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All About Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE)

PSLE Chinese Language Syllabus & Exam Format

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PSLE Chinese Language Overview

Singapore has a Chinese-majority population. With the rising power of China, Chinese students in Singapore have found it ever more important to learn and master the Chinese language. The PSLE Chinese Language syllabus and examinations can push our students to be better Chinese communicators, readers and speakers.

Being a Mother Tongue Language, the Chinese Language can be less intensive and content-heavy than other PSLE subjects as the focus is to encourage our P6 students to speak, write and read proper Chinese and hopefully fall in love with the language.

However, Singaporean students often find the Chinese language more difficult as English is the official spoken and written language in schools and in Singapore. More Chinese families are also speaking English at home instead of Chinese.

Therefore, many parents are unable to help their children improve their Chinese language alone and rely on Chinese tuition classes.

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Learning Objectives of Chinese

Singapore’s education system has a bilingualfocus, so students must take both English and a Mother Tongue Language (MTL). As such, being able to read, write and examine the Chinese Language well is equally importantly as English for Chinese P6 students.

This can be seen in the goals of PSLE Chinese to be able to:

  • Develop students to be proficient in Chinese and can communicate effectively
  • Encourage more Chinese language usage and learning
  • Enhance cognitive development of the students through the learning of Chinese language
  • Nurture motivate and self-directed Chinese language learners

PSLE Chinese Language (0005)

How is PSLE Chinese graded as a subject?

PSLE Chinese is a comprehensive assessment for your Chinese language proficiency. Like PSLE English, it tests you on your writing, comprehension, argumentation, critical listening and verbal communication.

This will be in the forms of contextual writing, multiple-choice questions (MCQ) and open-ended questions. Every student will sit a combined examination duration of 3 hours 20 minutes.

In total, the PSLE Chinese examinations has a total of 200 marks. Every student’s total score will be translated into a percentage out of 100% for their AL Score calculation.

What will be tested in PSLE Chinese?

The PSLE Chinese Language examination focuses on four main components to assess your Chinese Language proficiency:

  1. Listening – Listening Comprehension
  2. Speaking – Oral Communication
  3. Reading – Comprehension Paper
  4. Writing – Composition Writing
What Chinese e-dictionaries are approved for PSLE Chinese?

Electronic Chinese dictionaries that are pre-approved by SEAB will be allowed for Paper 1 of the PSLE Chinese Language examination.

As of 2020, these are the electronic dictionaries approved by SEAB:

Dictionary PublisherDictionary ModelApproved Period
Ellton Enterprise Pte LtdBesta All Pass Version 1Until 2024
Besta All Pass Version S1
Besta All Pass Version 5
Creative Knowledge Labs Pte LtdHansVision PX2201Until 2023
HansVision PX2181Until 2022
HansVision PX2131
HansVision PX2101
HansVision PX2051
ZZ.Perfection Pte LtdZZ.New-A+Until 2022
ZZ.New-01Until 2021
iKnow Pte LtdBesta All Pass 2
Besta All Pass 3

More information on the approved list of electronic Chinese dictionaries is available on the SEAB website and Approved Dictionaries List (2020).

What is the examination format of PSLE Chinese?

PSLE Chinese Language (0005) tests students in four components across three papers.

PaperComponentMarksWeightageDuration
1Composition Writing4020%50 minutes
2Language Use and Comprehension9045%1 hour 40 minutes
3Listening Comprehension2010%30 minutes
4Oral Communication5025%10 minutes
Total200100%3 hours 10 minutes
Chinese Paper 1: Composition Writing

PSLE Chinese Language Paper 1 is a single component of Composition Writing. Your composition writing must be based on either the question or picture provided in the examination paper.

You may choose to attempt either option, and your final submission must be more than 100 words in length.

Paper 1 is 50 minutes long and is fully open-ended. The use of an approved Chinese dictionary is allowed for this paper.

Chinese Paper 2: Comprehension

PSLE Chinese Language Paper 2 uses a mix of MCQs and open-ended questions to test your inferential and understanding of various Chinese language passages. There are two parts to Paper 2, which is 1 hour and 40 minutes long.

You are not allowed to use any Chinese dictionary for this paper.

ComponentMarksDescription
Language Application30MCQ in Booklet A
Cloze Passage10MCQ in Booklet A
Comprehension10MCQ in Booklet A
Complete the Dialogue8Fill in 4 blanks in Booklet B
Comprehension32Answer questions on the provided passage and use of language
Total90
Chinese Paper 3: Listening Comprehension and Oral

PSLE Chinese Language Paper 3 comprises of the Listening Comprehension paper and Oral Communication. Although these two assessments are within the same paper, they are taken separately.

Listening Comprehension (20 marks)

The Listening Comprehension component is a fully MCQ assessment. It is one of the least demanding papers in the Chinese language examination, taking up only 30 minutes in duration.

