PSLE English Tuition Tips on the components of the PSLE English Exam and how to score well!
With PSLE English Tuition, You Too Can Score Well!
As the syllabus of the Singapore PSLE Exam changes continuously over the years, the demands and expectations that come with it are constantly rising, and more students are signing up for PSLE English tuition. Unlike Maths and Science, there is no fixed and definite answer when doing an English paper. Language subjects are naturally more subjective in nature, so students are finding English and Chinese more difficult to master and score well in. PSLE English requires good language skills in order to tackle it well; it tests students’ abilities to write well and their vocabulary knowledge (especially in Paper 1 Composition), as well as their understanding and analysis skills (especially in Paper 2 Comprehension). Even with a good command of English, some students find themselves not being able to attain good marks. By engaging the help of PSLE English Tuition, you and your child will be able to gain first-hand tips on how to ace the examinations!
The current PSLE English syllabus aims to test students’ English language abilities in the following ways:
- To know how to speak eloquently and properly for different types of situations
- To write and form sentences better
- To know how to listen critically
- To be able to have a strong command of English
The syllabus, which tests according to the Areas of Language Learning (AoLL), focuses on reinforcing and extending the use of language during their primary education. Also, in the preparation process, the syllabus is crafted to make sure that the students learn the language in a fun way even while doing intensive reading. To ensure that your child is learning English well in line with the MOE syllabus, you can consider sending your child for PSLE English Tuition, such as hiring a 1-1 home English tutor. Home tutors will constantly ensure that they are up-to-date with the syllabus. Below are a few tips on how to score well for each of the 4 Papers in the PSLE English examination, as shared by our top PSLE English home tutors!
PSLE English Tuition – To Help With All Exam Components
Paper 3 & 4: Listening Comprehension and Oral
The first leg of the PSLE examinations that P6 students will face is their English and Chinese Oral and Listening Comprehension exams, which take place as early as August of September. They hold a respective weightage of 15% and 10% of the entire PSLE English paper.
The Oral component is divided into 2 sections:
- Reading aloud
- Stimulus-based conversations
The objective of the Oral examinations is to test students on their ability to read well with good articulation and pronunciation, as well as their ability to carry out and hold a proper conversation in English. The only way to improve in this component is to constantly practise speaking English well at school, as well as at home. Instead of reading silently, students can practise reading their comprehension passages, the news or even their own storybooks outloud, to train their clarity and articulation in the way they read. Engaging a 1-1 English tutor will be beneficial here, as the tutor would not only be able to provide these extra reading resources, but also act as a reading and conversational “buddy” for your child to practise with.
Your English tutor will be able to point out the words that you have trouble mispronouncing, as well as give feedback and prompts on how to form grammatically correct sentences as well as how to maintain a conversation during PSLE English tuition lessons. Tutors have recommended students to keep a notebook to jot down the more easily-mispronounced words, and other phrases / sentences that might be useful in conversation-making. These can all be categorized by different scenarios. PSLE English tutors have also emphasised repeatedly to avoid the usage of Singlish terms and phrases, as cultivating a habit of Singlish could deteriorate students’ usage of grammar, etc. in the long-run. Students who are not corrected may unconsciously use Singlish colloquial terms during the PSLE English oral exam, without even realising it.
Meanwhile, the Listening Comprehension component tests on students’ abilities to focus and pick out the crucial points in the audio recording. The ability to listen critically is the key to answering the questions correctly. Your English tutor can help to practise by reading texts to the students out loud and also teach them to highlight the keywords that they should be looking out for during PSLE English tuition. Tutors have realised that many students are visual learners, and many students tend to lose concentration easily and absorb information more slowly when it comes to audios, in the absence of the visual text. A tip that is recommended is for students to quickly scan through all the questions before the audio recording comes on. Make it a point to underline the question intent – what is the question actually asking of you? Look out for components of “literal” questions – the Where’s, Why’s, Who’s, What’s and How’s. Pay attention to these, as these are the simplest types of questions and marks that the students cannot afford to lose. Next, there are the “inferential” questions, which require students to think a little more. The questions come with words like “probably”, and asks that the students give an informed guess, based on what they have heard in the audio recording.
Students need to train on their speed when it comes to the Listening Comprehension component for the PSLE English exam. They need to be able to multi-task – read the questions, the options, as well as listen out for the answers all at the same time. Try to get all your answers down during the first round of the audio-playing. Use the second round of the audio-playing to check on the questions again and to check that your answers are correct. You can also use the 2nd round to cancel out the answers that wrong, to reinforce your answer by process of elimination.
The speaking and listening portions of the Oral and Listening Comprehensions are “live” and stimulus-based. Unlike a written paper, the opportunity to change your answers is limited. Do not panic, listen and focus intently to the audio recording thoroughly. Once the audio has played twice, you would not have a chance to listen to them again. In the conversational portion of the oral exam, you will not be able to take back your words once said out-loud. It is important that you and your English tutor practise speaking about a wide-range of topics and improvisation tips during your PSLE English tuition lessons, so that you do not blank out during the actual test.
