(1) What does the preamble of the AQ say ?
(When the preamble or the opening lines of the AQ are quotes, you must first locate the quote in the text. This is to help you decide whether that quote limits you to the ideas around it or whether the quote allows you to apply other parts of the text)
(2) Can you identify the writer’s own views from the other views presented in the text ?
(AQ is likely to ask you what you think of the writer’s views or arguments. So don’t begin foolishly by showing you can’t even comprehend which points come from the writer amidst all the other opinions presented … it’s a comprehension paper after all)
(3) Can you understand the main point in each paragraph ?
(You are likely to use the main points of paragraphs, rather than pick obscure,isolated phrases that you may erroneously use out of context)
(4) Why is a text “difficult” ?
…because you don’t have at least some background knowledge on the topic (SO, READ WIDELY !!)
…because you don’t understand the words (SO, TRY TO USE THE CONTEXT & DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE WRITER’S DIRECTION!! BUILDING VOCAB IS A MUST!!)
…because there are different opinions and so many points and sub-points (SO, MARK OUT THE CONNECTORS!!)
…because the ideas are simple but presented in a less straightforward sentence construction (SO, follow the sentence closely i.e. GO SLOWER & READ CAREFULLY if you need to !!)
(5) Why are your answers inaccurate?
… because the meaning / intensity / connotation of your words do not match the writer’s (SO, BUILD / REVISE VOCAB !!)
…because you don’t pay attention and reflect in your answer the unassuming little words & phrases that can be loaded with meaning (e.g. “every”, “no”, “may”, “could”)
(6) Why is the other guy’s AQ answer still better than mine ?
…Coherence is Vital.Weaker answers may lack coherence. (e.g. what you state in the AQ intro does not match what is explained in the paragraphs)
…Better answers show knowledge (EITHER clear, accurate explanations of the conditions that exist in Singapore e.g. competitive, meritocratic, diverse, open economy, open to foreigners, aging etc. OR use of specific examples of events, developments, policies and laws e.g. opening of the intergrated resorts, Sedition Act, use of Facebook by PAP MPs etc.)
…Better answers are more adept at identifying what is lacking in a text to aid their evaluation.