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All About Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE)

PSLE English Syllabus & Exam Format

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PSLE English Language Overview

Given that the English Language is Singapore’s official language, all students in Singapore will have to learn and master English in all forms of communication. The PSLE English Language syllabus and examinations will help students to be better English students, speakers and readers.

Of all subjects in the PSLE, English language is most likely the most important for primary school students. Without a strong foundation in this commonly-used language, students will find it difficult to communicate, learn and play, thus hindering their development.

In addition, since most subjects are taught in English, other than Mother Tongue Languages, understanding English will be necessary to learn the other PSLE subjects well. With how content-heavy the PSLE subjects are, we certainly do not want to pile more learning difficulties on our students.

This is the reason why many parents give their children plenty of help to master their English language, such as encouraging them to read more and having supplementary English tuition classes. You can always prepare yourself well for the PSLE examinations by securing a strong foundation in the English language!

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Learning Objectives of English Language

Being able to read, write and examine the English Language well is an important skill to have for all Primary 6 students entering Secondary Schools next year.

As such, the English Language examinations in the PSLE hopes to that students can meet these learning objectives of the English Language:

  1. Write clearly and effectively to suit purpose, audience and context
  2. Use the correct expression and tone in different contexts
  3. Generating and expressing relevant ideas
  4. Use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation
  5. Use different vocabulary correctly, clearly and accurately

PSLE English Language (0001)

How is PSLE English graded as a subject?

PSLE English is a comprehensive assessment for your English abilities, testing 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 45 minutes.

In total, the PSLE English examinations has a total of 200 marks. Every student’s total score will be translated into a percentage out of 100% to be used for the Achievement Levels (AL) score calculation.

What will be tested in PSLE English?

There are four key components of the PSLE English examinations that will test your English language proficiency.

Each component differs slightly from another due to the difference in assessment and format, but in general, PSLE English wants to test you in:

  1. Your ability to write clearly, appropriately and effectively
  2. Your appropriate and correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and tone
  3. Your generation, organisation and expression of ideas
  4. Your inferential and understanding of text and language in different settings/li>
  5. Your inferential and understanding of text and language in different settings/li>
  6. Your fluency, pronunciation, articulation and intonation in speaking English
What is the examination format of PSLE English?

PSLE English Language (0001) tests students in four components, each in its own paper.

PaperComponentMarksWeightageDuration
1Situational Writing and Continuous Writing5527.5%1 hour 10 minutes
2Language Use and Comprehension9547.5%1 hour 50 minutes
3Listening Comprehension2010%35 minutes
4Oral Communication3015%10 minutes
Total200100%3 hours 45 minutes
English Paper 1: Writing (Composition)

PSLE English Paper 1 uses Situational Writing and Continuous Writing to test you on your English writing skills and ability. Paper 1 is 1 hour and 10 minutes long and is fully open-ended.

Situational Writing (15 marks)

You will need to write a short letter, report or email that answers the situation and suits the purpose, audience and context.

Marking Scheme:

ComponentMarksRequirements
Task Fulfilment6Provide the necessary information and show understanding of purpose, audience and context
Language, Organisation and Context9Use of correct grammar, spelling and punctuation with a logical organisation of ideas
Total15

Continuous Writing (40 marks)

You will need to write a composition, with a minimum of 150 words, on a given topic. The topic will include three pictures that is meant for individuals to have their own interpretation of the topic. You can choose to write either a narrative, recount of expository essay.

Marking Scheme:

ComponentMarksRequirements
Content20Possess appropriate ideas that has development and interest value
Language and Organisation20Use of correct grammar, spelling and punctuation with wide use of vocabulary. Writing needs proper sequences, paragraphs and linking of ideas.
Total40
English Paper 2: Language Use and Comprehension

PSLE English Paper 2 uses a mix of MCQs and open-ended questions to test your inferential and understanding of various texts. You will attempt nine different components across the two booklets of Paper 2, which is 1 hour and 50 minutes long.

Many students have found Paper 2 rather challenging due to the grammar cloze, comprehension cloze, editing, and synthesis and transformation sections.

