English is an official language used as the medium of communication in most schools. Students need to develop an excellent English foundation to perform well in primary school. The PSLE English language syllabus is something that will help students improve their speaking and reading skills. By cultivating a good English learning habit at a young age, a child can gain a fluent grasp of the language and eventually perform well in academics or PSLE English. By attaining a high score in PSLE English, a student will get motivated to work hard for better grades in Secondary School.
An Overview of PSLE English
PSLE English comprehensively assesses a student’s ability in English by testing their:
- Comprehension skills
- Writing ability
- Critical listening capability
- Argumentation skills
- Verbal communication skills
PSLE English has four components, and they are:
- Paper 1 – Writing
- Paper 2 – Comprehension and language use
- Paper 3 – Listening comprehension
- Paper 4 – Oral communication
The key objective of every component of PSLE English is to ensure that the primary 6 students have fulfilled the learning objectives set by MOE. The objectives are:
Paper 1 & Paper 2 Objectives
- Write in a clear manner to suit the purpose, context and audience.
- Use the right tone and correct expressions for various contexts.
- Generate appropriate ideas and express them in a coherent manner.
- Understand the implied meaning and analyse the texts critically.
- Illustrate the right use of spelling, grammar, vocabulary and punctuation.
- Use vocabulary with precision and clarity.
Paper 3 Objectives
- Identify key ideas, messages and details in various settings.
- Demonstrate the understanding of spoken texts.
- Draw critical inferences and conclusions.
Paper 4 Objectives
- Speak fluently with precise vocabulary, grammar and sentence construction.
- Read in a clear manner with good punctuation to convey feelings and ideas.
- Express the personal opinions effectively and clearly
Read in a fluent manner at a good pace.
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PSLE English Exam Dates & Timing
- August 15th, Monday, English language and Foundation English language between 8:00 to 13:30.
- August 16th, Tuesday, English language between 8:00 to 13:30
Listening Comprehension Examination
This takes place on September 16th, Friday, English language and Foundation English language between 11:15 to 11:50
September 29th, Thursday,
- English language paper 1 between 8:15 to 9:25
- English language paper 2 between 10:30 to 12:20
- Foundation English language paper 1 between 8:15 to 9:25
- Foundation English language paper 2 between 10:30 to 11:50
A Brief Summary of PSLE English Exam Format & Syllabus
Format for PSLE English Exam
By knowing the PSLE English format, a student can plan, prepare and revise for the exam with adequate knowledge. PSLE English exam’s format contains contextual writing, open-ended questions and multiple-choice questions. Every student has to sit for a combined exam duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes with a total mark of 200. Eventually, the total score is converted into a percentage out of 100% for the achievement level score calculation.
- Paper 1 – Situational Writing and Continuous Writing for 55 marks and weightage 27.5% with a duration of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Paper 2 – Comprehension and Language Use for 95 marks and weightage 47.5% with a duration of 1 hour and 50 minutes.
- Paper 3 – Listening Comprehension for 20 marks and weightage 10% with a duration of 35 minutes.
- Paper 4 – Oral Communication for 30 marks and weightage 15% with a duration of 10 minutes.
Thus, the total marks will be 200 for a duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes.
Syllabus of PSLE English Exam
Paper 1 (Writing)
PSLE English paper 1, also known as English composition, is one of the most challenging components students have to go through in PSLE English. The English language has a weightage of 27.5%, according to the SEAB syllabus. It consists of two components, namely situational writing and continuous writing. Both these test the English ability and writing skills of a student. Paper 1 is for a duration of 1 hour and 10 minutes, with 15 marks for situational writing and 40 marks for continuous writing. The questions under PSLE English composition are completely open-ended. In situational writing, students have to write a report or letter or short email in a way that answers the question and suits the purpose, context and audience. On the other hand, continuous writing is about composition on a given topic, which a student has to write with a minimum of 150 words. The given topic offers three pictures for the student to create an own interpretation and write a narrative, expository essay or recount.
