October 13, 2011

Exam Guide for IGCSE ‘O’ level Students

Reading Comprehension(Exercise 1 and 2 in your question paper)
Here you need to find out the answers from the given passage through your reading ability.
v Reading :
Ø Understand and respond to information presented in a variety of form.
Ø Select and organize material relevant to specific purpose.
Ø Recognize, understand and distinguish between facts, ideas and opinions.
Ø Infer information from texts.
v Reading Methods:
Ø Skimming
§ Refers to the process of reading only main ideas within a passage to get an overall impression of the content of a reading selection.
v How to Skim :
§ Read the title.
§ Read the introduction or the first paragraph.
§ Read the first sentence of every other paragraph.
§ Read any headings and sub-headings.
§ Notice any pictures, charts, or graphs.
§ Notice any italicized or boldface words or phrases.
§ Read the summary or last paragraph.
Ø Scanning
§ It is a reading technique to be used when you want to find specific information quickly. In scanning you have a question in your mind and you read a passage only to find the answer, ignoring unrelated information.
v How to Scan:
§ Keep in mind at every time that what you are searching for. If you hold the image of the word or idea clearly in mind it is likely to appear more clearly than the surrounding words.
§ Anticipate in what form the information is likely to appear numbers, proper nouns etc.
§ Analyze the organization of the content before starting to scan.
· If material is familiar or fairly brief, you may be able to scan the entire article in a single search.
· If the material is lengthy or difficult, a preliminary skimming may be necessary to determine which part of the article to scan.
§ Let you eyes run rapidly over several lines at a time.
§ When you find the sentence that has the information you seek, read the entire sentence.
§ In scanning, you must be willing to skip over large sections of text without reading or understanding them.
v The way to attend a reading comprehension :
§ Skim the question
§ Understand what information the question is asking for.
§ Underline the keywords
§ Scan for likely selection
§ Write down the answers in a phrase or sentence
v Keywords
Ø The word or words in a question that will lead you to find out the answer.
(Example: - Exercise 1, 2, 3 and 4)
Information Transfer(Exercise 3 in your question paper)
Here you need to transfer informations from the passage to a Application form.
Ø Understand which type of information we want to find out it may be name, number, e-mail, address, or some other detailed information
Ø The answer may not come chronologically
Ø If the form instruct for ‘BLOCK CAPITAL’, ‘CAPITAL LETTERS’ or ‘BLOCK LETTERS’ fill the form in capital letters according to the instruction
Ø If the form instruct you to put the tick mark [] tick that appropriate check box. If it is to circle [ ] circle around the correct answer. If it instructs to underline then underline the correct answer.
Ø If the form instruct you to ‘delete’ or ‘delete as necessary’ then cross out [X] all the wrong answers.
Note-Making(Exercise 4 in your question paper)
In this exercise you need to make notes related to the given heading.
v Tips for making notes
Ø Make short notes in a point form based on the related heading.
Ø No need to write full sentences.
Ø No need to write capital letters at the beginning.
Ø No need to put a full stop at the end.
Ø Information must be presented in a logical order.
v Steps to follow
Ø Read the question carefully
Ø Skim the headings
Ø Understand what informations we need to include depends upon the heading
Ø Skim the text for find out the related topic
Ø Scan the topic for the related points
Ø Underline the main points related to the topic of the heading
Ø Write down the points in a logical order
Summary(Exercise 5 in your question paper)
Here you want to write a summary based on the given article. A summary help you to understand quickly and easily a long passage.
Ø Read the question
Ø Understand exactly what to summaries and in how many words.
Ø Skim the Article
Ø Pick out relevant points
Ø Group together the similar points
Ø Make sure that no points are repeated
Ø Connect the points using linking words
Ø Skip the points which seems unnecessary
Ø Use generalization and time fixers
Ø Don’t use quotations and examples
Ø Keep the word limit
Ø Write down the points in your own words
Ø Write the summary in one paragraph
v Linking Words
Linking words are used to connect a series of different points or ideas.
Ø To build a list of Points :-
§ Firstly, Secondly, also, In addition, As well as, Furthermore, More over.
Ø To show Contrast:-
§ But, Although, On the other hand, In spite of, However, Neverthless.
