Worried about sitting for the O-Level Chinese paper, especially since so many students struggle with this mother tongue? Studying smart, with ample preparation, is key to achieving good grades for the exam.
Here are 10 tips (by ex-MOE teachers Hwa Chong Institution & Chung Cheng High School) that will help you study efficiently for the exam.
#1 Decide on the grade you wish to achieve.
Set a realistic goal by recognizing your ability, yet not improperly belittling yourself. You want to aim higher but still set a comfortable target, such as a grade that is slightly above what you’ll usually achieve for Chinese. For example, if you currently score B3, aim for A2. Once you have a goal in mind, map out your implementation plan and work towards that target.
#2 Plan your schedule.
Remember the examination dates and make a study plan accordingly. The time-table for the 2018 O-Level Chinese language examination is as follows:
Written exam (mid-year)
Mon, 28th May
Wed, 4th July – Mon, 16th July
Tue, 17th July
Parents can support your children by ensuring that their study plans are strictly adhered to, so as to maximise success.
#3 Don’t take the mid-year paper too lightly!
It is unwise to assume that, since there are two O-Level written tests in a year, you have a second chance to perform better at year-end if you didn’t score ideally during the mid-year. In fact, the Mid-Year Chinese exam provides a better opportunity for Sec 4 Express and Sec 5NA students to excel in as you can concentrate fully on preparing for it, unlike for the year-end one, which takes place amid all the other subject papers that you have to revise for.
#4 Improve your vocabulary.
Sort out the key words that you have learned from Sec 1 to Sec 4, as well as the words that appear frequently in your test papers which you don’t quite understand or often write wrongly. Reinforce your memory of these words by going through them daily.
#5 Pay attention and take notes in class.
The methods and skills taught by the teacher are crucial during the critical period of review. Don’t let learning doubts accumulate and try to clarify questions with teachers or classmates on a timely basis.
#6 Practise on past year exam papers.
Doing these exercises, combined with revising the methods taught in class, not only give you an idea of the questions that can come out in this year’s exam, they also help you identify the topics and areas you require more effort to improve in.
#7 Find resources to improve your writing.
Gain exposure by learning from excellently written compositions and keep a notebook of good vocabulary and sentences, sorting them out according to: practical writing, narration, argumentation and hot topics. Additionally, keep abreast with current affairs by watching the Mandarin news broadcasts or read the latest topics of “zaobao xiaoyuan早报校园” or “zaobao comma逗号”.
#8 Pace your self-study to avoid burn-out.
Ensure you get adequate sleep to minimise pre-examination stress. After more than two hours of studying, take a break and relax – listen to music, watch TV or have a snack. However, avoid activities that could drain your energy like playing mobile games or strenuous exercise. Decide on the best time of the day to do your revision, which can vary from person to person, whether it’s first thing in the morning when you feel most refreshed or in the quiet evening.
#9 Adjust your mentality and build up confidence.
When taking a test, understand the questions thoroughly, think though and don’t blindly pursue to answer the questions. In the event that you make mistakes, don’t get discouraged. Take it as a learning experience and build up your arsenal again by revising your notes and memorizing more articles and words. Stay positive and never think that it’s too late to improve your results. As with every exam, the final lap in your revision effort can make a significant difference. At the end of the day, be at peace by knowing that you’ve tried your best.
#10 Seek help of experienced teachers.
As the Chinese saying goes: “An accomplished teacher produces a good student” (名师出高徒), a good Mandarin tutor can greatly complement a student’s own study efforts. While the level of Chinese language tuition in Singapore is varied, there are very few tutors who focus solely on teaching O-Level Chinese language.
You Education is the only centre that specializes in teaching GCE O-Level Chinese in Singapore. Its team includes many experienced Ex-MOE teachers, including teachers previously from Hwa Chong Institution and Chung Cheng High School.
You Education’s teachers meticulously compile quality textbooks and can impart critical examination skills to students while helping them make progress at the last critical stage of exam preparation.
Below is the programme available at You Education.
冲刺班课程的内容 (Intensive Course Programme):
- 综合填空&词语复习Cloze Passages & Review of commonly tested vocabulary
- 阅读理解一Comprehension 1 (MCQ)
- 阅读理解二（记叙文）Comprehension 2 (Narrative)
- 阅读理解二（议论文）Comprehension 2 (Argumentative)
- 模拟考试Mock Test
- 私人电邮Email Writing (Informal)
- 公务电邮Email Writing (Formal)
- 记叙文Narrative Writing
- 议论文Argumentative Writing
- 说明文Expository Writing
- 综合技巧复习和答疑Reviews of comprehensive Skills and Q&A
A comprehensive review that builds confidence by helping students score maximum marks in the examinations and improve time management skills during exams.
口试班的内容 (Oral Course Programme)：
- Scoring techniques for the “Read a Passage Aloud”(CL), “Oral Report”(HCL) and “Video-based Conversation”.
- Discussion on 10 of the latest trending topics that are relatable for the examination.
- Mock oral exams with immediate coaching and feedback.
Exclusive Offers for KiasuParents readers:
Free 1 class for Sec 1- Sec 3 Higher Chinese/ Chinese Language
Find out more about You Education here.