O Level Higher Chinese – An Overview
As part of Secondary level education, students are requested to take the O Level Examination in order to progress to their ideal institutions of tertiary education. Known to have nearly the same tested syllabus as the A Level H1 Chinese syllabus, the O Level Higher Chinese has a reputation of being one of the more difficult subjects in O Level Syllabus. Most students would thus see this as studying ahead of the A Levels in advance, finding the subject hard to grasp. Despite the struggle, students have been incentivised to take up the subject due do the merits it can bring. Higher Chinese is offered to those who show a better inclination and caliber towards the Chinese language in Secondary 1. Students can make a decision whether to take up the subject, as well as be able to drop it later if they wish to. Taking up the O Level Higher Chinese subject comes with long-term rewards if you score well for it in the end, but the struggles that come with it may cause immense pressure for those who are not able to cope. To take up the subject, or not to take it up? This decision is a tough one. We understand your concerns and scruples, and have come up with some points raised by O Level Higher Chinese Tutors from MindFlex Home Tuition to help you in making your decision.
How Can O Level Chinese Benefit Me?
Good Chinese Foundation
If you are someone with a strong Chinese foundation and have a great interest in Chinese, MindFlex would like to strongly encourage you to take up the Higher Chinese subject in Secondary school! Students with a natural flair for the Chinese language should not hesitate to take up the subject. With a strong Chinese background, it would be easier for you to master the advanced requirements of the Higher Chinese paper, in terms of vocabulary knowledge as well as writing and comprehension skills. As the O Level Higher Chinese paper aims to reinforce students’ abilities in Chinese conversational, reading, listening and writing skills, it is more effortless for those with a good Chinese language background to grasp the concepts taught in Higher Chinese. Each student has his/her own fields of interest, if Chinese is yours, then taking up 2 Chinese subjects may help to compensate for any weak subjects you might have and help you to have a more enjoyable learning experience overall. If you feel that you may need to improve your foundation further, you may also consider taking up O Level Higher Chinese Tuition as a safety net towards doing well for the subject.
Bonus Points For JC Admission
As O Level Higher Chinese is not an easy subject to cope with, MOE awards two bonus points for Higher Chinese students who have persevered and managed to score well for their O Level Higher Chinese. As long as one obtains a Pass grade for Higher Chinese, one will be able to deduct 2 points from his/her raw O Level score. Cut-off points to the top JCs are now in the single digits and a deduction of 2 bonus points can drastically affect one’s L1R5 score and school admission chances. On top of this, obtaining a pass for the O Level Higher Chinese paper also enables one to be exempted from H1 Chinese in JC. Freeing up potential hours of Chinese lessons per week presents these students the advantage of allocating a lot more time to the other JC subjects as compared to their peers. One would know the severe shortage of time in their 2 years of JC, and looking back, some students might have regretted not taking up the Higher Chinese subject or opting out of it midway.
What To Take Into Consideration for O Level Higher Chinese?
Struggles To Cope With Primary Higher Chinese
If you already found yourself struggling with PSLE Chinese or Higher Chinese previously, you may want to reconsider taking up Higher Chinese in Secondary school as it may be quite of a struggle. For the O Level Higher Chinese, the component of the Examination now includes Composition writing, Comprehension, Oral Conversation, and Listening Comprehension. There are more topics to focus on for the curriculum and also more advanced language skills will be required. On top of comprehension questions, students are required to summarise a passage into a paragraph of 80 words. O Level Higher Chinese also require students to have a higher standard in writing composition as compared to Standard Chinese, and one would also need to have a deep understanding of Chinese Literature in order to score well.
Difficulty In Balancing Other Academic Subjects
Upon advancing to Secondary school, students will feel an immense jump as compared to Primary school – suddenly there are twice the number of subjects to take including the Humanities, and the depth of each subject is more extensive as well. Workload and homework has significantly increased; it would take some time to adapt to these changes. If one is finding it very difficult to cope, perhaps taking on an additional Higher Chinese subject may not be such a good subject. It would not be a good idea to put all the other subjects in jeopardy just for an additional 2 points for passing the Higher Chinese paper. Students who did not take up Higher Chinese in Primary school but now want to try taking it up in Secondary school may also find the Chinese language requirements to be significantly greater. The paper is exponentially more difficult and it is a different ball game altogether. To combat this limitation, taking up additional help such as O Level Higher Chinese Tuition may be recommended too.
