.
For students without a strong grasp of English, GP can thus, quite honestly, be a nightmare. However, that is not to say that you should be resigned to mediocre performance. It is possible to improve on GP.
Improving GP: Read, read and read!
Unfortunately, there is simply no short-cut when it comes to improving your GP. You must read widely. Try to broaden your sources of news. Besides local news, consider reputable international news and magazines. Learn to view social media as more than an outlet for fun – they can also be valuable source of news and discussions.
A good essay considers the issue from various perspectives and balances the various arguments. Thus, access to wide range of resources is important. However, getting all these resources can be tedious and sometimes even financially burdensome as certain international newspapers are pay-walled. Nevertheless, a good GP tutor will be able to make these valuable resources easily accessible.
Alright, I would like help for GP– is GP tuition a solution?
The answer to that question would be a resounding “Yes”. We break down exactly why GP tuition could help you/your child immensely.
- Practice, practice and more practice
Like all languages, practice is of paramount importance when it comes to excelling in GP. Argumentative writing is not an intuitive skill. You will need lots of practice writing in this style till it comes naturally to you. GP Tuition is able to guide you in the process and give you fast and appropriate feedback to improve all facets of your writing, be it structure, clarity or vocabulary.
- Provision of more resources
GP tuition is able to provide you with a separate set of resources apart from those provided in school. On top of these materials, GP tutor’s often share their own experiences, which you can then integrate into your own writing.
The power of these additional resources is not to be belittled. These extra resources could give you that additional spark that makes your essay stand out from the rest. Imagine if everyone in school uses the same resources – most of the essays would feel similar as they use the same structure, similar arguments and examples. Now, imagine being the examiner tasked with marking these essays. You flip page after page, yet all the assignments seem to be almost carbon copies of one another. If your essays are like your peers, it is highly likely that your grades would be similar too – average. But, if you are able to break out of the typical mould well, your essay is sure to captivate and engage the reader – subsequently, an ‘A’ would definitely be in your grasp.
Stand out From Your Peers with Nanyang Academics
Nanyang Academics’ team of General Paper (GP) tutors have years of experience teaching GP. As a result, they are well-versed with the demands of GP, and understand what makes a good essay. Our GP tutors are committed to helping you reach your fullest potential. They are also a treasure trove of countless valuable resources to help make your work stand out.
Interested in excelling at GP? Contact Nanyang Academics for a tuition assignment today!