The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) English Examination is an important academic milestone in Singapore, designed by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) to comprehensively test the English language skills of students. Understanding how this examination is graded is crucial for students aiming to excel in it.
The PSLE English Examination comprises four main components: Paper 1 (Writing), Paper 2 (Language Use and Comprehension), Paper 3 (Listening Comprehension), and Paper 4 (Oral Examination). Each of these components carries a specific weightage towards the overall score.
|Paper 1: Writing||–||1 hour 10 minutes||55||27.5%|
|Situational Writing||Students are given a situational context and are expected to write a response. Possible text types include letters, reports, and emails.||–||15||–|
|Continuous Writing||Students write a composition of at least 150 words based on a given topic and three pictures. They can use one, two or all pictures, in narrative, expository, or any suitable text form they’ve learned in school.||–||40||–|
|Paper 2: Language Use and Comprehension||–||1 hour 50 minutes||95||47.5%|
|BOOKLET A||Multiple-choice questions testing grammar, vocabulary, and visual text comprehension.||–||28||–|
|BOOKLET B||Questions testing grammar cloze, spelling and grammar editing, comprehension cloze, synthesis & transformation, and comprehension open-ended.||–||67||–|
|Paper 3: Listening Comprehension||Tests understanding of spoken English through multiple choice questions on news items, announcements, advertisements, instructions, explanations, conversations, speeches, and stories.||35 minutes||20||10%|
|Paper 4: Oral Examination||–||10 minutes||30||15%|
|Reading Aloud||Tests pronunciation, articulation, fluency, expression, and rhythm in reading aloud a passage.||–||10||–|
|Stimulus-based Conversation||Tests ability to give a personal response to a visual stimulus linked to the “Reading Aloud” passage and to engage in a conversation on a related topic.||–||20||–|
Paper 1, which is the Writing paper, lasts 1 hour and 10 minutes and is graded out of 55 marks, contributing to 27.5% of the overall grade. This paper is split into two sections: Situational Writing and Continuous Writing. In Situational Writing, students are presented with a specific context and are expected to compose a relevant written response such as letters, reports, or emails. This section is worth 15 marks. In Continuous Writing, students are required to compose an essay of at least 150 words based on a given topic and three pictures. Students can use one, two, or all pictures to create a narrative, expository, or other suitable text forms they’ve learned in school. This section is worth 40 marks.
Paper 2, titled Language Use and Comprehension, lasts 1 hour and 50 minutes and is scored out of 95 marks, contributing to 47.5% of the overall grade. It’s further subdivided into two booklets. Booklet A contains multiple-choice questions testing grammar, vocabulary, and visual text comprehension, worth 28 marks. Booklet B, worth 67 marks, tests grammar cloze, spelling and grammar editing, comprehension cloze, synthesis & transformation, and comprehension open-ended.
Paper 3 is the Listening Comprehension component, which lasts for 35 minutes and is worth 20 marks, contributing 10% to the overall grade. It assesses the students’ understanding of spoken English through multiple-choice questions based on a variety of aural texts, including news items, announcements, advertisements, instructions, explanations, conversations, speeches, and stories.
Lastly, Paper 4, the Oral Examination, is a 10-minute component, carrying 30 marks and contributing 15% to the overall grade. It is divided into two parts: Reading Aloud and Stimulus-based Conversation. In the Reading Aloud section, students are evaluated on pronunciation, articulation, fluency, expression, and rhythm in reading aloud a passage, worth 10 marks. The Stimulus-based Conversation tests a student’s ability to give a personal response to a visual stimulus linked to the “Reading Aloud” passage and to engage in a conversation on a related topic, worth 20 marks.
The PSLE English Examination is graded based on a student’s performance across various components, each testing different aspects of their English language proficiency. The exam seeks to provide a holistic evaluation of a student’s abilities, from writing and comprehension to listening and oral communication.