Cause and Consequence

Slim Potato

This post is as much for the JC2s as it is for the JC1s, which is to say we are reviewing a JC2 Prelim question and preparing the JC1s for the upcoming Promos. The JC1s have spent many a lecture (and tutorial) going through expository cause-and-consequence questions, starting from our review of the MYE question on Martha as a ‘victim of her own expectations’ and concluding with a practice question on ‘a sense of fulfilment or lack of it affecting an individual’s identity.’ For both cohorts, we will elaborate once more on the question requirements and how to approach the question below.

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Highlight Me

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This requested post provides a few suggestions on how to annotate your Paper 3 set texts. They are by no means exhaustive; in fact, I have also struggled to map out the key concerns and ideas in a way that allows us to compare them easily next year.

Do not panic if you have already highlighted and annotated your text in your own way. You can just refer to the suggestions below and see if you have missed any key ideas out, however unlikely the case.

Here are a few broad reminders and revision tips before we dive into the specifics:

  • Annotate your set texts either at the start or at the end of your revision process. Doing so at the start will help you revise your knowledge of the text. You can transfer the annotations from your lecture notes, tutorial notes and presentations (where applicable) into your exam copy. Some of you may find this a little risky, in which case…
  • Annotating your exam copy at the end of your revision cycle will help you discern what is relevant, what is crucial and certainly, what are the key words you would want to close-analyse as you write your exam answer.
  • You may highlight the same lines in different colours. Yes, this is allowed! We’ve heard from students that one institution in particular recommends using two exam copies to highlight different concerns and ideas — you can take this interesting idea up if you want… probably from next year onwards. 😉
  • And yes, please do underline key words for close analysis. This is useful for both Paper 1 (especially the PBQ where you can ‘spot’ passages beforehand) and Paper 3. Develop your own code for this if you want (e.g. double underline for superlative / absolute terms, underline punctuation for sentence types).
  • Practise referring to your exam copy while practising question analysis, writing an essay outline or writing an actual essay. The goal is to make retrieving relevant episodes, quotations and key words as easily as possible, so only practising this will put this to the test!

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Bring on the Promos

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Format

3 hours, 3 questions. Each section in the paper carries equal marks. We generally recommend you scan through all three sections once you are permitted to do so and start with the unseen. If you are flummoxed by the unseen, move onto the set texts and you can return to the unseen in a calmer state of mind. 😉

  • Section A – Paper 3 Unseen, choose either (a) drama excerpt or (b) poem.
  • Section B – Paper 3 Woman in Mind, choose one essay question from two.
  • Section C – Paper 1 Measure for Measure, choose either (a) essay or (b) passage-based question.

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