~ Liau Chuan Yi, GP Teacher
Sometimes different students make the same mistakes. Other times, the same student makes the same mistake. The more cynical among us might call this “job security”. I call it, a headache. To help my students become more conscious about what they are writing, I have started recording and categorising those mistakes. Common Mistakes serves to provide students with a systematic approach to identifying and correcting their mistakes. It consists of three parts:
- An example of the mistake
- An explanation of the problem together with some illustrations of how to re-write the sentence
- Some exercises for the student to attempt (which usually involves re-writing the sentence)
When doing practice papers, it isn’t enough for students to know what the correct answer is for a particular question, they need to understand how to arrive at that answer themselves. This is the only way to guarantee that they will do well in their A-Level exams. We therefore seek to go beyond telling students the correct answers, we want students to develop the reading and reasoning skills involved in arriving at these answers. To help them do so, we write our own answers for each practice paper (without copying from the answer sheet or using a thesaurus) so that we can explain the reasoning process involved in arriving at a valid answer or AQ response. It is also especially important for students to see that it is actually possible to obtain full marks for the comprehension and summary components on their own.