The Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) for English, administered by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB), is a significant milestone for students in Singapore. It marks the culmination of six years of primary education and gauges the students’ mastery of the English language. It serves as a determinant in the placement of students into secondary education.
|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||–|
The total score for the PSLE English Examination is 200 marks. This total score is calculated from four different papers that assess different aspects of English language proficiency. Each paper contributes a certain weightage towards the total score, making the scoring system a well-balanced, multi-faceted evaluation of a student’s linguistic capabilities.
Paper 1 involves writing and has a total of 55 marks, contributing 27.5% to the total score. It assesses the students’ ability to articulate thoughts, ideas, and narratives effectively through written language.
Paper 2, the Language Use and Comprehension paper, is the most weighty component with a contribution of 47.5% to the total score. This paper, which carries a total of 95 marks, tests students’ grasp of grammar, vocabulary, and their ability to understand and interpret various texts.
Listening Comprehension, Paper 3, constitutes 10% of the total score. This 20-mark paper tests the students’ ability to understand spoken English and assesses their auditory language skills.
Finally, Paper 4, the Oral Examination, carries a total of 30 marks, contributing 15% to the total score. It assesses students’ ability to read aloud accurately and fluently and to engage in a conversation on a given topic, testing their spoken language skills.
Understanding the components and the weightage system of the PSLE English Examination will aid parents in supporting their children through their primary school journey. It enables them to provide targeted help and resources in areas where their child might need additional practice or reinforcement. Navigating through these six years of primary education, a balanced focus on all components of the English examination would be essential to prepare students not just for the PSLE but also for their lifelong journey of learning and using the English language effectively.