PSLE English Composition Writing

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Here's why Creative Campus is able to do so for your child.

  • Proven track record of As and A*s since 2011
  • Impart skills and techniques to address examination topics
  • Focus on developing the student’s personal voice
  • Rigorous and engaging in-house curriculum
  • Qualified and passionate teachers 

5 Ways to Prepare for PSLE English Composition Writing

Read widely: periodicals provide ideas to derive your plot. Visit sites like,

Subscribe to news sites to stay updated with the latest development. Do visit reputable sites like,, or for a dose of local news

Practice, practice, practice: regardless of the topic, compositions need planning so that the ideas for the compositions are fleshed out.

Read, read, read: novels still have a place in vocabulary development. Apply useful phrases in compositions as far as possible.

Keep a vocabulary book: categorise into commonly used phrases or ideas and apply them wisely. Never memorise chunks of paragraphs: there is a risk that the sentences do not answer the topic, or worse, sit awkwardly in the story.

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Tips for English Composition Writing

In the PSLE English Paper 1, students are required to write on one given topic. There are 3 pictures, and question prompts are provided to keep the composition relevant. For instance,

Write a composition of at least 150 words about an act of honesty.

The pictures are provided to help you think about this topic.

Your composition should be based on one or more of these pictures.

Consider the following points when you plan your composition:

· What was the act?

· Why was the act honest?

You may use the points in any order and include other relevant points as well.

The picture prompts include:
* a wallet full of cash;
* a broken vase; and
* a student peering over the script of her friend.

There are two ways to tackle this composition:

(1) Write a narrative prose about at least one of the pictures.

* Plan the plot carefully and ensure that the story illustrates the topic clearly.

Examples of plot lines:
-- returning a wallet;
-- learning that copying answers is dishonesty; or
-- admitting to breaking the vase at home later in the day.

(2) Write a non-narrative prose revolving around the topic, using the pictures as examples or prompts.

* A non-narrative continuous writing does not have a story.
* It is an open platform for students to write anything in continuous writing, in any text type, as long as it uses at least one picture and addresses the topic.

Examples of non-narrative paragraphs:
-- discuss how an act of honesty refers to situations where you return items that do not belong to you; use the wallet picture as an example
-- discuss how when you can be tempted to be dishonest at times; use the picture of the copying exam as an example
-- discuss how an act of honesty involves taking ownership and responsibility for the mistakes you make; use the broken vase as an example

Why Non-Narrative Essays?

The move to include a non-narrative prose at the national level is important. With guidance, students can use this as a stepping-stone towards the GCE ‘O’ levels and subsequently, the General Paper at the ‘A’ levels.

In these higher-level examinations, the syllabus has also been changed to include only discursive writing: exposition writing and argumentative writing. However, most school teachers tend to prepare students only on the narrative prose.

Perhaps the PSLE is too high a stake to risk attempting something as unfamiliar as a non-narrative prose; and why should they, since students have been writing narratives (creative writing included) since Primary 1? It is much easier to plan a story around one picture, a simple side-step from the old PSLE English format circa 2015.

Nonetheless, writing pure narratives can be stifling for students who have the maturity to discuss these topics at a more general level. It is important to equip your child with the skills to handle BOTH text types. At the very least, knowing how to write a non-narrative prose gives him the added advantage in the PSLE. There is an alternative for him, in case he cannot think of a narrative plot. Furthermore, the ability to use the pictures in a well-thought out composition can score higher marks compared to a bland narrative on the topic.

What Creative Campus can do for your child

PSLE is a major milestone for children aged 12. This national examination aims to test key language skills, while ensuring test questions are based on real-world scenarios.

Our dedicated teachers will equip your child with the skills to tackle the new PSLE English format. Call us for more details.

Our PSLE Blueprint is a comprehensive guide to writing narrative and non-narrative essays.  You can find out more and get a copy here. 

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