PSLE English Tuition can help your child maintain his/her command of English, and is especially beneficial for these 2 components. Top PSLE English tutors have also advised that exposing your child to different texts, stories and news articles can also greatly help your child with his/her general knowledge, and in turn easily come up with topics to talk about during this the Oral conversation portion. Although the total percentage looks small (25%), doing well for these components greatly determines if your child gets an A or A* for PSLE English!
Paper 1: Composition
Paper 1 tests on the ability of students to write well and coherently. The total weightage for this component is 27.5% It consists of 2 sections:
- Situational Writing (15 Marks)
- Continuous Writing (40 Marks)
By having PSLE English Tuition, your child has a higher chance of acing this component as tutors would introduce new vocabulary regularly and also practise writing styles with your child. Different tutors will have different tips for helping your child memorise and familiarise themselves with new words and phrases. Some English tutors may suggest your child to write short stories on a weekly basis to keep their ideas flowing and to hone their abilities to express their ideas through the writing process.
Next, top PSLE English tutors have also shared that reading more books can help with this component as well. Books expose the students to different types of sentence structures and writing styles, on top of a wide range of vocabulary. It can also give your child new ideas to write for their continuous and narrative writing too. To make learning English more engaging for your child, perhaps you can bring them on library trips to borrow books that they like to cultivate a good reading habit. Our top PSLE English tutors have also emphasised that reading widely helps to promote creativity, inspiration and idea-flow in children and is easily the make-or-break factor in your ability to write a good story. Your PSLE English tutor will be able to recommend books which are suitable for the student’s level of English and the difficulty of books can increase slowly and accordingly!
Students can start by dividing their essays into 4 sections:
Before carrying out the actual writing, plan your composition well, according to these 4 sections. By doing this, students can get a good overview of their story, giving it a more coherent flow, compared to just writing whatever comes to mind midway. During PSLE English tuition, tutors can also vet their overview and advise them on how to improve their stories better for each section. Your PSLE English tutor can also introduce students to more expressive phrases and even some simple literary devices to bring your stories to life!
Paper 2 – Language Use & Comprehension
Lastly, Paper 2 tests students’ English skills on:
- Synthesis & Transformation
This component carries the highest percentage (47.5%) and can alone determine if your child passes or fails their PSLE English exam. Paper 2 tests students on a variety of English skills. The foundation of it all – it tests the students on correct usages of Grammar rules (nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, etc.)
Booklet A consists of the sections: Grammar, Vocabulary, Vocabulary Cloze, Visual Text Comprehension; Booklet B consist of the sections: Grammar Cloze, Editing for Spelling and Grammar, Comprehension Cloze, Synthesis / Transformation, Comprehension Open-Ended.
The comprehension sections are what students struggle with the most, as it tests if they can comprehend the text given to them and if they’re able to answer critically and correctly. The other components like Synthesis and Transformation requires more practice as the students need to know the rules of the English language to be able to answer these questions correctly.
Your PSLE English tutor can provide different schools’ practice papers to expose your child to as many passages and types of questions. This is an advantage for your child as some of the questions might be similar to that of the PSLE questions, and they would have acquired the application skills and techniques to answer them correctly.
Also, PSLE English Tuition can provide your child with tips and hacks for the English examination. One of them would be the process of elimination for MCQ questions for the Grammar secion. If they remember some of the grammar rules, they can eliminate those that are wrong, especially for the trickier questions which have extremely similar options to choose from.
One of the more worrying segments are the Comprehension Cloze and Comprehension OE. Both segments require students to read, comprehend the passage and questions entirely, and think critically before answering questions. As for comprehension cloze, tutors will need to guide and teach students how to get clues from words within the sentence or the overall passage. As for comprehension, English tutors have noticed that students tend to this copy the answers from the passage itself, which is not advisable! This is where students tend to lose marks. Your PSLE English tutor can guide your child to learn how to paraphrase his/her sentences to answer the question correctly. This allows your child to use their critical thinking on how to paraphrase the sentences correctly as well.
With PSLE English Tuition, Achieving an A is Possible!
With so many components to look out for in the PSLE English examination, having a PSLE English tutor can help your child cope and strategise on how to answer them correctly and effectively.
Many of our home tutors here at MindFlex have English-specialised degrees, such as NUS Bachelor of Arts in English Language or Literature. If you prefer to have native English native tutors to help your child speak better, we do have some of these with us too! Not to worry, all of them are equally competent and are confident in helping your child ace their PSLE English Examinations. If you would like more topics regarding other PSLE subjects, you can read our article here.
You can head over to our website to find out more about the options and rates for PSLE English Tuition and enquire with us today! It is also highy recommend to check out our other Primary School & PSLE related articles such as our Complete Guide to Primary School & PSLE Maths as well as our 30 Top Options for Primary School Tuition in Singapore