PSLE marks your child’s first experience sitting for a major national examination, and for all parties involved, scoring well is definitely at the forefront of their minds. Unlike other subjects like Math or Science, where there are black-and-white answers to almost every question, English, like most languages, is more intuitive than theoretical sans basic grammatical rules. Coupled with the ever-changing nature of our grading systems, and the process of figuring PSLE English out can be a complex and sometimes confusing endeavour. Case in point, a typical PSLE paper today comes with a total of 200 marks, and to score an AL1, the highest grade, your child needs 180 marks. With that in mind, here’s a simplified breakdown of the paper and its different components, and how your child can also be better equipped to excel with the help of useful tips and quality PSLE English tuition.
Paper 1 — Writing
Paper 1 is a 70-minute segment comprising two writing components — Situational Writing and Continuous Writing. In Situational Writing, your child will be required to write a short functional piece in the form of a letter, an email, or a report, based on the context, target audience, and purpose of the given situation. In Continuous Writing, your child is tasked with writing a continuous prose of at least 150 words on a given topic.
Situation Writing — 15 marks
Continuous Writing — 40 marks
Weightage — 27.5%
Tips to Score
The only way to improve one’s writing skills is for them to read more. This exposes them to different writing styles, vocabulary, and proper grammar. It also allows them to nurture an instinct for intangible skills that can greatly affect the quality of their writing, such as sentence flow. For professional guidance, you could also enrol them in a good English tuition centre for Primary School students — here at Augustine English Classes, we offer creative writing programmes that are specially tailored to improve your child’s creativity and ability to express it coherently in writing.
Paper 2 — Language & Comprehension
Paper 2 is the most significant component of a PSLE English paper both in terms of duration and weightage. This 110-minute segment will test your child’s fundamental linguistic abilities, namely vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension through a variety of multiple-choice and open-ended questions. They will also be tested on their ability to rephrase and rewrite sentences.
Booklet A — 28 marks
Booklet B — 67 marks
Weightage — 47.5%
Tips to Score
The two main components of Paper 2 that students tend to struggle with are Comprehension and Sentence Transformation. To score well in Comprehension, keep things simple and well-compartmentalised — identify the “who, what, where, when, why, and how” in each question and keep answers succinct and accurate. This is also an essential skill for Sentence Transformation, where rephrased sentences should retain their original meanings without containing unnecessary words. Here at Augustine English Classes, our PSLE English tuition is more than just an academic supplement; it also stimulates your child’s metacognitive abilities that will help them better analyse and evaluate their work. This is especially helpful when it comes to deconstructing Comprehension questions, for instance.
Paper 3 — Listening Comprehension
In this 35-minute paper, your child will be required to sit through different types of spoken texts, and then tested on their ability to make both literal and inferential interpretations of those texts to answer a variety of multiple-choice questions.
Listening Comprehension — 20 marks
Weightage — 10%
Tips to Score
Besides the usual listening comprehension practices, encourage your child to consume a wide variety of spoken English content across different mediums, such as television, radio, and even audiobooks. This trains them to stay focused and pick up key points more easily. Spoken texts will also be repeated, so your child should use that opportunity to check their answers. Enrolling your child in PSLE English tuition will also give them more opportunities to listen to spoken texts and equip them with the skills to correctly interpret them.
Paper 4 — Oral
The oral segment of every English paper is short but extremely intense, and even with preparation time factored in, there is no room for nerves as mistakes made during this 10-minute exercise can’t be undone. Paper 4 is broken down into two parts: Reading Aloud, where candidates are required to read a short passage, and Stimulus-based Conversation, where they will then have to interpret a given picture aloud to the invigilator.
Reading Aloud — 10 marks
Stimulus-based Conversation — 20 marks
Weightage — 15%
Tips to Score
This might seem unconventional, but it could be helpful to treat an oral exam like a job interview, because first impressions, body language, and cohesive speech can influence your child’s overall score. They should also refrain from rambling on whilst keeping their sentences adequately descriptive. As for the Reading Aloud component, regular practice is key to improving key speaking abilities, such as using the correct tone to express different emotions, proper pronunciation and enunciation, and knowing where to pause. This, however, will only be effective when done under close supervision, which is why PSLE English tuition is important, as your child will be constantly guided by experienced and knowledgeable tutors.
If you’re looking for a good English tuition centre for Primary School students, Augustine English Classes could be the ideal place for your child. For more information, please visit our website.