Tips on the Comprehension Component
In the recent examination, our teachers found that students have problems sourcing for answers in the Comprehension Open-Ended component. Students tend to make the following mistakes:
* They cannot identify the correct source in the passage for an accurate answer;
* They give incomplete answers; or
* They do not answer the question required.
In the Comprehension Open-Ended component, practice is key. Students must show that they ‘comprehend’, and therefore, understand the passage and the expectation of each question.
The following aspects are suggestions to improving Comprehension:
Tips on Composition Writing and the Oral Component
After poring through the examination papers, our teachers have noticed the following problems students face:
1. During Essay Writing and Oral Practices, many students have memorised certain key vocabulary words and phrases, and try to force-fit these words and phrases. Sometimes, this can come off awkwardly. (e.g. John was over the moon to be punctual for school).
2. During Essay Writing, students conclusions tend to be cliched (e.g. I learnt that honesty is the best policy.)
3. During Oral-picture practices, while the students would give short and direct responses, they were unable to elaborate or think wider than the teacher’s initial question or prompts.
The following are suggestions to improving essays and orals:
The new PSLE syllabus has a stringent rubric. By applying the essential skills and techniques, students can break that 35-mark barrier in essay writing, thereby having the added advantage of clinching that AL1 in the English paper.
Here are more exam tips from our specialist teachers
A Review on the Cloze Passage Component
In the recent examination, our teachers found that the students fail to realise the importance of clues in the Comprehension Cloze component. They either did not source for clues, or when they did, failed to identify the accurate sources.
In the Comprehension Cloze component, the words tested are often those that students are expected to know; and can be traced in the content and context provided in the passage.
The following aspects are key:
Understanding the passage
Read the passage more than once. This will help the student to be more mindful of the context of the passage.
Filling in the blanks
Actively use sourcing techniques to nail down the most suitable word to use. For example, use the process of elimination for tricky questions. Do read the passage again after the blanks are filled in to check.
Most Comprehension Cloze passages touch on general topics and so, students should be aware of the vocabulary specific to these topics. Since there is no shortcut to reading, do start early, and the mid or year end break is a good time to consolidate vocabulary.
In the months leading up to the next exams, have more time trials, and post-paper analysis. Revise the pointers on exam techniques and look out for patterns in the type of answers that are usually expected in the exams. Good luck!
Ms Germaine Lee
Senior Teacher: Creative Campus Learning with Latitude
Mrs Elizabeth Yeo
Director: Creative Campus Learning with Latitude
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