Writing is one of the skills that is being assessed in the GCSE Malaysia English language subject. Although the writing exam is less intimidating compared to the listening and speaking test, you still need to prepare for it to pass the IGCSE examination with flying colours.
But how do you prepare yourself for a writing test?
How To Write Better Essay For Examination?
Long before the writing exam date, you should already be prepared. Writing is a skill that you don’t immediately get once you start. You need to practice every day before you get a hang of it. Here are some best study options that you can do before sitting for your English exam.
1. Expand Your Vocabulary
To write an excellent essay, you need to add new words to your written vocabulary. There is no other way to improve your vocabulary other than reading and listening to English related materials.
You can listen to any English movie, drama, radio program, songs and podcast. Other than that, you can also read English fiction, non-fiction, magazines and newspapers. These materials can help you gain new vocabulary.
2. Practice Writing
As mentioned above, writing is an ongoing skill. You need to keep practising to improve your writing skill.
You can always use the past exam questions papers to practice your writing. Practice writing using past exam papers will give you an idea of the exam structure and types of questions that you will encounter during the actual exam.
Try to set the time as you write. You will notice that the more you practice, the less time you take to write an essay. It is good training to manage your time for the IGCSE exam.
Check out these resources for the Form 1 English exam paper with answer Malaysia. If you are looking for a Form 2 English exam paper for the previous years, you can find them here too. But, do bear in mind the format of the paper is different from IGCSE English paper.
3. Ask Other People To Check Your Essay
Each time you completed your writing exercises, ask someone to check your essay for you. When you know where you do wrong, make corrections and improve your write up. However, it is quite hard to find someone who can check your essay.
You can’t really depend on your English teacher all the time since she or he has other students to attend to. Moreover, your parents and friends might not be the best person to check your mistakes in your essay too.
This is where having an English tutor helps. Hiring a private teacher allows you to have unlimited attention and you can ask just about anything at any time. But, where to find the best tutor?
With the advancement of the internet, it is easier to find an English tutor these days. You can hop on online tutoring websites such as Superprof to look out for your private teacher.
Superprof offers more than 16 million tutors in more than 100 different subjects worldwide. You will definitely find the right English tutor that can help you with your essays.
Searching for a tutor on Superprof is easy peasy. All you need is just to use its search engine.
- Choose your subject
- Enter your address or postcode
- Click on the ‘Find a tutor’ button
A list of available tutors will appear. You can choose your tutor from the list. Additionally, you have the option to make an intensive search using the filters.
- Response time
Be sure to check the tutors’ profiles to seek the suitable one. You can consult with the tutor before you agree on hiring them.
Consultation is always free. Talk to your potential tutor about your needs, background and your availability to make sure he or she is able to help you.
Once you found your tutor, click on the ‘Book a class’ button on the tutor’s profile. The first hour of the lesson is usually free.
Leverage this opportunity to improve your English writing skills. You can also take the chance to get help on your IGCSE reading and comprehension test preparation.
How To Answer English IGCSE Writing Paper?
You can’t really avoid getting a little nervous and stressed out before the exam day. This is especially true when it comes to important exams such as GCSE. You are not alone. Everybody has been through this time.
However, you need to remain calm during the test. Here are some crucial things you have to do during the writing exam.
1. Read The Insert Instruction
It is super important for you to always read the instructions on the exam paper insert. This is to make sure that you get everything right.
In the insert instructions, you will get crucial information such as the number of questions available in the paper, the number of questions that you should answer and where you should put your answers.
2. Understand The Question
Once the exam starts, read and understand each question properly. Underline the key words and identify the TAP.
T - Type
What type of essay do you need to write?
A - Audience
Who is going to read your essay?
P - Purpose
What is the reason for you to write the essay?
You should be able to identify the type of essay you need to write, to whom you should write your essay and the purpose of your writing based on the question given.
3. Plan Your Writing
Avoid writing right away once you read and understand the questions. Instead, plan your essay.
Think of a hook in the introduction to capture your examiners’ attention. Jot down your key point for the body and organize your supporting points. End your essay with a solid conclusion of the topic you are writing about.
Always remember, your essay should consist of these components:
- I - Introduction
- B - Body
- C - Conclusion
In the body section, come up with 3 to 4 ideas related to the topic. If you can’t think of any key point or idea on what to write, use the 5W1H method.
- W - What?
- W - Who?
- W - Why?
- W - Where?
- W - When?
- H - How?
4. Start Writing
Once you are done with the planning, proceed with writing the actual essay. It is a good practice to add some examples related to the key point.
5. Review Your Essay
After you complete your essay, put down your pen and take a deep breath. Re-read your essay to correct any spelling and grammatical mistakes. Make use of all of your time in the exam.
Some Tips To Make Your Essay Powerful
Check out these five useful writing tips to improve your writing game.
1. Use The Right Type Of Writing
There are many types of writing that you can use in your article. You can look out some academic essay example on the internet to understand the type of writing and how they should be used.
Narrative writing is usually being used in fiction and creative writing. The essay that uses this technique will usually have an introduction, climax and ending.
In descriptive writing, you need to capture every detail of the place, person or scene you are about to write. Try using more adjectives involving the five senses - sight, touch, taste, hearing and smell.
The goal of persuasive writing is to convince a reader to agree on an idea. To influence other people in accepting your viewpoint, you need to effectively back your points with solid evidence such as statistics, testimonials or personal experiences.
Expository writing is more to educate readers about something. In this type of writing, you need to avoid bringing up your emotion or opinion. Expository writing should focus on the facts and lay everything that readers may probably have questions about.
2. Avoid Repetitive Words
To write a good essay, try using synonyms when you want to mention the same thing. Having repeated words can sometimes be irritating to read and draw readers away from your main point.
You can use a variety of different transition words such as ‘however, therefore and also’. Additionally, you can also vary the structure and the length of your sentences. These strategies work wonderfully!
3. Get To Know Some Common Writing Format
There is a lot of academic essay style you need to master. Get to know some of the essay examples and writing format such as:
- Informal letter
- Formal letter
- Newspaper report
- Magazine article
4. Follow The Words Count
GCSE English papers usually have a specific number of words per article students need to write depending on what type of English paper they are taking. Follow the number of words you need to write as in the instruction.
5. Construct Better Sentences
Keep your sentences short and focus. Short sentences will help with the clarity about the topic you wrote.
In fact, using this strategy will also make your point clear and understandable for the examiner. Additionally, it is easier for you to check your work and correct it later.
Writing should be an exciting and fun thing to do. It allows you to indulge in your creativeness and convey your thought in a solid way.
Once you study and prepare well for your IGCSE examination, there is nothing to be nervous about. Just give your all during the actual exam and do your best.
Good luck with your exam!
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