Review: 2018 A Levels General Paper (GP) Essay Questions

Click here for full list of the questions:https://generalpaper.sg/2018/11/26/2018-a-levels-general-paper-gp-essay-questions/

The 2018 H1 GP Paper 1 should offer little surprise for most of the J1s entering into J2s this year. The question phrasing and topics covered are nothing out of the norm. In fact, I have told my J1s that they should be able to answer 8 out of the 12 questions given (first 2 columns below). Here’s a quick look at the break-down:

Most schools would have covered topics like Globalisation and Science & Tech (5 questions) in the J1 year. A good gauge of whether you have understood and internalised the topic is to try your hand at these 5 questions.

  • Did you have difficulties generating points? If so, it might be an indicator that you may need to brush up more on some parts of the content. Very often when students prepare for a topic like Globalisation or Science & Tech, they may unwittingly miss out certain sub-topics. A good rule of thumb is to “test” yourself with all the past year questions on the topic you are preparing. You should not have difficulties in generating ideas for the content.
  • Are you unsure of how to approach the question? If so, your problem, may not lie with the content, but with your question analysis technique. Do revise the skills on this, or consult a teacher to go through this with you. This aspect is even more important than being familiar with the content.

While some students are easily scared off by general questions like Q1. “How far is failure an essential part of success?”, I would like to suggest that these fears are unfounded, especially if you are adept at applying the relevant question analysis skills. One advantage of attempting such questions is that the phrasing is usually more straightforward – there is lesser room for misinterpretation. At the same time, it allows you to draw upon a wide range of examples across different topics. We will be demonstrating these skills on our website in time to come, so do check back regularly for updates.

Most J1s will not be familiar with Politics (and probably Sports and Art, apart from individuals with specific interests in these areas), but there is no cause of worry if you are unsure of how to approach these questions.

The good news for the current J2s – you are more than halfway through in terms of the content knowledge required for your GP exam. My word of advice to all taking the exam this year:

  1. Start shortlisting the topics you want to prepare for the exam early, preferably by Feb.
  2. After identifying 3-4 topics, familiarise yourself with the content by March.
  3. The bulk of the preparation should be spent on honing and refining your skills and technique. If you have done the above by March, you will have a good six months to practise and work on your writing.

Many students spent most of their time doing 1 & 2 almost up till the exam and severely neglected 3. Do not make the same mistake!

“If you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life.”

All the best for your coming year and enjoy the subject.

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