Real notes and essay plans, created by experts. Real writing, done in class, with detailed feedback and analysis. Real insights on what the Cambridge examiners are looking for. This is how we think it should be done.
Introducing General Paper by Dr Neil Coomber x Academia. The most rigorous and hands-on programme developed to help you get your A-grade.
Plenty of General Paper centres are insipid talk shops – lots of lectures and slides, with hardly any work done. We can tell you that such approaches just don’t work. At Academia, we’re much more hands-on and productive. Our General Paper programme, tried and tested on actual students from top schools, is absolutely task-oriented with a focus on the process – how to do it – and the product – the actual essays and work completed.
For us, it’s all about the application of content and skills, and above all, practice. In our programme, we make our students dissect essay questions, brainstorm, write topic sentences, and construct body paragraphs.
For the record, Dr Neil Coomber used to teach General Paper at Raffles Institution. You can read his full biography here.
For Paper 1
You will build up five individual folders centred around five modules: ❶ Media, ❷ Social Issues, ❸ Politics, ❹ Science and Technology, and ❺ Global Issues. After each year, you’ll have finished two and a half modules, ultimately completing all five modules by the end of the second year.
This incredible and unparalleled resource is a more developed version of Dr Coomber’s legendary General Paper notes and will result in a detailed portfolio of resources that you can use for revision and practice for the A-levels.
With each module, you will gradually build up Dr Coomber’s carefully curated trinity of materials:
① Detailed content notes
② Quick-guide revision notes
③ Essay plans
It must be said that notes alone aren’t sufficient – you still need to be able to apply them to questions. We’ve got that covered. You will learn how to apply content from the notes to answer specific questions, instead of regurgitating information mindlessly. Indeed, you will be taught how to appreciate essay question requirements and select, adapt and apply content.
Just to illustrate how much you need to learn, consider this: do you know how to write a good introduction? So many students haven’t a clue about what comes in the introduction of their essays. It’s one of the very first things you need to learn on this journey to General Paper success.
For Paper 2
Our syllabus focuses on the types of texts that come out in the General Paper examination. Regular practice is essential for short answer questions (SAQ), summary writing and application questions (AQ). We’ll give you all the practice you need with regular timed practices. Most importantly, you’ll receive immediate feedback so you can restructure your approach rapidly.
We’ll train you on all the SAQ types and the structures needed to answer them. Yes, there is a light at the end of this tunnel!
Finally, the AQ is a source of confusion, stress and overall turmoil for students. We’ll work with you to develop content and knowledge on the Singapore context, hone your AQ skills, and show you how to apply both to answer the AQ.
The General Paper is one of the most important examinations as it is the gateway to entering the university programme of your choice. We understand that. We’ve seen emotions boiling over and stress reaching a fever pitch.
General Paper by Dr Neil Coomber x Academia is the most serious, detailed and rigorous GP programme in Singapore. We guarantee it.
Because we want you to get the grade you want.
Student Testimonials from RI Students
“Dr Coomber is a teacher who redefines the field of teaching — he does so much more than just satisfying the content requirements or meeting the exam requirements. Dr Coomber constantly goes beyond to inspire our passion for the subject, encouraging us to take on a holistic, humanistic and self-driven attitude towards mastering and loving the subject. Besides putting in immense effort to compile the most comprehensive sets of notes for us, he always strives to impart to us the principles, history and way to apply the content he teaches in a way that is engaging, interactive and feels more like a proactive absorption of knowledge rather than the usual dry memorization of knowledge or essay structures. His approachable demeanor, love for the subject and level of expertise transcends the conventional limits to teaching – instead he is an educator who guides us to become empowered individuals who are able to discover, understand and apply what we learn in a way that allows his students to excel and be proud of our work. A personal relationship of mutual respect that he builds with each student, as well as his advocacy for and openness to intellectual discourse are what I am most thankful for, as it has allowed me to mature and grow both as a student, and as person. Mr Coomber is without a doubt, the best teacher I’ve had to pleasure to been mentored by, and I’m extremely thankful for the valuable lessons I’ve learnt from him over my past two years studying at Raffles Junior College.”
“Before Dr Coomber became my GP teacher in Y5-6 in RI, scoring beyond the median mark in English papers was like one of the seven mysteries of the student’s world (I just didn’t get how people did it). Dr Coomber managed to break down the process of writing essays and answering comprehension questions into steps that I could finally understand and follow. He routinely wrote out essay plans on the board with ALL the topic sentences and explanations and examples and showed us the thought process of coming up with the points. And can I mention that his notes are amazing. Of course you still need to do your part to study the content but having his notes made it so much easier. The way he teaches is very exam-oriented and I could not have gotten an A in GP otherwise.”
About Dr Neil Laurence Coomber
Dr Coomber is the Director of Pre-University Studies and Business English at Academia.
Highly respected by his former students, he spent five years teaching General Paper at Raffles Institution, where he set examination papers ranging from Prelims and Promos to Common Tests. He possesses exam setting, marking and standardisation expertise, having developed school curriculum and infopacks for a variety of themes. His teaching skills are highly regarded by those who have had the good fortune to study under him and his legendary General Paper notes are highly sought after. Prior to teaching in Singapore, he taught English to MBA, graduate and business students internationally. His impeccable credentials include a PhD from Oxford University supervised by the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Oxford University, Professor Dame Jessica Rawson, as well as a Certificate in Teaching Gifted and Talented Students from Purdue. He has trained at the Raffles Teaching Academy and NIE and many will remember him as the Master of Ceremony during the quintessential school rugby finals for several seasons running. He knows how to guide students with their UCAS applications and testimonials to top universities, ranging from Oxbridge to the Ivy League.