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Paper 2 - Taking the BGCSE Examination

Begin by reading over the paper to determine which of the two sections: short-answers or essay questions, you prefer to start with and base your choice on the section you feel strongest about. Carefully read the instructions then begin.

Completing Short-Answer questions:

See notes for Paper 1.

Completing Essay questions:

For the most part, students usually have a preference for which subject areas they want to write an essay on long before they even sit down to take an exam. Once recognizing those subject areas in exam questions, students must be careful though that in their eagerness to write down everything they know related to the topic, that they don’t do so without specifically addressing the question asked (issued raised). Students who make this mistake are often disappointed when the grade received is not as high as they would have expected. So, before you begin to write anything, please be sure to read questions fully, and carefully consider what it is you’re being asked to do.

With all of this in mind, first draft an outline for your essay. Nothing complicated, but on an extra sheet of paper jot down ideas and concepts you consider relevant to the question (similar to what you would have in your studies). Carefully structure the outline according to which ideas or issues you want to discuss first, and so on. Think of it as building a case. It is important that you demonstrate your ability to organize your thoughts in a manner that reflects a distinct pattern of development.

When writing the essay, get right to the point. At the outset, and in your own words demonstrate your understanding of the question being asked, and identify precisely what you understand to be the main point of the question. Following that, use your introductory paragraph to provide an overview of your essay: how you plan to tackle the issue, and generally the areas you intend to look at. Then guided by your outline, use the rest of your essay to elaborate on each area in detail; and as best as you can, ensure that you support your work with specific information, examples, and/or quotations from your resource material. When you’re done, read over your response and if you were required to perform any calculations, be certain to re-check your computations.

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