With the PSLE Oral examinations a mere three weeks away, it is inevitable that both students and parents get very nervous. What seemed like a long six year primary school journey is finally reaching the beginning of the end, with the first of the PSLE papers coming in mid August.
After working with so many students over the last few years, we have learned that many students adopt an ineffective approach towards preparing for the oral examination. Some common mistakes made were:
- Reading passage in an accented voice
- Not pacing yourself enough, leading to irregular pauses
- Or simply thinking that Oral examination is about "chit-chatting"; choosing to use the precious few days before the examination to work on other subjects instead!
All parents will know that the PSLE examination is moderated. Every child's score will be measured and based against the performance of other children. At a time when other children are adopting efficient practice and revision techniques to brush up their oral skills, the truth is that students who do not know these skills and techniques will eventually be at a losing end.
Some quick tips that we have for the oral examinations are:
•Tip 1: The oral examination begins even before you actually speak to the examiners.
o First impression counts! Observe exam etiquette such as dressing properly, not dragging your chairs when sitting and standing up, and greet the examiners before/after the oral exam.
•Tip 2: It is important to read the reading section once through during the preparation time.
o Read once through to get the general meaning of the passage. Is it a story? A recall? An adventure? Read the passage in way that fits its intention, meaning tone and expression that fits the context of situation.
•Tip 3: Avoid pointing with your finger at the picture and merely saying the “boy on the right-hand side of the picture”.
o Instead, describe and use the clothes, facial expression of “the boy” to bring the examiners’ attention to who exactly you are describing. For example, the boy in the striped shirt on the right.
•Tip 4: For the discussion, it is essential to answer the 5Ws and 1H.
o Answer the “Who”, “What”, “When”, “Where”, “Why” and “How” questions even before the examiners prompt you.
Just like how it is easy to discuss about football but not so easy to play it at the highest level, discussing about the oral examinations is easy but doing well with all the pressure and nervousness is probably not so. These tips might seem straightforward but every child requires hours of practice and refinement to hone their confidence in front of the examiners.
We will be conducting a specialized seminar - Clinching that A* in PSLE Oral and Writing at the Singapore Recreation Club on 5 Aug 2012 (Sun). If you would like to know more about our seminar and how we can help your child accelerate his/her Oral and Writing skills, please do visit our website http://www.thewriteclique.com for more details.