The English O Level paper in Singapore will be undergoing some changes, which will take place starting from the exams this year. This means that this year’s Express students in Sec 4 will be the first batch to take the exam in its revised format.
Most likely, your teachers and tutors will adjust the way they teach and shift the focus to parts of the exam that have become more important. For students who will be taking the new examination, it will also be useful to understand the changes in syllabus so that you don’t get confused when you do practice papers from previous years.
Comprehension Section A
There will be 2 sources instead of 1
This 5-mark section will now be shared amongst 2 texts, one of which will be a visual stimuli. Some of the questions will be based on both texts, including some which may be multiple-choice type questions as seen below.
While this section is only worth 5 marks, having two texts now instead of one will require students to put in a little more time and attention to understand and compare both texts. We also see this happening in the GP A Level paper syllabus change, where there are now 3 comprehension texts and more emphasis on evaluating and comparison questions.
Although not officially stated, based on observations of past year papers and the specimen paper, it also seems that the trend going forward will be for more diverse (or ‘modern’) type of visual stimuli, especially online media like social media posts.