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PSLE English Oral Exam Schedule & Format: Explored & Explained

July 9, 2022
StudySmart Team
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A boy who is ready to take up his PSLE oral exam observes silently the instructions provided by the teacher. The instructor is expressing her views to motivate the kid.

It is well-known that the PSLE Oral topic consists of two parts:

  • Reading Aloud
  • Stimulus-Based Conversation

This exam is an opportunity for Primary 6 students to demonstrate their mastery of English, Singapore's official language. Singapore's Ministry of Education has drafted the syllabus to ensure students master English in all forms of communication. The Oral exam tests the student's ability to fluently communicate and articulate their thoughts in good English.

So, what is the PSLE oral format and schedule for the exam? Let's explore the information in detail.

PSLE Oral Exam Format, Schedule & Dates to Remember

The Singapore Examination and Assessments Board has announced the date and schedule for the English Oral exam for the academic year 2023. The details are given below:


Monday, 15 August
Tuesday, 16th August
English Language Oral 0800 – 1330 h

Examination Format for Oral Exam

PSLE English Oral Exam or English Paper 4 is a verbal, open-ended assessment where students are required to read to and converse with the examiner. These two exams carry a combined score weightage of 15%, which should not be underestimated. Although the duration lasts only five minutes, the oral exam is one of the more intense tests in the PSLE. Here are the details of both exams.

Reading Aloud

This section of the PSLE English oral format carries 10 marks, and as the name implies, students must "read aloud" a chosen passage to the examiner, who will assess their:

  • Fluency
  • Articulation skills
  • Pronunciation
  • Intonation
  • Expression

To prepare for this section, students should:

  • Practise reading a few passages aloud.
  • Practice pronouncing difficult words.
  • Add expressions and emotions to make the passage interesting.
  • Read at a steady pace, allowing the examiner to understand every word and sentence.
  • Avoid repetition, hesitation, and a monotonous tone of voice.

Stimulus-Based Conversation

In this section, the student is required to orally answer questions based on a picture, graph, announcement, or advertisement, which is used as the 'stimulus." The examiner will ask three questions; students should answer by giving their opinions, feelings, or experiences.

In SBC, the first question will most likely be directly linked to the stimulus. The following questions can be community, school, or family-related. Examiners will assess your child's:

  • Clarity and depth of thought.
  • Ability to be expressive with words.
  • Ability to enhance the answers by personalizing them.
  • Clarity in pronunciation and intonation.
  • Ability to speak coherently without repeating phrases.

A student is thinking on how to proceed with answering the question asked in oral exam. She seems to be smiling at the instructor to tackle the situation.

SEAB Guidelines for PSLE Oral English Exam

The verbal exams for English Language / Foundation Elective Language and Native Language / Foundation MTL are held on two consecutive days. It is your child's school's responsibility to notify the exam schedule and deadline of the verbal exam.

As per the directives given by the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB), your child should:

  • Arrive at the venue at least 45 minutes before the exam time.
  • Avoid taking books and other study materials to the silent preparing area and the exam halls.
  • State your name and the school's name loudly and clearly.

Students can also request the examiner to repeat the question or speak loudly if they cannot understand it. A placard will be placed in front of the student as a reminder of the same. Requesting the examiner to repeat the question does not incur any penalization.

Remember that oral examinations will only be allowed if you arrive at the centre within 30 minutes after the examination begins. You will need to contact your school if your child cannot reach the examination centre within 30 minutes after the start of the oral examination. The school or SEAb will allot another day for your child to attend the exam.

Also Read : Everything You Need to Know About PSLE English Oral Examination

What Examiners Will Assess in the PSLE Oral Exam?

To ace the PSLE English Oral exam, it is crucial to know the assessment's objectives. Since this is a completely oral exam, examiners will award marks for:

  • Clear pronunciation and good articulation.
  • Ability to convey feelings and ideas.
  • Use of good vocabulary and sentence structure.
  • Ability to provide prompt answers.
    Language fluency.
  • Grammatical accuracy.
  • Reading fluency with appropriate expression and rhythm.
  • Accurate response to a virtual stimulus.
  • Ability to carry on an engaging conversation.

Marks are also awarded for the student's pleasant disposition and ability to maintain eye contact.

The Takeaway

To ace the PSLE Oral exam practice, all your child requires confidence, and good language skills. Regular training will help them face any question with absolute self-assurance. You should also encourage them to read books to increase their vocabulary and converse in Standard English at home to master the language.

Subscribe to StudySmart to train your child to optimize their PSLE English preparation. Call our team for more details about our AI-powered app.

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