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All P5 students would have completed their CA1 papers and got back their results by now. This is the best time for parents to take note of how their child is performing with the leap from P4-P5. While every child will need time to adapt to the new components, it is good to take action if your child scores 65 and below. P5 is the time to build the strong foundation for the PSLE and the earlier the child starts, the more confident he or she will be for the PSLE. Besides building the foundation, giving them ample practice on the changes in the English syllabus is essential. They will be the pioneer batch of the new PSLE format. It is a good time to start on Writing and Oral Components in preparation for the SA1. I have written about these two components in previous posts.

Here I will discuss the changes in the main paper.


Booklet A

Grammar MCQ is now 10 questions instead of 7. This will test the children’s strength in their grammatical foundation.

Vocabulary MCQ remains the same

Comprehension MCQ is replaced with Visual Text Comprehension. This can come in the form of advertisements, flyers or notices. From my students CA1 papers I have noted that there are two texts based on one theme e.g. flyers on the zoo. 8 questions are given on these two texts and they need not be in order of which text is read first. This means that the children must be able to read well and process information before attempting the questions. The visual texts may seem simpler than the Comprehension passages usually given because after all, there are fewer words and they are more spaced out. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. If the child has a tendency to skip over certain information when reading or get confused with the dates, timings, activities in the texts, questions can be interpreted incorrectly and marks lost quickly. Also, with 2 visual texts, the child may lose patience and focus searching for the correct answer and put in the ‘best’ answer he thinks is correct.

Practice with your child by taking any flyer, advertisement or notice (these are ample in Singapore) and ask them to read through them. Prepare questions based on these graphics. Make them as tricky as you can. If you have time, cut out two or three adverts based on one theme and prepare questions across these adverts.


Booklet B

The change in this booklet are in Comprehension Open-Ended and Editing. There are still 10 questions in Compre OE. However, two or three of them have been changed to table forms. One of the tables may test if the child has truly comprehended the passage read. This can come in the form of True or False questions or asking the child to sequence the events in a story by filling in First Thing Happened/Second Thing Happened.

Another table tests Vocabulary skills. The child has to search for the word in the passage that has the same meaning as a phrase given.

In Editing, there are now 12 blanks. Punctuation has been removed. (Sadly!!! As my students always score full marks for that). The children are now tested on their ability to recognise both spelling and grammatical mistakes and correct them accordingly. Practice is essential in this area as students can lose many marks if they are unable to spot the difference between a spelling and grammar mistake.

I have found one P5 Practice Book at Popular that follows the 2015 PSLE Format. (Title: English. Mages. Published by 3 Gifted Minds LLP). It also has both Writing and Oral Practices which is helpful for parents.

Enjoy the school break and all the best for the SA1!

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