JC 1-2 English Enrichment
Discounting holidays, Junior College is effectively only one and a half years. We make the best of the available time by helping our students specialize in 2-3 topics (that are surely tested every year). Students are advised to bring laptops or tablets to class. Comprehension practices are accessed online with personal annotations on why their answer is correct or wrong.
- Learning the format
- Deciding on 2-3 topics to master- Media, Arts, Politics, Gender and equality, Society, Environment, Science, technology, and ethics, Crime and punishment
- Short answer questions (SAQ) (mastering question types and answering requirements, in depth study of ten-year series to understand ‘A’ level trends)
- Summary drilling (understanding the grading criteria, learning to optimize phrasing for summary writing)
- Introduction to the Application Question (AQ) (learning how to draw parallels between the comprehension passage to local news, history, pop culture and politics)
Understanding Exam Requirements
Understanding the grading criteria of paper 1 and 2.
In-depth Study of Paper 2
Mastering ‘in your own words’ , punctuation and language use questions.
What does the A-Level General paper test?
There are only two papers. Both papers are 1hr 30 mins each. Paper 1 is essay writing. 30 for content, 20 for language. Total 50m
Candidates have to pick 1 out of 12 topics to write an essay that is between 500-800 words. Usually, our students write between 700-1000 words.
Paper 2 is comprehension. 35 for content, 15 for language. Total 50m
There are three sections:
1) Short Answer Questions (SAQs) that test the candidate’s understanding of the text. (17m)
2) 120 word summary of a section of the passage. (8m)
3) Application Question (AQ). Candidates have to relate the passage to their society (in this case, Singapore. If the candidate is from China, they may identify with China instead). This section is a mini- essay where candidates should write about 5 paragraphs
What happens if you fail the General Paper (with an S or U grade)?
You can still enrol in local universities like NUS, NTU, and SMU providing your overall rank points are high enough to qualify for courses. There are certain courses with a minimum GP grade that you will not qualify for (eg. law). In other cases, the universities will consider your performance in other A level subjects.
What is the biggest difficulty of the General Paper?
Time. We take the exam every year and we can safely tell you 1 hr 30 mins for each paper is no joke. Mr. Neo has extensive exam experience and he writes to the last second. For paper 2 especially, you will have to multi-task and plan your Application Question while you are working on the SAQs.
My child failed the General Paper for mid-years (Year 1). Should I be worried?
It depends on how badly they fail. For the top JCs, an ‘S’ fail (40-44) is quite common for mid year. For ‘O’ level students who enter JC, they may not be too familiar with the format or they lack practice. If your child is in the IP stream, they would have had some GP experience in secondary 3 or 4. For them, failing GP mid year would warrant some concern.
How early should I send my child to you if I want to score A for General Paper?
It depends on many factors. Generally JC is a very short one and a half years. The earlier they come to us, the higher their chances. If their foundation is not too bad (meaning they are scoring at least a low B (60-65) for J1 promos, one year should be possible.