How is the Situational Writing section in Paper 1 scored?

The scoring for the Situational Writing section in Paper 1 of the PSLE English Examinations is based on specific criteria set by Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB). It requires students to write a well-structured and coherent piece of writing, typically in the form of a letter or email, based on given situational prompts.

The total marks for the Situational Writing section is 15, and it is divided into two key components – Task Fulfilment and Language and Organisation. Understanding these two components is crucial for students to score well in this section.

  1. Task Fulfilment (9 marks): Task Fulfilment assesses how effectively a student addresses the task given in the situational prompt. In other words, have they included all necessary and relevant information to fulfil the task requirements? For a high score in this area, students need to ensure they cover all aspects of the task, respond appropriately to the situation given, and write for the correct audience and purpose. Accurate use of format and conventions in the chosen text type is also crucial.
  2. Language and Organisation (6 marks): Language and Organisation evaluates the accuracy of the student’s language use, including grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, and sentence structures. It also looks at the coherence and cohesion of the writing. The content should flow logically, with well-organised paragraphs and appropriate use of connectors. A high score in this area requires correct and varied language structures, precise and rich vocabulary, as well as clear and consistent sequencing of ideas.

Practising situational writing regularly, with an emphasis on addressing the task accurately and writing with grammatical precision and clarity, can help students perform well in this section. Parents can aid their child’s preparation by providing various scenarios for writing practice and giving constructive feedback. They can also encourage their child to read various text types, like letters and emails, to familiarise themselves with the different formats and conventions.

It’s also important to note that under the MOE and SEAB guidelines, scripts that are memorised or that show no evidence of authentic writing from the student may be penalised. Thus, encouraging original thinking and writing is essential for success in the Situational Writing section of the PSLE English Examinations.