There are 4 main Techniques you will need to cultivate to score an A in Secondary 3 English paper.
Fortunately, in Secondary 3, you will have a little bit more time than a Secondary 4 student. This little bit of ‘window’ means you have the opportunity to build up on your vocabulary strength.
I cannot emphasise enough about how important it is to have a sound word base in Secondary 3. Having a good word base is like having an international bank in your backyard.
It improves your writing strength, your “bargaining chips” when handling the paper and your confidence.
Practice makes perfect. So, make it a point to do as many Secondary 3 English assessments as possible if you are not much of a reader.
Another great way to improve your Secondary 3 English score is to ‘listen’ to those who speak well, and try to have a conversation with them. This is a fantastic way to improve in a very quick time.
TIP 1 – Get Your Word Base and become an Expert at Vocabulary words
Start reading snippets of stories, news, anything you think has descriptive and useful analogies, phrases or ideas.
A good example is to simply browse through the newspapers. IF you do not buy the newspapers, do not despair.
Try reading from magazines at waiting rooms. Eg. Doctors, clinics, free magazines from ‘Popular’. They contain some interesting write-ups in some of the pages.
The internet is not really the best source of grammatically correct sentences. It is a good source of information but not all sources provide you with what you need for your Secondary 3 English exams.
The best source to increase your word base is of course to read books. Unfortunately, not many people are inclined to read because it just simply has not become a cultivated habit.
The only way to get into reading is to just start! It’s as simple as that. Once you start reading, you will not be able to put the book down. However, if this still doesn’t work for you, try the suggestions mentioned above.
TIP 2 – Practice past year Secondary 3 English exam papers
Practise past year Secondary 3 English exam papers and ‘originally’ written composition and comprehension exercises. All of these are great for self-improvement.
If you have a tutor, even better. The tutor will introduce the specific skills and techniques needed to improve in your Secondary 3 writing and comprehension papers.
Practise on the last 5 exam papers. Whether it is the O level paper or any other paper, it does not matter. Just make sure it complies with the Secondary 3 exam standard.
The other option is to do assessment practices. Selection of the correct assessment books is very important. Make sure that it follows the exam format. Then, practice the topics and self-check using the answers provided.
TIP 3 – Exposure
Exposure. Exposing yourself to English language media is most important. I have students who are very weak in Secondary 3 English but continue watching movies, shows in their own mother tongue language which they are already fluent in.
In order to improve your weaker language quickly is to allow yourself to be constantly immersed in that language.
Watch English movies or TV serials with good values and use good language.
An alternative is to listen to the news channels either on the radio or on TV.
The standard of English used in news channels is of a very high standard. This will allow you to pick up useful phrases and words in a very short time.
TIP 4 – Try to keep a journal or a diary
The last tip is quite simple. Try to keep a journal or a diary. Jot down a description of your day or week but try not to write less than once a week.
Journal writing is especially helpful in boosting your narrative style of writing for your composition paper as it invariably is in the first person.
It will encourage your power of observation and force you to focus on what is going on around you. You will also be motivated to learn more about current news, trends and activities.
All this information can be used to write in your journal as a record of your observations and of course this can be used as ‘evidence’ in your expository and argumentative essays.
Journal writing will also induce a more disciplined writing method. Your grammar and sentence structure will improve as you will not have much opportunity to do that in school except during English class.
Consistent writing in your journal will not only give you the freedom in writing whatever you want but it will also cultivate a more enjoyable outlook to writing.
These are 4 SIMPLE but VERY POWERFUL tips which tend to be overlooked in Secondary 3 English. Try using them and you will be amazed to see how quickly your Secondary 3 English grades will shoot towards that A!