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3 Tips To Ace the English Oral Examination

5 things to look out for in PSLE Oral Examination

The oral examination is a special component of the English language examination which assesses how well your child can read and communicate using the language. As such, the oral examination uses a distinct mode of assessment compared to the other components of the English language examination. In this post, we share some tips which can help your child stand out in the oral examination.

Stay Calm

Breathing Technique to Stay Calm

Staying calm during the oral examination might sound like an easy thing to do. However, it is easier said than done. Unlike the written components of the English language papers, the oral examination places your child physically in front of the examiner. This is can a daunting or even distressing experience for some students. In addition, your child is expected to read and communicate his/her thoughts clearly to the examiner during the examination. To prepare him/her, the very first thing you should teach your child are techniques to minimize panic. One such technique would be inhaling deeply before he/she starts to read the passage given. This is known to be a common technique that has been proven to help students keep calm and focused. It is also beneficial to have mock runs with different "examiners" to get your child acclimatized to different examination styles, so they do not get caught off-guard on the actual day.

Use the Preparation Time Wisely

Another unique feature of the oral examination is the allocated preparation time. This is a pocket of time given to your child to plan and practice on the examination material before he/she speaks for the actual examination. Many students merely do a hasty run through and are content if there are no "complicated or unfamiliar" words present.

To be Prepared is the First Step to Success

What we recommend is a systematic framework to look through the material given. For the reading passage, pay special attention to punctuation, longer sentences and pronunciation of complex words. To prepare for the stimulus based conversation, your child should ask him/herself guiding questions. He/she should not only describe the setting, character, and emotions, but also express their own opinions that value adds to the conversation. This process can be familiarized through practice, so it becomes second nature during the examination.

Know the Grading Criteria

A commonly overlooked component of the oral examination is the grading criteria. It is very important to know how your child will be graded, in order to prepare for it effectively. Oral examiners grade your child based on a rubric, that is spilt into two components:

1) Your child’s reading capability is assessed based on his/her pronunciation, fluency and expressiveness

2) Your child's communication skill is assessed based on his/her clarity, personal response, and engagement.

Reading and Communication Skills PSLE Oral

These are guideposts that your child should pay close attention to, so you do not make him/her practice blindly without a clear purpose in mind.

In summary, it is important to understand how the oral examination is assessed, to acquire the specific skills required to excel. You also want to train your child to stay calm on the actual day to maintain top performance. Speak with clarity, express ideas with confidence, and your child will surely ACE the oral examination easily.


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