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Tips to Manage PSLE English Composition

November 21, 2022
StudySmart Team
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The composition puzzle pictured word indicates PSLE English composition.

PSLE English Composition is a difficult portion to encounter for most students. Subjects like Science and Mathematics have a standard set of formulas or answers to which a child can adhere to. But unfortunately, when it comes to Primary English papers, you should understand that it is quite complex and challenging. If you are a parent wondering how to make your child get through this section, you are in the right place. Although there is no fixed solution to ace the PSLE English Paper, StudySmart offers a wide range of practice sessions for students in Singapore to become familiar with the PSLE English exam and its format. In this blog, let us discuss how to score better in the PSLE English Composition.

An Overview of Top Exam Themes & Titles of PSLE Composition Exam

The title is the most crucial component of the Primary 6 PSLE English Composition. Parents are keen on spotting the common or frequently asked composition topics in order to train their children and make them score better. You should understand that most of the composition titles are human values related. They focus more on choosing topics essential for leading a successful life. The top ten titles for PSLE Composition are:

  • Determination
  • Accountability
  • Courage
  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Teamwork & Cooperation
  • Neighborliness
  • Gratitude
  • Self-control & Discipline
  • Prudence

Out of these, the top 3 themes for PSLE Composition are:

Theme 1: Self-discipline

The ability of one to control things in order to achieve goals is called self-discipline. This has been a common theme in the past few years as self-discipline is easily relatable to children and covers a wide variety of skills. The titles that are related to self-discipline include self-regulation, self-understanding, and self-motivation. When a child learns to do something through self-regulation or self-control, it falls under self-discipline. A classic example of self-regulation is restricting junk in order to stay healthy or lose weight. Self-understanding happens when a kid learns to be aware of their poor performance due to complacency in an examination or competition. Self-motivation follows self-understanding to keep practicing to perform better in the next exam or competition. The titles related to these themes are ‘kicking bad habits’, ‘trying the best’, and ‘ examples of dream come true’.

Theme 2: Responsibility

There are various kinds of responsibilities; personal responsibility is the most commonly tested topic for PSLE composition. Taking charge of one's own decisions and actions is called personal responsibility. The other titles related to responsibility include promises, behavioral change, and transforming for the better.

Theme 3: Sympathy & Compassion

Compassion is a strong feeling of sadness and sympathy for others. It is a common theme in PSLE English Composition as it can teach children how to make a difference in other lives by offering help. In order to qualify to gain more marks in the PSLE examination, students should write stories in a layered form with an illustration that showcases the theme entirely. The titles related to the compassion theme include kindness and decision-making.

Standard titles in Primary 6 PSLE Composition English are direct and indirect. Direct titles indicate the story's theme, which means that by just reading the title, the student will be able to identify the theme. Indirect titles are quite challenging as they do not reflect the theme.

Close-up shot of composition book with a pencil.

Learn How to Brainstorm & Approach the New Syllabus in PSLE Composition Topics

In the new syllabus, a student is provided with three pictures. They can use all three or just one to write a story. Whatever the scenario, the student's story must relate to the topic or theme. The good news is that the new syllabus exposes the child to many positive titles and themes. But you must remember that however positive the topic is; the student must write a story involving a conflict. You must encourage your ward to do so, or else the story will become boring.

Any child will struggle to brainstorm ideas when a new positive theme is given. They might question you on what to write when topics like surprise or friendship are provided. You can offer them a simple tip here. Teach them to immediately think of opposite themes or words that oppose the entire concept. Ask them to come up with the likely problems that might arise in order to create an interesting story. For example, when given a theme like friendship, students should bring in more characters and spice up the story with conflicts instead of merely describing their friend and the concept of friendship.

Here is an ultimate guide on how to approach common themes:

Latest Themes Problem/Conflict
Friendship Quarrel, enemies, misunderstanding
Honesty Lies, dishonesty, cheating
Inspiration Low morale, uninspired, disappointment
Challenges Struggles in competition or sports
Dilemma Mischief, petty theft, cheating
Common Themes Possible Scenarios
Frightening experience Disaster, crime, injury, major accident
Embarrassing experience Small accident in a public place, stage fright
Mischievous acts Bullying, quarrels, pranks, fights
Heroic acts Saving somebody from dangerous circumstances and overcoming fear

Also Read : Mastering the Art of Creative Writing in PSLE English Composition

Steps to Follow to Make Your Child Score Better in PSLE English Composition

Composition is a part of the PSLE English examination where a kid will express his/her feelings and thoughts in writing. Practice is the key to mastering the composition segment, be it a descriptive, persuasive, expository, or narrative essay. Good language and content play a major role in a well-written composition which will help scoring high on the exam. The other simple tips for any candidate to ace the composition portion of PSLE English are:

  • Fluency in the English language. This will aid with the correct usage of spelling, vocabulary, punctuation, and grammar throughout the composition. Furthermore, fluent English helps the student to link ideas and sequence the events properly along with excellent paragraphing.
  • In PSLE English Composition marks will be given for the relevance of the ideas and the story plot. Knowing what your examiner wants is the best way to gain better scores. The other essential criteria are:

1. Proper understanding of the core topic

2. Fulfilling the requirements of the topic

3. Staying with the theme's track

Final Thoughts

This blog was created with the intention of letting candidates know about common composition topics in PSLE and how they should approach them. Candidates must be prepared to answer even if the examination does not go as planned. MOE is focusing more on creativity and deviating from rote learning lately. Therefore, instead of just memorizing the themes, it is better to brainstorm the ideas as discussed above. Use the framework to create stories with different topics. Students of Singapore can log in to the StudySmart website to access previous years' question papers and score better in PSLE English.

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