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Ask Our Teachers: Tips to acing your PSLE Chinese paper

Ask Our Teachers: Tips to acing your PSLE Chinese paper

Now that the listening comprehension and oral exams are out of the way, it’s time for your child to focus on their PSLE Chinese written paper! Paper 1 consists of composition writing, while Paper 2 assesses the student’s grasp of vocabulary, grammar, and their overall language mastery.

With composition-writing, Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQs), and open-ended questions to tackle, they can be too much to even think about. But fret not, Teacher Carolyn’s back again to provide some tips for your child to ace their upcoming PSLE Chinese written paper!

1. Read the questions carefully (仔细审题)

Students should read each question carefully and understand what is required in their answers. They should ensure they understand what the question means and what it’s asking for, and answer them accordingly. Some questions may have multiple parts, and they need to ensure they address each part so no marks are left behind in vain. This is also important in many comprehension sections where incomplete answers can result in lower scores.


2. Manage your time well (时间管理)

Each exam paper has a limited duration for students to work on them, so they should keep in mind to manage their time wisely. Estimate how much time each section will require before starting the paper, and then strictly control your time while answering. If a particular section is taking too much time, consider skipping it and returning to it later. Poor time management can lead to incomplete exam papers and ultimately failing the exam for many students.


3. Proofread your answers (仔细校对)

After students have completed each section of the paper, they should allocate some time to carefully proofread their answers. Things they should take note of are spelling, grammar, and logical errors to ensure clarity in their responses. Proofreading helps students avoid careless mistakes that can result in point deductions.


4. Tips for composing essays (作文写作的主意事项)

Choosing to write a composition based on a picture prompt (看图作文) can be easier because the images provide a visual context for the story and make it less likely for the student to go off-topic.


Students should always begin by writing a draft first. They can follow the 6W method (who, what, when, where, why, and how), outline the cause, events, and outcomes of the story before proceeding with the full composition. While it may seem like a lot of time will be taken, this approach helps students establish an appropriate framework and helps beef up their actual content.

一定要写草稿,按照 6 何的办法,把事情的起因、经过、结果写出来之后,再进行完整的创作。这样做看起来是浪费了时间,实际上是可以帮助学生把握正确的框架,让内容更充实。

Although dictionaries are available to help, students should avoid rushing to use them at any given opportunity. Instead, annotate unfamiliar words with hanyu pinyin (汉语拼音) and fill them in after completing the composition. Many students waste a lot of time looking up words while writing, which can result in an incomplete essay and eventual failure.


Paragraphs should be clearly separated. For a composition based on 6 pictures, use 6 paragraphs, along with an introduction and conclusion, to create a complete article.

段落一定要分清楚,6 幅图 6 个段落,再加上开头和结尾会是一篇完整的文章。

With Teacher Carolyn’s helpful tips for your child’s upcoming PSLE Chinese paper, we wish you all the best and good luck!

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