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Ask Our Teachers: An overview of Primary 6 Chinese exam components

3rd June 2022 at 2:00am
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It’s almost time for all primary 6 students to start thinking about preparing for their PSLE. If your child has been struggling with Chinese, no doubt the subject ranks as the most distressing one of them all - what can they do to ensure a passing grade, or even to get a result good enough to get into their preferred secondary school next year?

In this article, we’ll help get you up to speed with a quick overview of each component of your child’s upcoming Chinese exams, so you’ll know what they can and should focus on to get the best results possible.

A breakdown of Chinese exam components

Normal Chinese exam

The standard P6 Chinese exam consists of the following components.

Component Marks Weightage
Oral Communication 50 25%
Listening Comprehension 20 10%
Composition 40 20%
General Paper 90 45%


Foundation Chinese exam

Here are the details regarding Foundation Chinese exams.

Component Total Marks
Oral Communication 55
Listening Comprehension 30
General Paper 15


Higher Chinese exam

You can view the breakdown of components for the Higher Chinese exam below:

Component Total Marks
Composition 40
General Paper 60


So, how does this help?

The various lists above can help any student to plan better for their Chinese exam revisions, be it for normal exams, Higher Chinese papers or the Foundational ones. But this will prove most valuable for struggling students attempting the PSLE at the end of the year.

With this knowledge, your child can start strategising their revision efforts by pinpointing which areas they should focus on to extract the most marks possible in the actual exams.

Using a goal-oriented approach to scoring in P6 Chinese exams

Let’s look again at the table of each Chinese exam component and their corresponding marks and weightages:

Component Marks Weightage
Oral Communication 50 25%
Listening Comprehension 20 10%
Composition 40 20%
General Paper 90 45%


The first thing that jumps out at us is the maximum possible marks for the General Paper (also known as Paper 2): 90 points, forming 45% of the total weightage. That sounds like a lot compared to the rest, and it’s incidentally the most difficult one to ace.

But that’s just one side of the coin. If we look at it from another perspective, we can see that combining Oral, Listening Comprehension and Composition together grants a 55% weightage; 10% more than the General Paper, and enough to potentially grant a passing grade at full marks.

This, combined with the fact that Oral and Listening Comprehension are usually viewed as the easiest exams to pass for Chinese, should make them a top priority for any student.

In the coming weeks, we’ll expand more on this topic and offer some tips about how to best prepare for these three components. Meanwhile however, we hope that this article will help get you thinking about how exactly you can help your child start planning their Chinese exam revision!

Looking for some more help for your child’s Chinese results? Geniebook’s recently-launched Chinese subject offering aims to help students master the language as easily and efficiently as possible through unique features such as Dual-Teacher Classes, Immersive Lessons, and Small Group Tutorials. Find out more by clicking the banner below.

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