Social Science
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English Language Paper 1, Nov/Dec. 2008  
Questions:   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8   Main
General Comments

Candidates' Weaknesses


(i)         Section A:       The compositions lacked relevant content, especially for questions 2, 4, and 5 where the candidates failed to show a clear understanding of the topics.  The language of the compositions were marred by wrong grammar and weak vocabulary.

            The only remedy for this weakness is a conscious study of the rudiments of the English Language.

(ii)        Section B:       The comprehension answers were very brief, covering a few words or one or two lines of the answer booklets.  Even some of the candidates who wrote lengthy answers showed that they did not understand the questions.  As answers to the vocabulary tests (6h and 7g), they gave “synonyms” that had no relationship with the words.

(iii)       Section C:       This was the weakest area of the candidates’ performance.  Many of the candidates did not make any attempt to understand the questions.  Secondly, they relied on lifting portions of the passage verbatim.

            Candidates must be taught that to summarize is not to reproduce the original passage but to state the information asked in a simple, brief and direct way.          

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