How To Study For English Paper 1 Grade 12

Welcome fellow Grade 12 students! The English paper 1 exam is one of the crucial exams that require a solid understanding of text comprehension, analysis, and writing skills. Proper study methods and techniques are essential in achieving good grades in this challenging examination. Here are some tips on how to study for English paper 1 Grade 12.

  1. Understand The Paper Format
  2. Read And Annotate Texts
    1. Annotation Criteria
  3. Revise Literary Devices And Techniques
    1. Key Literary Devices
  4. Practice Writing Skills
    1. Essay Structure
  5. Organize Study Groups
  6. Conclusion

Understand The Paper Format

It is essential to familiarize yourself with the structure of the English paper 1 exam. The exam usually comprises two sections. The first section consists of short comprehension passages, and the second section is a long essay based on a poem or prose. Knowing the structure of the exam can help you allocate your time efficiently during the exam.

Read And Annotate Texts

Reading comprehension is a crucial component of paper 1. To excel in this section, you need to develop excellent reading skills, which include scanning, skimming, and detailed reading. Besides, you should practice annotating texts, which involves highlighting or underlining critical points in the passage.

Annotation Criteria

  • Highlighting important keywords and phrases
  • Underlining literary devices such as metaphors and similes
  • Marking out any themes or motifs

Revise Literary Devices And Techniques

The ability to identify various literary devices and techniques is a critical skill needed to excel in English paper 1. Some of the essential devices include imagery, irony, symbolism, and metaphor, among others. It is essential to understand how these devices contribute to the general meaning of the text for a detailed analysis.

How Can Revision Reduce Examination Stress

Key Literary Devices

SimileComparison between two different things using 'like' or 'as'
MetaphorA comparison between two different things by saying one thing is another
SymbolismThe use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities

Practice Writing Skills

The essay section of paper 1 requires excellent writing skills, ample preparation, and practice. It is vital to practice different types of writing skills like descriptive, narrative, and expository writing. Pay attention to essay structure, coherence, and use of relevant examples and quotes from the text.

Essay Structure

  • Introduction: Briefly explain the topic and give some background information
  • Body Paragraphs: Each paragraph should contain a different point, example or argument that supports the thesis statement.
  • Conclusion: Summarize the main points and restate the thesis in different words

Organize Study Groups

Organizing study groups can help students prepare and share ideas, knowledge and resources to excel in English paper 1. Study groups will enable students to improve their writing and comprehension skills by critiquing and analyzing each other's work. Besides, it is an opportunity to clarify any misconceptions and get feedback from others.


Preparing for English paper 1 Grade 12 requires thorough preparation, dedication, and practice. Understanding the exam structure, reading and annotating texts, revising literary devices and techniques, practice writing skills, and organizing study groups are crucial steps to attain success in this exam. Best of luck!

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