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How to get an ‘A’ in General Paper (G.P)

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Tanweer_Joomunbaccus sarah_7

Competing for laureate or want to pass with flying colours? Read this then. I've seen many students focus on researching new topics very often. But they totally ignore their grammar! Formation is important. If you REALLY want to get this 'A', the first step you should do is to check your dictionary, your lower classes books and copybooks and anything that contain English grammar.

Something you should do quite often is to check the Examiner's Report. And be sure to have your syllabus with you. If you don’t the syllabus, you should get it as it contains important information.

Many make the error of focusing on only some topics for the examination. That's totally WRONG! You should cover the maximum topics. All knowledge is necessary for an examination. I highly recommend you use your own thinking rather than just 'copy paste' what you learned from books, teachers and the internet.

Do you know how to choose what essay you’re going to do? If you think that you should do the topic that you ‘like’ then you’re wrong. You should do the topic on which you have more knowledge, even if you dislike the topic.

Important sources of information are: local newspaper, magazines, books specialised in essays (wide choice at your local library) and the internet.

The examiner will expect:

  • fluent style and demonstration of the use of appropriate idiom
  • grammatically correct, good paragraphing and good punctuation and spelling
  • an introduction with clarity and without unnecessary detail
  • a conclusion sufficiently referencing major points and pulling the threads of the arguments together

Some tips from an examiner

From Paper 8004/11 - Paper 1

  • take time to read all questions very carefully before making your choice
  • scrutinise the wording of the chosen questions
  • if you are not absolutely sure of the precise meaning of the question, do not attempt it
  • do not write all you know about the topic , answer the question
  • prepare an essay plan which remains focused on the question as set
  • ensure the plan shows that you have sufficient/knowledge to meet the requirements of the question
  • check and edit the essay structure regarding introduction, main body and conclusion
  • illustrate your major points with appropriate examples (local/national/international)
  • leave enough time to check your work
  • ensure you have answered the question as set without superfluous digression
  • check your English systematically correcting any careless errors.

A common error by Mauritian students: they write "infact" and "atleast" and it’s totally wrong. They are written like this: in fact and at least.

Next is choosing between comprehension and data response. I would suggest you don’t gamble in the exams. Comprehension is the best option. Again here, NEVER copy the words in the passage. Put them in your own words. Unless you have practised at least 10 Data Response questions (and had good marks), do not attempt Data Response in the examination.

Always write for what has been asked. Be careful not to be irrelevant by writing more than necessary just to show that you have ‘a great knowledge’. Questions are often tricky. Be sure to read them 3 times before answering.

When answering the ‘what is meant by the following words’ question, do not answer by giving another difficult word. When writing your summary, underline the main points first. Be sure not to include any details as this will give you minus points!

Khush_Mendossa Published 27 May 2012


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1308 members . 1838 topics . 5966 posts
Tanweer_Joomunbaccus 18 Sep 2013

Can you please give some essay topic to prepare?

spalentor21 23 Sep 2016

HI, your notes help me a lot thank you but I want to know if we can use personal pronouns while writing the essay.... for examples.... "in your opinion,what was the most important form of art and music to emerge in the twentieth century,and why was it important?" can I use the term "I" "ME" "YOU" "YOUR" "OUR" "WE" "US" among many others if we are ask to give our own opinion....... thank you very much will wait for your answer................... I will be indebted to you if you could add me on face book as I don;t have a teacher to explain it to me as I'm a private canditate for A LEVEL ADVANCE thank you ........................

Trevish 24 Oct 2016

From my own knowledge, I know you are NOT suppose to use "YOU" as it seems that you are referring to the examiner

moricien 28 May 2012

Article is good khush, keep it up :))

Also I remember my GP teacher constantly telling us, to always think critically in the exams, this will always top you among other students who do not answer questions on a critical basis.

and the brainstorming feat for the essay or Data Response should be roughly about 5mins max.

Khush_Mendossa 28 May 2012

Thank you. Yeah your teacher was right! The more you are critical the closer you are to the truth :)

Iron_Man 27 May 2012

your article is're also giving good advice..its just awesome...
however i'll correct you about your last paragraph:

you must now do BOTH comprehension and data...

Khush_Mendossa 27 May 2012

I guess students should do at least 10 questions. You know, I would like to take this exam again and see if my 'A' is still valid xD My professor was so strict (perhaps because I disturbed the class too much) that I had no choice apart from memorizing whole essays.

gices 27 May 2012

Nice article Khush. I'm glad to see that you're using British English rather than American as many Mauritians tend to use 'z' instead of 's' in words like 'analyse' which is wrong because we follow the UK.

Khush_Mendossa 27 May 2012

Thank you. It is Microsoft Word that puts them on the wrong path lol.

sarah_7 15 Oct 2019

it's not only microsoft. All our news come from american media