4 BIG Challenges Children Face Taking PSLE English

Article 2: 4 BIG Challenges Children Face Taking PSLE English

It is the time of the year that the primary six students have been waiting for, or so we thought. There is definitely some form of pressure to perform well, as their parents have invested time and money, in the hope that they excel in the major examinations. Conquering English is the top most concern for parents, as the grade of this language determines their “fate” in the choice of secondary school. Thus, there are four BIG challenges children face taking their English Paper.


Lacking in the area of writing creatively

Paper One, which consists of composition writing and situational writing, takes up about 27% weightage. Not a lot, but it adds up to the overall percentage from the other components. Composition writing has always been a bane to a majority of children, who are unable to ignite the creativity spark in them. The average score for most students are in the range or 15-25/40 for the composition writing part.

Lacking in the area of doing well in the vocabulary section

Reading since young plays a very vital role in building up a child’s literacy capacity. Unfortunately, many students are not reading widely, and thus, their vocabulary skills are not sturdy enough to understand and answer complex questions that test their vocabulary skills.

Lacking in the area of acing in the Comprehension Open Ended section

Comprehension means understanding, and if a child does not understand, it means he/she does not have a good grasp of the Comprehension passage, the last but heaviest weightage for Paper Two. Most children are also not patient enough to read the passage a few times before attempting the questions, resulting in many careless mistakes. Many children are also stumped by the vocabulary words in the passage, and if they do not understand the meaning, their marks are compromised.

Lacking in the area of time management

That is the common problem across all subjects, be it English, Mathematics, Science and Mother Tongue. A sizeable number of children are not equipped adequately on managing their time well. Many of them spend too much time tackling the questions in front, and when the time is almost up, they realise there are questions not done, resulting in blank submissions for some components.


In a nutshell, a child is able to overcome the above challenges if he/she is well prepared enough to pre-empt the scenarios mentioned above. Time and effort are also important for the child to work upon his/her strengths/weaknesses to do adequately well for the PSLE English paper.

(penned for PSLE Hub)

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