How to revise for General Paper

In the run up to the Mid-Year, Promo or A Level examinations, many students have been asking how to revise for General Paper (GP). As such we have prepared this list for illum.e students :).

Paper 1

  1. Revise Content Lectures - Pick out some poignant examples which you can use in different questions [Consider case studies which are relevant in multiple questions and topics]
  2. Revise the arguments/ evaluative techniques for each topic to show your understanding of the topic [Eg. the evaluative points for S&T, or theories for Level 4]
  3. Remember to niche in various key topics according to popularity/ trends!
  4. Try to connect the dots between different topics and themes to cover as much ground with the least effort!
Question Analysis and Planning
  1. Review Question Key Word Types [6 question keyword types like value or impact] - this helps you ensure that during your arguments you do expound and drive your arguments here.
  2. Review common keywords which you can nuance or build arguments on [Eg. ‘Solve’, or ‘people’ - and its various perspectives, like solving symptoms or surface problems, cannot solve, can solve, creates new problems]
  3. Dive into the topical question lists provided for each lecture and consider planning a number of questions of each variety so you are able to handle the arguments for them. Also, work on creating higher level arguments here if possible. [It’s fine to just have 1 level 3, or 1 level 4 argument in your exams + you can always work on evaluative layers for lower level points] 
Question Types Analysis
  1. Review the question types we have gone through / what you know so that you can plan ahead for the structure you will use.
  2. You should not be planning the question structure too much in the exams, unless you are looking to create more complex structures [eg. CA/R x3 (esp. In comparison questions, or SP/CA/R].
  3. For J1s or J2s who are less able to handle more complex questions, focus more on absolute or simple polarity questions.

[As always, a more complex question, has more complex arguments for good and for bad]

Micro Writing
  1. Attempt some paragraph writing, or delve into the paragraph structures you need help for and review the skills notes [like for Intro, CA/R, Conclusion, basic body paragraphs, evaluative body paragraphs, evaluative layering]
  2. Use the Paper 1 checklist to check against your writing (or previous pieces of work] to examine what has been lacking in terms of your argumentation, illustration or evaluation.
  3. Consider timing yourself to write various paragraphs under examination conditions [ie. 15mins per para, 30mins for CA/R, or similar depending on your weakness]
  4. Remember/ apply/ practice gerrymandering of your illustration and writing [Esp for J2s who have done this with us]


Paper 2


  1. Review the question types that you know, and the strategies to answer them, including the skills required for paraphrasing [Denotation, Connotation, Sense for Sense]
  2. If out of time, focus purely on UYOWAFAP questions [and consider the 4 types that come with it], but once you are ready, look into Infer, Writers’ Purpose/Craft and other questions (in this order)
  3. Consider practising chunked practices AND also a full paper for contextualised practice
  4. Practise finding answers and checking against the answer key [for skill] or practise answering questions (once you have got the hang of the skills] to work on the precision of your answers or paraphrasing
  1. Work on the two skills required to score for Summary - finding points, and paraphrasing/metaphrasing. This means that you can practise point extraction, or paraphrasing/metaphrasing in context
  2. Ensure that your summary always has at least 16 points (or slightly lesser if you are weaker in it)
  3. Look into how you can paraphrase/metaphrase better and practise / grind using the same paraphrasing frameworks we do in class [can also just use Denotation, Connotation and Sense for Sense]

(In general, summaries allow you to squeeze more points if you do sense for sense)

  1. Review your annotation skills [recall the steps we go through in class] to extract choice references which are key arguments answering the question
  2. Decide on your preferred structure early to offer balance (ie. Structure 1/2/3 we have gone through) instead of figuring out on the spot
  3. Prepare for referencing/matching for both single passage and two passage AQs - also apply the Process Identification Technique we used in paraphrasing to dissect the parts of the AQ reference
  4. Look into the evaluative techniques we have used in class, and practise the logic of applying it to different contexts
  5. Delve into SG contexts (look for at our prepared list) for EV [this can also be built into your examples, and is most important]
  6. If you have time, you can consider looking at the AQ examples in different contexts that we have provided, but we generally discourage spending too much time memorising examples since the topics can be varied, or abstract.

Overall: Regardless of what happens, know that we are here to help! If you need extra practices, or consultations/ guidance, feel free to connect to any of the tutors 🙂