How to boost PSLE English scores through vocabulary

Boosting PSLE English Scores Through Vocabulary Enhancement: A Guide to Effective Editing and Proofreading Techniques

Primary 6 is a pivotal year for students in Singapore as they prepare for the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE). Excelling in PSLE English requires a mastery of vocabulary and robust editing and proofreading skills. Here’s how you can improve your child’s vocabulary and elevate their editing and proofreading abilities.

Quick Strategies to Boost PSLE English Scores Through Vocabulary Enrichment, and Effective Editing and Proofreading

Vocabulary Enrichment

  1. Create a Daily Vocabulary Routine: Reading new books, learning a new word each day, and writing short essays using newly learned words.
  2. Interactive Vocabulary Games: Incorporate word games, crossword puzzles, and vocabulary apps to make learning fun and engaging.

Editing Techniques

  1. Review Content and Argument: Ensure all parts of the question are answered and there is a clear argument.
  2. Check Structure and Transitions: Ensure a clear introduction and conclusion with logical paragraph order and smooth transitions.
  3. Enhance Clarity and Word Choice: Make sure sentences are clear and words are chosen wisely for expressing ideas.
  4. Mind the Style and Tone: Check if the tone is appropriate for the audience, and vary sentence length to improve style.

Proofreading Techniques

  1. Read Aloud and Backwards: These techniques can help in spotting errors.
  2. Proofread for One Error Type at a Time: Improve focus by checking for one error type at a time.
  3. Check Punctuation, Citations, and Fonts: Pay attention to details like proper names, citations, punctuation, page numbers, and fonts.

Quick Improvement Strategies

  1. Consistent Practice: Regular practice in writing, editing, and proofreading can lead to rapid improvement.
  2. Use Online Tools: Online grammar and spell-check tools can be great aids in spotting common mistakes.
  3. Get Feedback: Have someone else read the work to spot errors that might have been missed.
  4. Rest and Review: Allow for breaks between writing and reviewing to have fresh eyes for spotting errors.
  5. Use Resources: Keep dictionaries, thesauruses, and handbooks close for quick reference during writing, editing, and proofreading.

Have a look at some of our English Tutorial materials here:

1. Vocabulary Enrichment: Building the Foundation for PSLE English

Enhancing vocabulary is an effective way to boost PSLE English scores. A strong vocabulary provides the foundation for effective communication, comprehension, and critical thinking skills, all essential for success in the English Language exam.

1.1 Create a Daily Vocabulary Routine

Engage your Primary 6 child in a daily routine that promotes vocabulary acquisition. This could involve reading a new book, learning a new word every day, or writing a short essay using new words.

1.2 Interactive Vocabulary Games

Interactive games are fun ways to learn new words. Word games, crossword puzzles, or even online vocabulary apps can turn learning into an exciting challenge.

2. Editing Techniques: Sculpting the Draft

Editing goes beyond rectifying surface-level errors. It involves analyzing and refining the content, structure, clarity, and style of the written work. Here’s how to train your child in effective editing.

2.1 Content and Argument

Ensure that all parts of the question are answered and a clear argument is made. Encourage your child to write a draft first and then review it to ensure all elements of the question are addressed and supported by relevant points.

2.2 Structure and Transitions

Train your child to draft their work with a clear introduction and conclusion. The order of the paragraphs should be logical, with clear transitions between paragraphs.

2.3 Clarity and Word Choice

Promote clarity in your child’s work. The meaning of the sentences should be clear, with terms easily defined for the reader. Encourage them to choose the best words to express their ideas.

2.4 Styling and Tone

Guide your child to write with a tone appropriate for their audience. Varying sentence length and eliminating unnecessary phrases like “due to the fact that” can greatly enhance their writing style.

3. Proofreading Techniques: Polishing the Final Copy

Proofreading is the last step in the writing process and focuses on correcting surface-level errors. It can significantly boost your child’s PSLE English score by ensuring their work is error-free.

3.1 Reading Aloud and Backwards

Encourage your child to read their work aloud or even backwards. This can help them spot errors they might miss otherwise. It’s especially helpful for identifying errors in sentence structure and coherence.

3.2 Proofreading for One Type of Error at a Time

To improve focus, advise your child to proofread for one type of error at a time. This technique can be more effective than trying to catch every mistake in one go.

3.3 Checking Punctuation, Citations, and Fonts

Ensure your child pays attention to details like proper names, citations, punctuation, page numbers, and fonts. Overlooking these elements can lead to unnecessary loss of marks.

4. Other Helpful Tips

Remember that it’s essential to concentrate and avoid distractions during editing and proofreading. Letting the draft sit for a few days before coming back to it can give your child fresh eyes to spot errors. Also, getting someone else to read it can help, as a second pair of eyes can see twice as much.

While software like spell check or grammar check is useful, they may miss some errors. Encourage your child to manually review their work for a thorough check. Keep useful resources like dictionaries, thesauruses, and handbooks close to aid in this process.


Navigating Primary 6 and PSLE English can be challenging, but with consistent vocabulary enrichment and meticulous editing and proofreading, your child’s scores can significantly improve. By implementing these techniques and practices, you can foster a more profound understanding of English and cultivate strong writing habits in your child.

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