EducationParentingHow to Help Your Child Ace Their English PSLE Paper

April 21, 2022
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Preparing your child for their English PSLE papers is by no means an easy task. Even with much tuition classes and practice, there is no promise of a good grade if your child isn’t preparing for their exams in an efficient manner.

That is why MindChamps Enrichment Academy provides specially designed PSLE enrichment curriculum that consistently deliver results. It is also why we put this piece together, such that parents can help their children ace the English PSLE papers with effective guidance from our MOE trained teachers.

Learn more about exam formats, assessment objectives, and the required preparation work needed to help your child ace their PSLE English exams:

1. Writing

Exam Format

Assessment Objectives

  • write to suit the purpose, audience and context in a clear and effective way
  • use of appropriate register and tone in a variety of texts
  • generate and select relevant ideas and themes
  • organise and express ideas in a coherent and cohesive manner
  • correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • varied use in vocabulary where appropriate, with clarity and precision

Preparation Work

When it comes to the PSLE English Paper 1, the one essential task your child must do is come up with content that is engaging and meaningful. Many parents think that repeated practice of writing is the best method to hone this skill, but that isn’t entirely true.

Instead, parents should get their child to focus on extensive reading — both fiction and non-fiction. Exposure to narratives and common knowledge is key to developing good content, and forms the foundation of any good piece of writing. If your child practises writing without a strong foundation first in place, it will be counterproductive. Structural mistakes will be reinforced, and your child may fall into the trap of familiarising themselves with using ‘fluff’ to beef up content that lacks in actual foundation.

In preparation for their English PSLE Paper 1, students should first focus on reading to form a strong foundation, before moving on to essay planning in which they train themselves to properly organise ideas. Only then should they, finally, move on to writing practice.

2. Language Use and Comprehension

Exam Format

Assessment Objectives

  • comprehension of a range of varied texts at literal and inferential levels
  • understanding of implied meaning through attentive reading
  • sound and accurate judgement and evaluation through critical thinking
  • understanding of how contextual use of lexical and grammatical items shape meaning
  • correct use of grammar, spelling and punctuation
  • appropriate use of vocabulary in given contexts

Preparation Work

The PSLE English Paper 2 is vastly different from Paper 1. Here, intense practice can do wonders, as the questions—or at least, question types—here are more repetitive in nature.

There are two key areas your child should work on to perform well on the PSLE English Paper 2.

First, familiarity with grammatical rules and MCQ answering techniques (such as eliminating incorrect answers and managing time well) are must-haves that can easily be acquired and refined through repeated practice.

Second, children looking to ace their PSLE English Paper 2 must sharpen their critical reading skills. MCQs are rarely straightforward, and close reading is crucial to answering them correctly. As for open-ended questions, the trick to answering them lies in being able to spot what they are implicitly asking for — this is especially applicable when talking about the Comprehension section.

In summary, to prepare your child for PSLE English Paper 2, get them to practise on past year papers and encourage them to hone their critical reading skills. One efficient way to go about the latter is to get them to read a short piece of news each day, and discuss with them the selected content through both open conversation and the posing of questions.

3. Listening Comprehension

Exam Format

Assessment Objectives

  • understanding the content behind a variety of spoken texts at literal and inferential levels
  • accurate identification of key messages, main ideas and details in a variety of spoken texts
  • sound inference and drawing of conclusions through listening critically

Preparation Work

Parents and students alike have the tendency to get distracted by written language and overlook the importance of spoken language. Like any other skill, critical listening is something that must be refined through proper practice.

To prepare for the Listening Comprehension component of the PSLE English exam, get your child to actively listen to verbal content on a daily basis if possible. This can come in the form of podcasts, documentaries, or even YouTube videos — the important thing here is to remove all visuals from the practice and make sure they solely focus on listening. Then, test their comprehension of what they’ve listened to through questioning and conversation.

4. Oral Communication

Exam Format

Assessment Objectives

  • well-paced, fluent reading of passage
  • good pronunciation, clear articulation and appropriate intonation to convey information, ideas, and feelings in given passage
  • articulate expression of personal opinions, ideas and experiences through conversation with examiner
  • speak fluently and with grammatical accuracy, using a range of appropriate vocabulary and structures

Preparation Work

To prepare for the PSLE English Oral exam, get your child to practise reading aloud at home. You don’t necessarily need to be an audience either. In fact, it’s best if you get them to record themselves reading. Afterwards, they should listen to the recording and make mental notes of how to improve on their speech based on what they hear.

Parents should, however, involve themselves in stimulus-based conversations with their child. Pick a topic to discuss, and make sure your child justifies all their replies with sufficient elaboration rather than just stopping at “yes” or “no” answers. For reference, past PSLE English Oral topics include:

  • Have you ever helped anyone in need? Tell me more about it.
  • Tell me about a time you did something special for someone.
  • Tell me about a time when someone helped you.
  • What do you do during your free time?
  • Do you enjoy reading? What kind of books do you like?
  • Tell us about a time when you felt happy.
  • What is your favourite mode of public transportation?
  • Which country do you wish to go to the most?
  • How do you keep fit? Is sleep important to you?
  • Tell me about a time you visited the clinic.
  • What is your favourite food? Is it good for your health?
  • Do you help out at home?
  • Do you keep any pets? Why or why not?
  • Tell me about an interesting place you’ve visited.
  • What do you think students can learn from school activities?

Ace PSLE English with MindChamps Enrichment Academy

At MindChamps Enrichment Academy, our English enrichment classes are guided by the neuroscience-based Optimal Flow Method™ to facilitate quality learning. Through our PSLE English enrichment curriculum, your child will master grammar rules and enhance their vocabulary, all the while strengthening their foundation in the English language.

Find out more about our PSLE programme, and enrol your child with MindChamps Enrichment Academy today.