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We have all been there before. We sit down at our desk, all prepped and ready for some intensive GP revision. We have our laptops out, phones tuned to our favorite songs, notebook at hand but, we are stuck. How does one begin? How does one study for GP? Well, to be honest that is probably a question no one can answer at a satisfactory level. And as cliché as it sounds it really is about reading more and building up your wealth of knowledge. But, do not approach this task blindly. Hopefully the following tips will help give you a better idea on how to more effectively study for GP.

  • Figure out what your interests are

We all have different interests and passions, and trust me they are all relevant. Trivia can come in really handy during GP because it means that you have an arsenal of unique examples that will add individuality to your essays. Furthermore, starting off with researching on what your interests will make this apparent ‘torture’ easier to bear. Besides, there is no harm in expanding your own knowledge about what your interests.

Also, when I say anything, I do mean anything. It could be music, sports, anime, military, politics, economics, human rights, anything! All that matters is that you care about it. Once you care about something a personal voice will naturally be developed and writing essays would be a lot easier. 

  • Find articles about your area of interest

So now you know what your interests are. It is now time for you to find out more about it. There is no hard and fast rule to finding out more, but the easiest way to start is just to google your interests. This will open up a bunch of articles or information that are related to your area of interest. Slowly go through the articles that catch your attention and try to internalize anything that attracts your attention. Your brain is a wonderful machine, if you are interested in something they naturally retain the information much faster- hence it is extremely important that you are genuinely interested in the topics you are researching.

I know it sounds super geek-y but that is kind of what you need to do. Geeks are geeks cause they devote themselves to and dig deep into the things they are passionate about. And well, they are smart for a reason. So let the inner geek in you out and try to enjoy the process at the same time. 

  • Link it to bigger themes 

With the information at hand you need to start forming links with them. Isolated examples are not useful in a GP essay. Hence, it is crucial that you draw links between these examples, as well as to bigger themes such as ethics, human rights etc. Alternatively, try to find trends from all the information you have collated. Then determine are these trends worrying? Or do they show a positive change?

For example:

Brexit, the rise of Donald Trump and the resignation of former Italian PM Matteo Renzi all indicate a populist shift in modern politics. Is this a good or bad things?

OR

All over the world the military are equipping themselves with autonomous weaponry. What are the possible implications behind this?

  • Research on common GP topics

Though interest is important, something that cannot be denied is that GP is an A-Level subject and they do have some common themes that they want to tackle. For example, issues on human rights, ethics, governance, science and technology are all extremely common themes and if you wish to be ever-ready for these topics, you need to prepare for them. But do not look to this process like it is a burden. What GP is really trying to get you to do is care- care about the things that are happening around you. So you really cannot just ‘not care’- it doesn’t work that way. 

Personally, issues about human rights are among the easiest to study in my opinion. Because there are real life implications and you can always find personal anecdotes from those who suffer from gross oversight. This will naturally invoke sympathy from you and hopefully you will feel strongly enough to take a stance.

Basically, adopt an open mind when researching about these topics you never know, you may find a new interest out of it.

  • Keep a log of all the relevant information that can help you

Clear organization is a life saver when it comes to GP, so conscientiously keep a log or notebook of all the information you have learnt. Though I did say that interest will help you naturally retain information you are not super human. Writing or noting down relevant information will not only help in memory retention but also make revision much easier. It will also be accumulative, meaning that the more you read and learn the more information you will have to revise. It is just a little bit of effort, but it will bring you far.

SOME RESOURCES (non-exhaustive):

  • NowThis‘ on FACEBOOK
    • It is a collective page for both current affairs and pop culture, it usually has a bunch of videos which are short and easy to understand
  •  Magazines
    • What ever is in the library
    • The Economist
    • Broader Perspectives
  • News Agencies:
    • Reuters
    • BBC
    • Al Jazeera
    • The Straits Times
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