Ø To show reasoning :-
§ Because, As, Since, For this reason, So, Consequently, There for, As a result.
Ø To round of your arguments :-
§ Finally, On balance, To sum up, In conclution.
Letter Writing(Exercise 6 in your question paper)
The way writing letter is mainly classified into two according to the situations Informal and Formal. When you are writing a letter in exam don’t mention your names try to find out some imaginary names and imagine you are writing this letter in your real life never think this is only for exam. For example just imagine the letter is written by Tom to Jerry.
v Format of Informal Writing
Ø Greeting
Ø Introduction (Paragraph 1)
Ø Transition + Body (Paragraph 2)
Ø Body (Paragraph 3 [if needed])
Ø Conclusion (Paragraph 4)
Ø Suitable Ending Word
Ø Signature
Ø Name
v Greeting
Ø To friend : Dear + friends first name or nick name
Ø To Parents : Dear + Mom and Dad
Ø To Relatives : Dear + relation +first name
Ø To Officials : Dear + madam/sir, Respected madam/sir or you can mention that particular persons designation
v Introduction
Introduction warms the reader up and prepares for the main part of the letter. The best way or favorite way to begin a letter especially informal way is by using an apology.
Ø Eg1 : I’m sorry I haven’t written for ages,but I have been busy with my studies and haven’t had time
Ø Eg2 : I’ve been meaning to write for ages. But things kept cropping up and I’m afraid I just haven’t got around to it
v .Transition + Body
After writing a suitable Introduction the next step is to write a transition sentence.
Ø Eg1: Anyway, I thought I would drop you a line about …………………….
Ø Eg2: I thought you might like to know something about me and my ……………..
v Body
It depends upon the topic or question.
Ø School, Family and town
Ø Holidays
Ø Visits
Ø Etc……………
v Conclusion
This is the ending part or the final part of a letter.In conclution normaly we used to write our hopes and regards.
Ø E.g. : Anyway, I’m looking forward to see you soon. Don’t forget to inform my regards to your family.
v Ending Word
Your ending word should be suitable to the letter according with the way and situation.
Ø Best Wishes
Ø With Love
Ø Your Friend
Ø Yours faithfully
Ø Yours sincerely
v Signature
After the ending word put the signature of the imaginary person and makes sure that it is not yours. (Tom’s signature)
v Name
After the signature just write the name of the imaginary person. (Tom)
Formal Writing
v Not appropriate to Include :-
Ø Short Forms
Ø Slang Words
Ø Humors
Ø Exclamation Sentences
Ø Personal or Friendly Style
v Use Impersonal Style
Ø Time fixer phrases
Ø Transitions for introducing points
Ø Adding Supports
Ø Making Arguments
Ø Generalization
Ø Opinion and views
v Time fixers
Nowadays, These days, until now, Recently, In the last few years, In the past etc….
v Introducing Points
Ø Firstly, Mainly, Most Important, At First
Ø Secondly, In Addition
Ø Finally, Lastly, In conclusion, To sum up
v Transitions
Ø Further More
Ø Moreover
Ø Besides
Ø However
Ø Nevertheless
Ø On the other hand
Ø Although
v Adding Support
Ø As a result
Ø This may lead to
Ø Consequently
Ø Therefore
v Generalization
Ø Almost All
Ø The vast majority of
Ø A large number of
Ø Mostly
Ø Frequently
Ø Mainly
Ø A few
Ø Almost all
Ø In many case
Ø On the whole
Article Writing(Exercise 7 in your question paper)
v Format of an Article
Ø Good or Appropriate Title
Ø Inspiring or Encouraging Introduction
Ø Body with Transition
Ø A good Conclusion
v Title
Don’t forget to write a title or heading and make sure that the title is appropriate to your topic.
v Introduction
Try to start with an effective introduction with question which attract the attention of reader or encourage him. because the introduction of article give a general idea what the article is talking about.
v Body With Transition
After the introduction you can start your body part with a appropriate transition which help to link the sentences and keep the continuation.
v Conclusion
Conclusion should be fairly short and use some personal style and register. The purpose of the conclusion should be, To summaries the article, To express your own opinion leave the reader with something to think.