4 BIG Challenges Children Face Taking PSLE English

Article 2: 4 BIG Challenges Children Face Taking PSLE English

It is the time of the year that the primary six students have been waiting for, or so we thought. There is definitely some form of pressure to perform well, as their parents have invested time and money, in the hope that they excel in the major examinations. Conquering English is the top most concern for parents, as the grade of this language determines their “fate” in the choice of secondary school. Thus, there are four BIG challenges children face taking their English Paper.


Lacking in the area of writing creatively

Paper One, which consists of composition writing and situational writing, takes up about 27% weightage. Not a lot, but it adds up to the overall percentage from the other components. Composition writing has always been a bane to a majority of children, who are unable to ignite the creativity spark in them. The average score for most students are in the range or 15-25/40 for the composition writing part.

Lacking in the area of doing well in the vocabulary section

Reading since young plays a very vital role in building up a child’s literacy capacity. Unfortunately, many students are not reading widely, and thus, their vocabulary skills are not sturdy enough to understand and answer complex questions that test their vocabulary skills.

Lacking in the area of acing in the Comprehension Open Ended section

Comprehension means understanding, and if a child does not understand, it means he/she does not have a good grasp of the Comprehension passage, the last but heaviest weightage for Paper Two. Most children are also not patient enough to read the passage a few times before attempting the questions, resulting in many careless mistakes. Many children are also stumped by the vocabulary words in the passage, and if they do not understand the meaning, their marks are compromised.

Lacking in the area of time management

That is the common problem across all subjects, be it English, Mathematics, Science and Mother Tongue. A sizeable number of children are not equipped adequately on managing their time well. Many of them spend too much time tackling the questions in front, and when the time is almost up, they realise there are questions not done, resulting in blank submissions for some components.


In a nutshell, a child is able to overcome the above challenges if he/she is well prepared enough to pre-empt the scenarios mentioned above. Time and effort are also important for the child to work upon his/her strengths/weaknesses to do adequately well for the PSLE English paper.

(penned for PSLE Hub)

4 BIG Challenges Parents Face With Their Children Taking PSLE English

Article 1: 4 BIG Challenges Parents Face With Their Children Taking PSLE English

Time and tide waits for no man; things will not wait for you when you are late. In this application, we can say that if your child is not prepared for the big national exam by then, it will be too late to rectify. Most parents in Singapore are anxious to push their children to do well in major examinations, but many are clueless on how to do it, resulting in adding more stress on their children. Among the four subjects; English, Mother Tongue, Mathematics and Science, many parents want their children to do well in their English, however, this group of parents are clueless on how to seek the correct or suitable help, resulting in even more “head banging on the wall”. In this article, we will share with you the four BIG challenges parents face with their children taking PSLE English.

Not Familiar With The PSLE English Examination Format

Many parents are clueless when it comes face to face dealing with the PSLE English Examination Format.  Times have changed, and so do the curriculum. A good example is the composition format. No longer are the students given four pictures for them to spin a story. Instead, three unrelated pictures are shown to challenge students to weave a story, using any one picture, any two pictures, or all three pictures. Creativity and imagination is heavily involved and if parents are not aware of this change, his/her child will struggle in his/her Paper One.

Unaware Of The Difference Between Language Learning And Language Drilling

Parents may have been taught choral drill in their early years of education, which involves a teacher modelling a word or a sentence and the class repeats it.  Fast forward to now, choral drilling or language drilling is frowned upon by teachers, as this method is a highly controlled, teacher-centred setting. Language learning is the opposite, where students take ownership of their learning in a conducive environment, yet able to learn the objectives the teachers have set for them.

Clueless on how to coach their children tackle each and every section of the English Paper

It takes practice and skills to know how to score for each section of the English paper. Many parents are not sure how that works and how to help their children do well in the paper in general.  Although most students will have some form of extra help like tuition or supplementary lessons, parents will still want to take some ownership and help their children prepare for their PSLE English.

Unaware on how to help their children manage their time to complete the English Paper

Do you know that the duration of the English Paper Two lasts for 1 hour and 50 minutes? Many parents are not sure, and without this information, they are unable to help their children plan and strategize their time effectively. Certain sections require more time, where other sections require lesser time. Unless the children are trained to manage their time, they will not be able to maximise the time and do well in their paper.


With these four challenges highlighted, it is therefore necessary for parents to be well informed of the changes in the latest PSLE English paper. With this knowledge, parents are better equipped to help their children revise for their PSLE English paper.


(penned article for PSLE Hub)

Content Contributor

I am grateful to Learn Super Mart for the opportunity to let me write a Science series (How To Nail Challenging Science Questions That Many Students Fumble On) for them last year, 2016. I was, of course, elated that my series “nailed’ their top 16 Learning Resources in 2016. From their portal excerpt: “The series was quite well-received with it reaching more than 20,000 parents and students, and getting more than 3,000 Likes, Comments, Shares and Clicks.”

I would say that not what I wrote is popular, but rather, how relevant and current the topics were for the Science students then. It was also the examination period, so they might have found it useful.

You may read the series here:


Top 16 - 16 Nailing Science

My Other Projects (Sidelines)

Besides my teaching commitment, I took up a supporting role that allows me to work form home. Sounds interesting and it is educational related. I will share more over here.

Check out this website: http://pslenews.com/

It is a very useful portal for PSLE parents!

Another project I am involved in is in the preschool field. I am hoping to learn more for personal growth too.

Check out: http://mindtots.com/

A useful portal for Preschool parents!