General Paper Reading Material
Studying for the General Paper (GP) is an incredulous proposition for many students in Singapore. They think studying for GP is all but impossible as anything under the sun can be tested and thus would rather “wing it”. After all, what are the chances that they wouldn't be able to answer any of the 12 GP essay questions in the A level GP paper?
However, when we look at past year A level GP questions, it becomes glaringly obvious that there is a significant amount of content needed to answer the majority of the questions.
The A level GP paper 2018 exemplifies this with GP essay questions such as “‘Foreign-aid does not solve long-term problems.’ To what extent is this a fair viewpoint?” and “Discuss the view that all countries have an equal responsibility to counter terrorism.”
These are fairly simple GP essay questions that students can easily do well in provided that they have studied for these A level GP topics (Foreign aid & national security). Despite these GP essay questions having very little complexity, the average student though would not be able to answer them unprepared.
A student who decided to “wing it” would find themselves in an unenviable predicament where they will have to answer a more complex general question from the A level GP paper 2018. General questions from the A level GP paper 2018 such as “Is pressure a motivating force or a cause for unhappiness?” have difficult keywords to unpack (what is a motivating force?) which may in the end lead to the student’s downfall.
To avoid this fate, preparing for a few popular A level GP topics is vital. Studying for GP is really not as complicated as it is made out to be. What it really boils down to is reading around and practicing tackling various GP questions.
In this article, I will focus on providing you with useful GP reading material that would prepare you well for various A level GP topics. I hope that by the end of this article you will know how to study for GP and be able to tackle a variety of GP essay questions and the Application question (AQ).
The first and foremost resource every student should tap on is Straits Times. All students studying for the A level GP paper will be given a free Straits Times Online Subscription. This subscription is incredibly useful as it would allow you to keep up to date with current affairs in Singapore and the world. News from Singapore is useful in tackling GP questions such as the AQ and “in your society” GP essay questions.
A broad knowledge about Singaporean affairs is vital to be able to tackle the AQ question in the A level GP paper as the A level GP paper can test anything under the sun. The 2015 A level GP Paper 2 asked students to evaluate the value of sports in Singapore, while the 2021 A level GP Paper 2 focused on the issue of fast fashion. This incredible breadth of the general paper demands that students keep up to date with local affairs. So that they are equipped to answer any gp question that may come their way.
Hence reading the Straits Times is a necessary first step to ensure that students have the right tools to tackle GP questions such as the AQ and “in your society” GP essay questions. The ‘Opinions’ section is especially useful in the Straits Times. This section will expose students to a variety of argumentative writing styles which will help students better their gp essays.
Next, Students can also rely on GP notes curated by GP tuition centres, such as illum.e, or by their seniors. Curated notes would allow students to quickly build up foundational knowledge for popular A level GP topics such as Science and Technology. In this way, students are able to gain a headstart on their GP journey. However it must be noted that curated GP notes are not a substitute for keeping up with current affairs.
One place students can get free notes is the sgexams website which hosts a collection of GP notes that are available to everyone. Of course students can also choose to get free notes from their seniors who have already taken their A level GP paper. Students could also choose to join GP tuition centres, to get the high quality GP notes. They cover popular A level GP topics at great depth with no compromise in breadth.
Lastly, reading GP model essays is another way to improve one’s own essays. GP model essays written by peers, would allow students to grasp the quality of response expected in their gp essays. More importantly, students will also learn how to tackle a variety of GP essay questions by borrowing arguments from these model essays. The most popular source of GP model essays would probably be KS bull which is a collection of excellent GP essays written by Rafflesians.
Students would also benefit greatly by joining a GP tuition centre, illum.e, as they would gain access to GP model essays written by our excellent group of experienced tutors. These GP essays are written in a way to ensure that our students definitely benefit from them.
I hope that in this article I have convinced you of not only the need to study for the A level GP paper by reading widely, but also equipped you with the tools to do so. Joining a GP tuition center, would also benefit you greatly due to our excellent group of tutors and notes. Join us today!