‘O’ Levels English Paper 1 2018: A Post-Mortem

The following are the essay questions from the 2018 O Level English Paper 1, according to feedback from several of our students and other sources.

The paper veered away from the usual mix of personal expository, discursive and argumentative options. You will notice that, for once, there are no argumentative nor pure discursive options. This time round, every question has a personal and/or descriptive aspect.
You are advised to write between 350 and 500 words on one of the following topics.
  • Describe an event you looked forward to which turned out to be disappointing. Explain why you were excited about it and why it did not live up to your expectations.
  • "I've never seen my friend laugh so much.” Write about a time when this happened.
  • Some people like to stand out from the crowd, others just want to be part of it. Which do you prefer and why?
  • Which modern invention is essential to you and your family, and which one could you and your family live without? Explain your views.

On the one hand, the personal slant makes it easier for the student to surface points from their experiences (and content can take on a more analogous/ anecdotal perspective). A more personal voice and informal tone also seem permissible.

On the other hand, however, students might fall into the trap of using less elegant expression. Thus, it might be harder to score well in the language marks. Content can also be more superficial because of the less formal way each question has been framed.

However, the content to each essay topic has the potential to be elevated and the student who structures and expresses his ideas more eloquently will stand apart from the masses.


This week, we conducted the lesson with our students on how to competently answer these essay questions. Should you be interested to receive the notes, click the button below to view and download.

If you're viewing the worksheet on a mobile device, click the download icon to save the file.

Secondary Regular Classes​​​​​


O Levels 2019 Results: 100% Scored As and Bs. 2/3 Scored As

Early preparation is the key to scoring well for the exams.