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Tackling Primary School Oral Examinations

Contrary to the belief that oral exam is only reading, here are some details going into oral examination.


Section 1 : Reading Aloud ( 5 marks )

What the testers will be observing…

    • A way in which words are pronounced in reference to the correct manner
    • An ability to express fluently and coherently (in speech)
    • Ensure separate sounds and words are clear
    • Measure flow of words; well paced
    • Quick… easy… and flowing expression; not to fast and not too slow
    • Expressing words and phrases with quality intonation of voice
    • Ability to use appropriate pitch to convey ideas and feelings

Section 2 : Picture Discussion ( 5 marks )

What the testers will be observing…

    • Giving an introduction…
    • Good Morning, Teacher… (Not Good Morning ‘Cher…)
    • This picture shows a… OR
    • This picture depicts a scene from a …
    • … restaurant, a mall, a library, a canteen (etc)
  • Tips:
    • Try to talk about the picture, from a sweeping glance from left to right
      • On my left… there are two cyclists cycling along the path…
      • Behind them… are two children on tricycles…
    • Proper use of prepositions follows on throughout the picture discussion
      • For example, beside the girl or above them or in between the trees (etc)
    • DO NOT point to the pictures.
    • ALWAYS USE present tense.
    • AVOID using "I see…" (some testers deduct marks for this…)

Section 3: Conversation ( 5 marks )

What the testers will be observing…

    • Ability to interact with the tester with personal responses to a given topic.
    • Almost (usually) the picture given will be similar to the one in Section 2
    • Not really so much of right or wrong context here but more to be able to handle a meaningful and nonchalant conversation with the tester on the picture given.
  • Example..
    • This is a picture of a clinic.
    • There are many patients waiting outside at the reception area.
    • I go to a clinic with my parents when I fall ill.
    • The doctor will check all his patients in the doctor’s room.
    • … and so o

The above is to share a sample page from a book i bought for my children, to aid in the preparation for oral examination. It is easily available at your nearest Popular bookstore. I highly recommend it. Easy to understand pictures and provides good oral passage reading practise. Plus questions (for parents to help prompt) on picture discussion, when the child is seemingly stuck ie. don’t know what else to say… Unfortunately, i forgot to upload the book’s cover. Wait up, ya. I’ll do it in the afternoon, after my owl day snooze…






You're welcome.

You’re welcome, messageinabottle. I am glad you found it useful. 🙂


Thank you!! this was helpful.appreciate it.

Thanks for the

Thanks for the information.

Chinese Oral Guide for P1

Heyya jedamum.. sure or not your Mandarin standard low? But definitely better than mine lah. Niwae there is this book with full hanyu-pinyin below the full chinese character phrases and sentences and all in thematic topics, which i quite like…. since i need so much help with proper pronunciation. Chief like to tease me on my beijing twang. Sigh.. so gotta put in more effort lest i kena go Principal CKS office. Plus it is very colourful too! Has the varied level for P1 to P6.


For Hanyu Pinyin (Pronunciation)

Title : Chinese Made Easy [Simplified Characters Version]

Authors : Yamin Ma and Xinying Li

Publisher : Joint Publishing

>Textbook 1 with CD SGD $ 36.92

>Workbook SGD $26.75


For Oral Passages and Picture Discussions (Chinese)

Title : P1 Chinese Oral and Listening Comprehension [With CD Rom]

Title : P1 Chinese Oral Booster

Publisher : EPH P/L

HYPY for passages on tester’s side. Relatively ok pictures. Has a small column beside picture discussions for short phrases. Black and white pages, almost like a workbook.


Will try to put up the sample pages up in this thread later..


Any good Chinese Oral book

Any good Chinese Oral book to recommend? It is pretty difficult to translate the english text to chinese if our own standard of chinese is low .

Is there a guide of ‘English-Chinese translation for common used phrases’ available in the market?

Oral Next Week

Heyya smum, you are very welcome! Haiyah! Only the terminologies are cheem! But the process not so lah. Hehee! Tell your son I wish him all the best!


Thanks for this

Thanks for this information. Did not realized the Oral Examination is so "complicated". Will try to "teach" my son this week. He is having his SA1 Oral next week. Thanks!

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