Upper Primary, Secondary & JC Level – Bukit Panjang

SMS, WhatsApp:
+65 9457 6550


GP FAQ: Why am I failing General Paper? – Top 10 Reasons

This question may have crossed your mind, especially if you are in JC1 or have just done badly for a class test or exam. Let’s start from the obvious.

  1. Weak language foundation – You struggle to find the right words and phrases to express your ideas. Your writing contains lots of spelling and grammar errors and you do not recognize many words in the comprehension passage. Due to limited vocabulary, you cannot paraphrase well.
  2. Lack of reading – Many students struggle to sustain an interest in daily reading. In GP, you will need to come up with examples to support your writing. Ideas and examples come from having good knowledge of current affairs. Students who read broadly tend to do better in GP.
  3. Weak reasoning – This is not really language related. Some students struggle to see the reasoning behind certain arguments. They pick poor examples to support their arguments and fail to see why that is the case.
  4. Over-confidence – Consistently good grades can lead to complacency. I read in a forum that a student consistently scored B/C in JC but got only an ‘S’ pass in the A-Levels. As you can see, results are never ‘guaranteed’, especially for a dynamic subject such as GP.
  5. A moment of weakness – Such students are usually managing well but a moment of weakness can cause grades to plummet. For example, the student misses an important keyword in the essay question and hence, fail to answer the question properly. Writing out of point can lead to immediate failure for paper 1.
  6. Lack of strategy GP is a subject that is very broad and diverse. Given the general nature of the subject, some students don’t even know where to start. Their preparations are unfocused, inefficient and ineffective. They are just attending lessons and kind of floating around, hoping to get a pass. A good understanding of the subject can help rectify this issue.
  7. Regurgitation – Many students rely on memory work to do well in subjects. Over-reliance on rote learning does not work well in GP because examiners are looking at a student’s critical thinking skills. Simply reading model essays and copying examples are insufficient. Students will need to develop their own thinking and arrive at their own conclusions. This is one main reason why many students detest GP – they can’t “copy and paste” anymore!
  8. Disengagement – Students who aim to do well in GP should be as engaged as possible. Sitting back and relying on the teachers/tutors is not going to help. These are students who typically sit at the back of the class and avoid asking questions or participating in discussions. They are very passive and require prompts in order to start their thinking processes.
  9. Lack of interest – This can stem from an overall diminishing interest in studies or in GP. These students detest GP and they are unmotivated. Reading and writing is painful and seeing poor results add salt to the wounds. Ouch! So they continue on a downward spiral and remain unmotivated. This is a major concern and should be nipped in the bud from the beginning. In other words, work hard right from the start and avoid doing badly.
  10. Poor physical and/or mental health – Understandably, the A-levels subjects are demanding and cause stress in many students. Students who do not cope well with the stress end up falling sick or getting depressed. GP is a subject that demands fierce thinking from the student. If, over the course of the year, a student is constantly unfocused or falling sick, then performance will inevitably be diminished.

Students can look forward to overcoming the above-mentioned challenges when they sign up for Mr. Chow’s GP lessons.

If you are keen to sign up for GP lessons, simply send a whatsapp messsage to +65 9457 6550

Thank you for your interest!