By Singapore Teaching Centre, British Council

18 July 2022 - 10:00

PSLE English tuition that goes beyond the textbook

The lead-up to the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) can be an anxious time for both parents and children, particularly as we enter the final few months of preparation time.

The exams are the first important assessment that your child will sit, so naturally, you will want to guide and encourage them to do well. But what if you are not sure how to help? The first step is to familiarise yourself with the PSLE’s four papers.

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PSLE English - the components

The PSLE English exam comprises four components:

Paper 1 (Writing)

Paper 1 is split into two parts with different weighting. Situational Writing makes up 15 marks, while Continuous Writing makes up 40 marks. 

For Situational Writing, students will respond to a situational context with an appropriate text type, such as a letter, report, or email. For Continuous Writing, students will be required to write a composition of at least 150 words in the form of a narrative, exposition or any other suitable text type that they have learnt in school. Three pictures will be provided on the topic offering different angles of interpretation. 

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Paper 2 (Language Use and Comprehension)

Students will be assessed on their ability to use language correctly and to comprehend visual and textual information. The paper features both multiple-choice and open-ended questions and will test key skills including grammar, vocabulary and critical thinking. This is the longest paper at one hour and 50 minutes, and it accounts for almost half of the total available marks in the English PSLE (47.5%). 

Paper 3 (Listening Comprehension)

Students will be required to answer 20 multiple-choice questions to demonstrate their understanding of spoken English at both literal and inferential levels. For example, what is the implied meaning? What judgments and evaluations can be made? The recording may be in the form of news items, announcements, advertisements, instructions, explanations, conversations, speeches and stories. Graphic representations will be included for the first seven items.

Paper 4 (Oral Communication)

There are two parts to the Oral Communication exam. For Reading Aloud (10 marks), students will need to be focused on pronunciation, articulation, and reading fluently with appropriate expression and rhythm. For Stimulus-based Conversation (20 marks), students will be tested on their ability to give a personal response to a visual stimulus and how well they can engage in a conversation on a relevant topic.

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Targeted PSLE English tuition

Regardless of how well equipped you feel to support your child in their exam practice, every positive reinforcement of their strengths will help them to feel confident on the day. Take the time to go through feedback on their schoolwork to help them reflect on what they might do differently in the exam hall. 

If you feel your child could benefit from extra, targeted support, that is what the British Council’s experienced teachers are here for. We help your child succeed at every stage of their academic journey, not just in their exams, whilst developing essential 21st century skills and proficiencies for their all-round future success.

Our Upper Primary courses are aligned with the syllabus set by the MOE and are designed to promote excellence in all English PSLE assessment areas. Through frequent practice under test conditions and regular opportunities to make personal improvements, our young learners can approach the real exams knowing what to expect, the mistakes to avoid and how to wow the examiner.

Find out more about the British Council’s PSLE English tuition and register for a trial class.