Paper 2 (Comprehension and language use)
PSLE English paper 2 is also called the PSLE synthesis and transformation section, as it asks the students to combine two sentences without changing their meaning. This tests the ability of the student in fundamental grammar, critical thinking, and vocabulary. The questions are a mix of multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Students have to analyse the vocabulary and comprehension texts and demonstrate their analytical skills through editing, synthesis and transformation. The question paper contains 5 questions worth two marks each to test the ability of the candidate in grammatical competence and sentence construction. Students must use grammar tools like word formation, conditionals and connectors to score better.
Paper 3 (Listening Comprehension)
Paper 3 contains 20 multiple choice questions that test the ability of the candidate to understand spoken English. The exam contains recordings that examiners will play out loud. The recordings may be in the form of announcements, news, advertisements, explanations, stories, speeches, conversations and instructions. Students must answer multiple-choice questions in response to the recordings as per the exam format.
Paper 4 (Oral Communication)
Paper 3 is also called the oral examination, which makes a verbal assessment in an open-ended manner. It has two sections, namely reading aloud and stimulus-based conversation. The reading aloud segment assesses the students on the ability to articulate and pronounce words clearly and read fluently with the right rhythm and expression. The stimulus-based conversation assesses the ability of the candidate to engage in a conversation and give a personal response to the visual stimulus. The PSLE oral exam is very important as it contributes to 25% of the overall score in PSLE English. The oral examination lasts for 10 minutes, with five minutes of preparation and five minutes of the actual examination.
Reading Aloud Section
The examiner will assess the students on:
- Pronunciation & Articulation – Students have to be mindful of their words and pronounce them properly.
- Rhythm & Fluency – Students must speak at a proper pace with fluency in an appropriate rhythm.
- Expressiveness – Students have to read with variations in pitch and tone to express the various elements in the passage.
The conversation section provides pictures for students and assesses their vocabulary and grammar usage to express their opinions and make explanations. The examiner will assess the students on:
- Personal Response – The examiner assesses a student’s ability to develop a personal response.
- Clarity of Expression – The examiner will observe the cues during the conversation and assess how the student explains it. Students can give their personal experiences and use as many details as possible.
- Engagement – The examiner assesses how well the child interacts and responds to questions without feeling anxious or nervous.
Format for PSLE Foundation English Exam
Compared to the standard PSLE English exam, the combined duration of PSLE foundation English is shorter with 3 hours and 15 minutes for a total score of 150. Similar to the standard PSLE English exam, the PSLE Foundation English exam papers are divided into 4:
- Paper 1 – Situational Writing and Continuous Writing for 40 marks with 26.7 % weightage for a duration of 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Paper 2 – Comprehension and language use for 60 marks with 40% weightage for a duration of 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- Paper 3 – Listening Comprehension for 20 marks with 13.3% weightage for a duration of 35 minutes.
- Paper 4 – Oral communication for 30 marks with 20% weightage for a duration of 10 minutes.
Thus, the total score is 150 for a duration of 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Tips to Ace PSLE English Exam
The level of PSLE English is definitely high for many students. Therefore, we have compiled a list of study tips to ace the PSLE English.
- Expose students to different English content to boost their levels of creativity.
- Encourage students to read a lot as reading extensively will help them gain better vocabulary.
- Make students frequently communicate with precision and clarity.
- They have to be taught how to form and make a clear or distinctive speech.
- Teach students how to stress specific words like adjectives and active verbs.
- Emphasize students to read at the right pace. Make them understand that reading too fast is not the right thing to do.
- Teach children to read at the right volume and increase or decrease the volume and modulation whenever required.
Having a good command of the English language helps students in various aspects of life as it is an essential part of our society. Like other subjects in PSLE, practice makes learning English easy and appear for examinations without fear and anxiety. Thus, it is the responsibility of the student to know the content and format of the PSLE English exam as mentioned above to ace it. Studysmart is an AI-based PSLE exam App that helps students in Singapore manage time, reduce exam stress and gain good scores in PSLE English. Try our app today and see the difference in your child by yourself!