Last-minute English exam tips

It’s PSLE week, with barely 48 hours till your child sits for his English paper. We share with you some tips on how to help your child prepare with these last-minute English exam tips 

Being a tutor, I get many parents asking me, “What should their children focus on to score in their PSLE or if they can spot questions?” Here I share my last-minute tips I tell all my students before they sit for their paper.

Paper 1 – Situational writing

  1. Know your format. There are only four formats for situational writing and each one is unique. It’s important to know which are informal, which are formal as well as how you sign off in your letters. It is these details that examiners look out for to test your understanding of the format.
    1. A friendly letter (informal)
    2. A formal letter
    3. An email (can be either formal or informal so remember the context!)
    4. A report (formal)
  2. Remember the acronym PACT –What is the Purpose of writing, who are you writing to/for(Audience), what is the Context (formal or informal) and should it be written in past or present Tense.
  3. Read the question carefully! All information that needs to be included in your writing will be stated in the question itself. So make sure you don’t miss any out and remember to include all the pointers given in the question.

If you remember these three tips, you are already assured 1/3 of the total marks.

Paper 2 – Booklet A

Booklet A, also known as the Multiple Choice Question section (MCQ), is believed to be simpler than section B, yet there are a few parts that might trip even the most seasoned of students. Here are some tips to overcome careless mistakes and maximise marks.

  1. Section A: Graphic Stimulus, Section C: Punctuation and Section F: MCQ Comprehension are the sections that every student should be able to get full marks in. These 13 marks should be already in the bag. All you need is a keen sense of careful observation.
  2. Take your time! There are many students who take less than the one hour and 50 minutes given for the English paper and when you rush, you are definitely more prone to mistakes
  3. Either, or. Neither, nor. These questions always come out, so get your children to know the different ways they can be used.

The next part of our tips, covering details about Booklet B: Composition and Comprehension, is available at

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