How to Improve your English Grade in just One Day

English is probably one of the most difficult subject to excel in as it does not only require a good command of the English Language, but also requires one to be have a broad vocabulary knowledge, ability to write well and a creative imagination. Even with great understanding and analytical skills, students still find it difficult to attain good marks. Moreover, good command of English has to be cultivated from young. 

With some of these key tips, we assure you that your grade will jump up a band. (or two!) 

1. Preparing for continuous writing 

Write out an essay plan by coming up with examples and elaborating them in point form in less than 10 minutes to give an overview of your essay’s structure and flow. The most important step is to identify keywords from the essay question and make a concept map to connect keywords, ideas and concepts. What students can do beforehand is to read up on a handful of common topics (e.g., technology, education, sports) before the exams to prepare themselves with some background knowledge of these topic. These knowledge can also be beneficial to them during the oral examinations. 

2. Structuring your essays 

Most students are unable to score well in their essays as they tend to be mundane and boring. The usage of metaphors & figurative language for descriptive essays can help make essays more vivid. In the introduction, write an outline of your essay briefly together with some background information to support your argument and thesis. 

Also, some students make claims in their essays that are not believable as they are not backed by evidence. Evaluate the examples and points logically in details for expository and argumentative essays. Each body paragraph should include a distinct idea that is supported with examples, statistics or research (this is where your read up on common topics will come in handy!) Finally, restate your stand and summarise the points written briefly in your conclusion to sum up your essay. 

3. Tackling situational writing 

Be aware of your audience and the objective of the text to be coherent. Explain briefly in the introduction in 1 to 2 lines to give an overview of what your writing will be about and its purpose. How to make your claim more convincing is to persuade readers with logic and general knowledge that you already know (or have read up) beforehand. Another common mistake that students make is that they go off topic when answering the question. To prevent this from happening, use the exact keywords from the questions so to prevent your key points from being missed out by the examiners as well. 

4. Visual text strategy 

Visual text is all about understanding the main point of the advertisement, poster, or short piece of news. Use action words like “to encourage” or “to convince” when answering questions that are asking for the purpose of the visual text. Read the title of the visual text & identify its audience to better understand its main purpose.

5. Tips to score well for comprehension  

Comprehension commonly requires student to rephrase the key phrases from the text. However, most students tend to copy the text word for word when asked to answer in their own words as they are unable to rearticulate the entire gist of the statement. Analyse each question carefully and identify the question words and task words. Words like “identify”, “state”, “describe”, “who”, “what” or “how” can help students greatly in the question’s requirement to identify if it’s an inferential or 'answer-from-the-text’ type of question. When unsure of any meaning of words that you’ve never seen before, skip them and infer their meaning if you need to when paraphrasing them in your answers. Lastly, most of the questions follow the chronological order as per the passage, so you can find your answers according to the question number. 

6. Read! 

Reading widely is essential to improve your command of English. Not only does it expand your general knowledge and builds your interest in the language, but it also improves your background knowledge for Paper 1 and Oral exams. Reading aloud also helps improves your oral skills and eloquence. 

7. Acing your summary 

Summary makes up a huge chunk of the marks for Paper 2, so it is important to ace this section to increase your chances of getting a distinction for English. Identify all the important keywords in the question, mark out at least 7 to 8 key points from the text and paraphrase these points in your own words as concisely as you can. The use of transition words (i.e., however, but, moreover) to connect different points can help maximise the marks for style. Since we are given a limit of only 80 words, paraphrase concisely to include only main points while excluding examples, quotations and repetitions.   

The following are links to other study tips & tricks to help students taking English Language.