Although the essay questions were clear and required the discussion of issues within the candidates' experiences, most candidates failed to show understanding of the requirements of the questions they attempted. Questions 2 and 5 were not popular questions and those who attempted them had scanty content which in some cases were irrelevant to the requirements of the questions.
Errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation also dominated candidates' essays. Some of the candidates' expressions were generally gibberish or inappropriate to the context. Sometimes, candidates merely translated their mother tongue into English Language.
Although the two comprehension passages offered familiar subject matters using the appropriate range of vocabulary for candidates at this level, many candidates performed poorly. This was basically because many of them lifted portions of the passage and gave them as answers. Questions 6 (b), (e), 7(a), (e) and (g) were some of the questions that required implied answers but many candidates merely lifted mindlessly from the passage.
In the summary section, many candidates failed to give concise answers. The use of inappropriate preambles made so many candidates to lose marks. Mindless lifting also dominated many answers.
The situation can however be remedied if candidates take seriously the study of the rudiments of the English Language.
Teachers should help candidates by teaching them how to read, understand and interpret the requirements of questions set, whether they are essay, comprehension or summary.
It is self-deceit for any candidate to believe that he can do well in the subject without studying it consciously and consistently.