In Singapore, English is one of the subjects you cannot run away from, especially in the levels of compulsory education, primary school and secondary school. While having a good command of English definitely helps in getting a good grade for the English subject, for any exam it is also crucial to understand the requirements and format in order to excel.
The PSLE English exam aims to be quite holistic, testing on students’ oral, listening, written, and reading skills across 4 papers. Let’s take a look at the skills required and format of each paper below.
In Paper 1 (Writing)
Part 1 (Situational Writing):
Presented with a situation and some information (usually in the form of a brochure or poster) students will need to write a short functional text, such as a formal or informal email or letter. The 6 marks for content will judge the writing based on how well it suits the purpose, audience and context of the given situation. The remaining 9 marks are for language use, including the use of good grammar and an appropriate format.
For some tips, read our article on tips for situational writing.
Part 2 (Continuous Writing):
This part of the exam requires writing a short story of at least 150 words. The question paper will provide a topic and three pictures, of which the student can interpret freely to fulfil the writing task. The paper is marked for content (relevance to the topic, logical flow, use of the pictures), and language (grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, punctuation, paragraphing), with 20 marks allocated for both.
- Writing with the intended purpose, audience, and context in mind, to communicate clearly and effectively
- Using a suitable register and tone according to the requirements
- Generating and selecting appropriate ideas, then organising and articulating them coherently and cohesively.
- Applying proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation in writing
- Utilising suitable vocabulary with precision and clarity.