How to score in PSLE composition writing and beyond…

Our founder, Claudine Fernandez shares tips from PSLE markers below on how to ace the Continuous Writing Section of English Paper 1 coming up in end-September.

  1. Vary your use of vocabulary and sentence structure. Show, not tell. There is no need for overly complex vocabulary; what is more important is to use the appropriate word for the intended impact. Instead of using the word ‘happy’ four times throughout the composition, children could explore different phrasings that convey the same meaning eg. ‘delighted’, ‘overjoyed’ or ‘over the moon’.
  2. Avoid overusing these transition words: When, Then, After, Suddenly. Change the way you begin your paragraphs. Try using: While, Nevertheless, Though, Thereafter.
  3. PSLE compos are marked for a) content and b) language. To score in content, the writer should not digress from the topic given. Candidates should also be original in their composition by coming up with an original hook at the start of your story and a refreshing plot to develop the story.For instance, a story on pride could show consequences of the character’s pride in perhaps being stubborn about their ideas and not being open to other people’s suggestions or having a habit of not asking for help when it is needed. Avoid writing a dull story about a clever child who fails in his examinations because of complacency and pride.
  4. Develop good characters by thinking more about how you can describe their appearance, manner of speech and their behaviour among different groups of people or in different situations. Read more about how to develop good characters in our previous blog post here:
  5. Start early and give your child a boost in writing by giving regular exercises and writing prompts. Inculcating a good reading habit will also help hone his or her writing skills over time.

If you would like your child to gain more mastery of techniques like these, sign up for our “Masterclasses with Teacher Claudine series” today.

Claudine will also be teaching specific techniques that will give students an edge when it comes to acing the PSLE Continuous Writing section. Furthermore, these writing techniques are applicable to any short story even after the PSLE is over.