Not Pursuing JC Path
If you have made up your mind about not pursuing a JC path after your O Levels, taking Higher Chinese may not be as beneficial as only an L1R4 grade will be calculated for Polytechnic admissions. Unless you have a great interest and passion for Higher Chinese, perhaps one can consider investing more time into the subjects which are more relevant to the Diploma one aims to enroll in without taking up Higher Chinese. For example, if you are looking to pursue an Engineering Diploma course in Singapore Polytechnic, you need to achieve a least a pass with a Pure Sciences or Combined Sciences. The higher your grades are for your O Level English, Maths and other 2 subjects (mostly Sciences), the higher the chances of you enrolling into your ideal academic course.
O Level Higher Chinese – What To Expect?
Multiple Examination Dates
Another large consideration for students to take into account – O Level Higher Chinese students have to take an additional O Level Examination paper. The first O Level Chinese Examination will be taken in November of the Secondary 3 academic year – how early is that! Students would have to prepare for the Standard Chinese O Level paper by then, and then take yet another full Higher Chinese paper in Secondary 4. While preparing for your other core subjects, now you would have also juggle and prepare for the Higher Chinese Oral paper in July, and the written paper in November with the rest of your subjects. In order to qualify to sit your O Level Higher Chinese in Secondary 4, you will need to at least obtain a pass for your O Level Chinese. The Higher Chinese paper is a more advanced version of the Standard Chinese paper, with 30-40% additional vocabulary. Thus, not only will you need to prepare well for your O Level Higher Chinese, but you will also need to understand and ace in your O Level Standard Chinese syllabus as well.
Differences in O Level Chinese and Higher Chinese
- In Paper 1 Situational writing, O Level Chinese students will write an email based on the information provided with a minimum of 150 words. Meanwhile for O Level Higher Chinese, situational questions could be to write a blog or email and the minimum word count is at least 220. Composition word count for O Level Chinese is to be at least 300 words or above, while for O Level Higher Chinese, the word requirement is for a minimum of 500 words.
- For the O Level Higher Chinese, the last question in Paper 2 requests for a summary of the passage in just 80 words, while there is no such summary component in the O Level Chinese paper.
- For the O Level Chinese Oral component, it includes passage reading and oral conversation based on a video. Meanwhile for O Level Higher Chinese paper, the student needs to give a short 2 minutes oral presentation based on a video and later the student will need to discuss with the Oral examiner with regards to the contents of the oral presentation.
O Level Higher Chinese not only requires the student to have a higher understanding of the Chinese language but one also needs to master application skills needed for examination use. Many students are not able to catch up to the Higher Chinese content taught in school, as teachers tend to teach faster to cover both the O Level Chinese and O Level Higher Chinese syllabus. If you find yourself facing difficulties in catching up with your Higher Chinese lessons in school, it is best for you to seek help with O Level Higher Chinese tuition! With the help of an O Level Higher Chinese private tutor, not only are you able to focus on your weak areas, you will also receive tips and hacks to perform better during the examinations, in turn helping you score well!
Tips To Do Well For O Level Higher Chinese
Chinese is not a subject that can be crammed and studied overnight. Learning and mastering languages requires constant usage, constant practice, and there are no shortcuts. As Higher Chinese requires much more than just basic proficiency levels, it is paramount that students take extra steps to have a good grasp of the language. On top of memorising idioms and memorising scripts and model essays, we are here to share some tips gathered by our experienced O level Higher Chinese tutors to help you ace your Higher Chinese paper! Below are just some of the few:
- Read the daily news in Chinese, purchase the newspaper or follow Lian He Zao Bao on their social media to improve your reading, vocabulary, and general knowledge
- Watch your movies or dramas with Chinese subtitles
- Watch News in Channel 8 or Channel U
- Most importantly, communicate more in Chinese. You can talk to your school canteen vendors, your friends or your teacher in Chinese to practise your sentence flows and fluency
- Hire a Higher Chinese tutor to act as a mentor throughout your academic journey and help you to ensure your Higher Chinese is on track. A tutor can also provide personalised O Level Higher Chinese tuition lessons to help you improve on areas that you are weak on.
Whilst getting an offer to study Higher Chinese in Secondary school presents as a privilege to some, it may end up being a burden for others. Ensure that you have the necessary interest and foundation to the language first, before making the decision whether to take up the subject or not. Taking O Level Higher Chinese is a long-term decision that will affect how your entire secondary school learning environment is shaped.
Nevertheless, if you are a student who is persistent in taking up Secondary Higher Chinese but having a difficult time with the subject, consider hiring a Chinese Tutor, or even a specialized O Level Higher Chinese Tutor from MindFlex! Our O Level Higher Chinese Tuition lessons focus on helping students to grasp the concept of writing a good composition as well as expand on their vocabulary through daily reading and as well as provide them with study notes. Students are also trained in their comprehension skills to understand how to answer the questions in paper 2 and how to capture the massages in the passage. Get in touch with us today! Do also click on the following link if you would like to know more about the other Chinese Tuition Options in Singapore.