A variety of verbal text such as news, announcements, advertisements, instructions, conversations, speeches and stories will be read out. You will then need to answer questions that requires you to infer and examine the texts.

Oral Communication

The PSLE Chinese Language Oral Examination, is an open-ended, verbal assessment. Students will be required to read and converse with the examiners for the Oral Communication. It is also one of the more intense exams in the PSLE, given the short 5 minutes of examination

Starting 2017, the conversation component is replaced by a video-stimulus conversation. Students will watch a short video clip and will then have to answer prompts based on the content on the video. You need to extend your responses by giving opinions, explanations, experiences, examples or suggestions.

PSLE Higher Chinese (0015)

What is different in Higher Chinese?

PSLE Higher Chinese Language (HCL) is an optional language subject taken on top of the existing four mandatory PSLE subjects all students must take. Unlike the other four subjects, your Higher Chinese scores will not be used for your Achievement Levels (AL) calculation.

Students who pass their HCL examinations will have priority over students who have a lower grade/without HCL for Special Assistance Plan (SAP) school admissions. For more information on grading, you can check out our guide to the PSLE Scoring System.

The HCL syllabus is specially created for students with the ability, aptitude and interest in Chinese Language. It hopes that through this programme, they will be able to achieve higher levels of Chinese language proficiency and cultivate more love for the Chinese language.

What is the examination format of Higher Chinese?

PSLE Higher Chinese Language (0015) tests students in four components across two papers. Compared to Standard PSLE Chinese Language examination, the listening comprehension and oral communication components are not present.

PaperComponentMarksWeightageDuration
1Composition Writing or Complete the Essay (Choose either)4040%50 minutes
2Language Use and Comprehension6060%1 hour 20 minutes
Total100100%2 hours 10 minutes

PSLE Chinese Revision Notes & Resources

All students have to learn Mother Tongue and for students who don’t speak Chinese at home, mastering Chinese is especially difficult.

The best way to learn, revise, and improve Chinese is to use effective revision notes and resources. Here, we provide you with free downloadable chinese notes.

Our PSLE Chinese Resources are curated from top schools and tutors, and specially compiled by SmileTutor to help you to get better at Chinese and do better in your PSLE Chinese exams.

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All students have to learn Mother Tongue and for students who don’t speak Chinese at home, mastering Chinese is especially difficult.

The best way to learn, revise, and improve Chinese is to use effective revision notes and resources. Here, we provide you with free downloadable chinese notes.

Our PSLE Chinese Resources are curated from top schools and tutors, and specially compiled by SmileTutor to help you to get better at Chinese and do better in your PSLE Chinese exams.

Get your free Chinese Resources

Free Primary School Test Papers

For the Chinese language examinations, you will often encounter vocabulary that you don’t recognise. Knowing commonly-used Chinese words is very important to helping you ace your PSLE Chinese Written Examinations.

Therefore, completing Chinese language using past year primary school test papers can keep you sharp, focused and ready to ace the PSLE Chinese Language examination. Download our free P6 Chinese Exam Papers and start preparing for the PSLE today!

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For the Chinese language examinations, you will often encounter vocabulary that you don’t recognise. Knowing commonly-used Chinese words is very important to helping you ace your PSLE Chinese Written Examinations.

Therefore, completing Chinese language using past year primary school test papers can keep you sharp, focused and ready to ace the PSLE Chinese Language examination. Download our free P6 Chinese Exam Papers and start preparing for the PSLE today!

Download our free test papers

Important PSLE Dates for PSLE Chinese

Stay updated of the upcoming PSLE Chinese examination dates so that you can plan and prepare yourself adequately for this important examination paper. Remember, you can perform well in any PSLE subject paper when you are well-prepared with the knowledge, well-equipped with the right stationery and mentality and well-rested the night before.

DateUpcoming PSLE Dates for EnglishTime
Oct 05 Chinese Paper 1
08:15 am
Oct 05 Chinese Paper 2
10:15 am
Oct 05 Foundational Chinese Paper
08:15 am
Oct 07 Higher Chinese Paper 1
08:15 am
Oct 07 Higher Chinese Paper 2
10:15 am

Score in the PSLE Chinese Language with PSLE Chinese Tuition

Do you find the Chinese language incredibly challenging and difficult? You may need an experienced chinese home tutor to help you learn Chinese effectively, efficiently and easily via chinese tuition.

With PSLE Chinese home tuition, you can now get exceptional and personalised help in the Chinese language in the comfort of your house. Our Chinese tutors are well-equipped to teach the latest PSLE Chinese syllabus and are professional to make sure you can learn, revise and practice more effectively than ever.

Nobody goes into battle alone. We are ready to give you the help you need to excel in the PSLE Chinese language examination.

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