ComponentMarksDescription
Grammar10MCQ in Booklet A
Vocabulary5MCQ in Booklet A
Vocabulary Cloze5MCQ in Booklet A
Visual Text Comprehension8MCQ in Booklet A
Grammar Cloze10Fill in 10 blanks with choice of helping works
Editing for Spelling and Grammar12Identify any spelling or grammatical errors and correct them
Comprehension Close15Fill in 14 blanks without helping words
Synthesis and Transformation10Combine sentences together without changing the meaning or making any tense, spelling and punctuation mistakes
Comprehension Open-Ended20Answer questions on the provided passage and use of language
Total95
English Paper 4: Oral Communication

PSLE English Paper 4, or more commonly known as the 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.

Reading (10 marks)

You will read a short passage for the examiners to assess your pronunciation, articulation, fluency and expression.

Stimulus-Based Conversation (20 marks)

A picture will be provided to you for the conversation. You will be giving your personal responses to three prompts from the examiners. You need to extend your responses by giving opinions, explanations, experiences, examples or suggestions.

In addition, you need to answer your prompts using the correct grammatical structures, appropriate vocabulary and maintain eye contact.

PSLE Foundation English (0031)

What is different in PSLE Foundation English?

PSLE Foundation English is different from Standard PSLE English with the lower requirements for understanding and mastery of the English Language. While Foundation English has the four components and papers as Standard PSLE English, the scope and difficulty are reduced.

This is to provide more time and resources for students to build a strong foundation for English and to prepare them adequately for learning English at a higher level in the future.

The combined duration is a shorter 3 hours 15 minutes and has a total of 150 marks.

What will be tested in Foundation English?

Similar to the Standard PSLE English, there are four key components to test your English language proficiency at a foundational level:

  1. Your ability to write clearly, appropriately and effectively
  2. Your appropriate and correct use of grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and tone
  3. Your generation, organisation and expression of ideas
  4. Your inferential and understanding of text and language in different settings
  5. Your critical listening skills
  6. Your fluency, pronunciation, articulation and intonation in speaking English
What is the examination format of Foundation English?

PSLE Foundation English Language (0031) tests students in four components, each in its own paper.

PaperComponentMarksWeightageDuration
1Situational Writing and Continuous Writing4026.7%1 hour 10 minutes
2Language Use and Comprehension6040%1 hour 20 minutes
3Listening Comprehension2013.3%35 minutes
4Oral Communication3020%10 minutes
150100%3 hours 15 minutes

PSLE English Revision Notes & Resources

Like all languages, the English language requires a strong foundation of the language and understanding of its uses for you to excel in it.

In order to achieve this, you can learn and revise your English language using our free downloadable English revision notes and resources.

These PSLE English Resources are obtained and packaged from top schools and tutors in Singapore and are proven to help you to deepen your understanding and get closer to the PSLE English Language Distinction.

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Like all languages, the English language requires a strong foundation of the language and understanding of its uses for you to excel in it.

In order to achieve this, you can learn and revise your English language using our free downloadable English revision notes and resources.

These PSLE English Resources are obtained and packaged from top schools and tutors in Singapore and are proven to help you to deepen your understanding and get closer to the PSLE English Language Distinction.

Get your free PSLE English Resources

Free Primary School Test Papers

For most subjects in the PSLE, practice is the most effective way of learning them well for the Examinations. Other than knowing the content required, you also need to learn how to manage your time, exam stress and reduce distractions.

Therefore, practicing your PSLE exam strategies on past year primary school test papers can keep you sharp, focused and ready to ace the PSLE English Language examination. Download our free P6 English Exam Papers and start preparing for the PSLE today!

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For most subjects in the PSLE, practice is the most effective way of learning them well for the Examinations. Other than knowing the content required, you also need to learn how to manage your time, exam stress and reduce distractions.

Therefore, practicing your PSLE exam strategies on past year primary school test papers can keep you sharp, focused and ready to ace the PSLE English Language examination. Download our free P6 English Exam Papers and start preparing for the PSLE today!

Download our free test papers

Important PSLE Dates for PSLE English

Keep track of the next upcoming PSLE English examination 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 01 English Language Paper 1
08:15 am
Oct 01 English Language Paper 2
10:30 am
Oct 01 Foundation English Paper 1
08:15 am
Oct 01 Foundation English Paper 2
10:30 am

Master your English Language with PSLE English Tuition

Having trouble with the English language but you have no idea how to improve it? Or do you need professional guidance to make sure you stay focused?

With PSLE English home tuition, you can now get exceptional and personalised help in the English language in the comfort of your house. Our English tutors are well-equipped to teach the latest PSLE English 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 English language examination.

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