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Updated: Mar 6

If you’re a parent of a primary school child, find out interesting and non-boring ways you can use to prepare PSLE English paper.

A search on the web and you’ll find that parents are looking at the how-tos of preparing PSLE. And ‘preparing for PSLE English’ could be one of the hottest topic. Understandably because it’s simply not a subject that can be bettered through long hours of learning.

To give you a heads up on what to expect for English paper, here is some basic information. There’ll be 4 papers in total: Writing, Language Use and Comprehension, Listening Comprehension and Oral Communication.

PSLE season could be a stressful one for most parents, and it’s only predictable your little ones would be too. Whether or not your kiddo is taking part in PSLE, it’s better to be prepared than never. We introduce 6 out-of-the-box preparation methods that your child can use before the next PSLE season comes by.

#1 Keep a learning notebook

A notebook, dedicated for the English subject, can be the first step your child can take to well-equipped for the exams. Jot words, phrases, idioms etc. that they’re unsure of, and sentences or phrases that they think will come in handy.

To make sure they put it into proper use, let them practice the habit of reading newspaper articles, write down words that they’re unfamiliar with and practice summarizing.

The act of writing itself has proven to be better for learning. Writing it down reinforces the content, aids thinking skills, and also help them be mentally prepared of what to expect in the Paper 1 Continuous Writing and Paper 2 Language Use and Comprehension section. Encourage your kid to revise those notes once in awhile. You can quiz them on these content and reward them when necessary — it’s always important to make the learning process as fun as possible.

But kids will forever be kids. News articles will bore them eventually. Excite their learning process by borrowing books they want from the library. You can assess the value of the book (whether they’re too easy or too hard, whether the context is suitable for them, etc.) before borrowing them. Do the same as what they’d do with the articles — record foreign vocabs, check them up and write summaries of each chapter.

#2 Be time-conscious with their revisions

Other than being conscious about what they’re solving, it’s also important to know how much time they have to solve it. Knowing what examination formats to expect is essentially the bedrock of their examination strategy. And solving questions with certain time gives them control over the exam situation.

For example, the time for written Paper 2 Language Use and Comprehension, consisting of booklet A and B, has a total time of 1 hour and 50 minutes for students to complete.

The simplest way to delegate time is based on Booklet A and Booklet B. The former compiles of MCQ qns and the latter, open-ended questions. If students feel less confident about scoring marks from Booklet B, practice strategically on the first part. Train them to get as many correct answers as possible within the shortest time. Vice versa if they’re better at the second part of the paper. By practicing within time, they can roll with the punches when they face the papers.

#3 Don’t neglect to listen

Learning doesn’t have to be rigid. Do something the kid love! Spend time watching their favourite English TV programmes or even movies. You’d be surprised at how your kid can improve their language skills just by listening regularly.

The advancement of technology these days have made edu-tainment possible, To endow them with keen listening skills (exceptionally useful for Paper 3 Listening Comprehension), turn off the subtitles while watching TV programmes.

#4 Seek essential help

Parents can have too much on their plates. And that intensifies the difficulty to focus entirely on our kids. When that happens, don’t ignore the need to seek extra help.

An experienced tutor may have grounding to lay out a customized study plan and pursue for specific materials that can be driving forces in the quest to get them ready for the PSLE English exams.

#5 Read out loud

There’s magic in reading out loud — it helps you to remember things better, fortify the concept of what you’re reading, improve fluency in reading (which are perfect for Paper 4 (Oral Communication)), listening skills etc.

Ever heard that the best way to learn a language is immersing yourself in the right environment? Yes, and the point is the learner needs to take part in speaking as well. Surrounding your kids in an all-English speaking environment can help them learn passively. Not to mention how speaking can prepare them for English Paper 4 (Oral Communication).  

#6 Parents should also speak proper English

Like we mentioned, environment immersion is the key to hone any language skills. It’s not enough for kids to learn alone; parents have to participate as well.

As Singaporeans, it can be so tempting to delve into Singlish. It can be awkward initially, but speaking proper English at home can significantly boost your kid’s English skills.


Unlike improving maths problem skills, English is not a subject that can be learned the procedural way.

Repeatedly doing past English exam questions might seem like the best choice, but it’s going to take more than just practicing. It’s really about laying down the foundation.

Foster your kid’s reasoning and understanding skills and you’ll see that it’s easier for them to tackle problems. All in all, the sooner you prepare your kid for PSLE English, the better their results will be.

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