General Paper H1 (8807) is a compulsory subject for all students. As a threshold requirement for entry to local universities namely NUS, NTU and SMU, the subject plays a crucial role in determining a student’s eligibility for university admission. A number of university courses, including Law and Mass Communication, specify a good pass in General Paper as an entry requirement. Students who fail to obtain the necessary qualification in General Paper and who are admitted into NUS or NTU must sit for the University’s Qualifying English Test. If they fail this test, they must take a compulsory course in English. They must obtain a satisfactory pass in this course in order to graduate.
The General Paper examination consists of an Essay Paper and a Comprehension Paper to be taken in two separate sittings. The duration of each examination paper is 1.5 hours.
Students are required to read widely in order to enrich their general knowledge and awareness of current issues. They must develop their reading skills to a level that will prepare them for the type of reading they will encounter at the university. Students must also develop their ability to think rationally and learn to construct valid arguments that are supported by relevant evidence. The acquisition of a mature writing style which is grammatically accurate and which utilises wide-ranging vocabulary is also of utmost importance. In addition, the syllabus emphasises the need for students to demonstrate their ability to evaluate information, make sound judgments and apply critical thinking.
Paper 1: Essay
The syllabus consists of topics of general interest in areas such as Science and Technology, Literature and Language, Education, Mass Media, Politics and Governance, Environment, the Arts as well as topics of local and global concern. However, the Essay Paper is not a Topic Paper and the essay titles set will include a number of fields of knowledge that are not subject specific. Creative and critical thinking will be taught in conjunction with essay writing skills. In the examination, students must choose 1 title from 12 offered and write an argumentative essay of between 500 and 800 words in length. Out of a total of 50 marks, 30 marks are given for content and 20 for use of English.
Paper 2: Comprehension
The range of questions set on the text(s) requires students to demonstrate their ability to comprehend, explain, infer, evaluate and summarise. Students are also required to synthesise information and respond to concepts and ideas presented in the text(s).
The paper consists of either a single passage or two short passages for comparative analysis. The total length of the passage(s) set is approximately 1,200 words. Short-answer questions, summary and the application question make up the 11 to 12 questions in this paper. The application question calls for students to synthesise information, evaluate ideas and make an informed response to a task derived from the text. A central feature of the comprehension paper is that students must show understanding by answering in their own words as far as possible. Out of a total of 50 marks, 35 marks are allocated for content and 15 for use of English.
Scheme of Assessment
|1||Essay||1 hr 30 min||50||50%|
|2||Comprehension||1 hr 30 min||50||50%|
Updated as of 30 January 2018