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In my previous post, I talked about the importance of starting to prepare for the PSLE from the beginning of the P5 year. This is what I do with my P5 students.In this post I’ll give suggestions on how to prepare your child for 3 new components at home.

This can also be done at home (child doesn’t need to be a student of mine). Look at the Booklet B components, focus on Synthesis first. This is the easiest component to score full marks and the one where the student can lose the fastest for careless mistakes. Books such as Synthesis & Transformation by Carolyn Lee (Marshall Cavendish) among others, have the rules of Synthesis & Transformation clearly laid out. Ask your child to memorise the rules and then practice.

SPG (Editing) is a test of your child’s knowledge in spelling, punctuation and grammar structure. If your child scores badly in practice, then review grammar rules again and start a list of words that he gets wrong and do spelling tests regularly at home (words get ‘recycled’ for Editing component).

Comprehension Cloze is particularly scary for both parents and students (frustrating for tuition teachers!!). If a child reads widely – newspapers, books, magazines..then he already has an upper hand. Common phrases, metaphors and phrasal verbs are found in Compre Cloze. Contextual clues can be found throughout the passage, but that also depends on the exam setter. Some passages have few contextual clues while others are peppered throughout. Get your child to read widely and practice often, highlighting contextual clues when he comes across them so that he automatically becomes aware of them when looking at a Compre Cloze passage.

The best advice I can give all parents is to start early and do it slow. These new components take time to master and can be confusing for a child.

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